The priest of the UOC-MP that it’s wrong to insist that «we’re the best»

© Photo : from personal archive of Archpriest Vladimir Maliankara Vladimir MalychenkoThe priest of the UOC-MP that it’s wrong to insist that «we’re the best»© Photo : from personal archive of Archpriest Vladimir Malychenko

Today in Russia, much has been written about the plight of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy, the oppression of its clergy and laity nationalists, dissidents and the authorities. About what the real state of the UOC-MP today and about current trends among the clergy, the underlying causes of the Maidan and that you can see the «bottom» of the prison — in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti said a cleric of the Cathedral of the Holy spirit Romny Romny-Buryn diocese, Archpriest Vladimir Malychenko. Interviewed By Sergey Stefanov.

— I think the reasons always lie within us. And when people are experiencing some negative effects, some crisis, — it is like the judgment of God manifests itself in one or another part of society. But all this has its cause in depth, value disorientation in man, which has become dominant in the public consciousness.

I think what happened in 2014 and in subsequent time in Ukraine is, unfortunately, a consequence, in particular, and that our Church’s testimony here were, for the most part, I’m sorry, refined, smoothed means, probably, without proper emphasis on our rootedness in the patristic tradition.

«Who built the monastery, built a house of repentance…» I here cite the patristic definition as a metaphor, justifying, in my opinion, the external Church life in all possible forms in the context of this definition — «the house of repentance». Convinced that only such «cell» gives the right to entry into the bright and spacious rooms for a decent thanksgiving to the Creator.

Orientation to the external dispensation without the approval of the internal compliance — perhaps this is the legacy that we experienced after the turmoil of 1917. Although this time things have removed us from the Christian truth and reconciled the Orthodox attitude. It was then when we, say, from the culture of the spirit of repentance fell into some kind of anti-culture of triumphant righteousness, following thus in the footsteps of Western Christianity.

The events of 2014 in Ukraine took place not without the participation of people that are very close to the Church hierarchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This is confirmed by the present action etnopoliticheskie configured hierarchy (ethnophyletism the tendency to bring the Church’s interests to sacrifice national political, condemned as heresy at the local Council of the Council of Constantinople, 1872 — ed.). Who are these people — no secret to anyone. First of all, Metropolitan Alexander (drabinko) and his colleague, Archpriest Georgy Kovalenko, head of the information service under Metropolitan Vladimir.

Unfortunately, went after them, many among the clergy — those who support them pronatsionalistichesky, etnopoliticheskoi version of the «right» Church life. In recent years, people with such a worldview we in the Church environment has become so much that the Primate probably hard to keep in line with Church unity. As a result, this world view manifests itself not in the best way and in all aspects of public life.

Is love in your ethnic features. This manifestation of pride on religious and national level. The consequence of evasion of the same spirit of repentance.

Although in our Church tradition, Liturgy, the liturgical practice of the penitential culture of transformation is the basis, but the world apparently, somehow pulls us, and what we declare, what we say, unfortunately, very often not confirmed by our life. What is lacking for each of us, I think, on a personal level is a work in mastering this art of repentance. This is the basis of transformation and of Christian life.

So often our prayers and petitions, our participation in Church and social life, in social service is not enough fruitful. You can’t keep saying «we’re the best» that «we have the Golden dome, the best country», showing its monopoly on dignity, but in reality — without being able to make the minimum of embarrassment and quietly find themselves in the territory of comfort, becoming unable to see where our place in the Church today.

— What is your personal experience? Have you had close contact with these «trends» among the clergy?

— About five years I had to serve as a priest in the temple prison in the city of Konotop in Sumy region. If to speak directly about my experience of the prison service, although it and the bottom of society, there’s plenty of decent people who are able and willing to take the path of the Christian life. Christ’s Church is destined to enter into the leper camp. But we, unfortunately, are involved there is still quite formal.

Yes, virtually every prison in Ukraine there is a temple or a prayer room, but the priests go there once or twice a month. Although there is something to do. From there, however, nothing will blow — there’s «prisoners», who live from stall to stall. There is necessary to something to wear.

But I will say this: if the priest can stay in these places what he needs to be, then he has the right to go to other ministries — in education, upbringing, health and so on. But if you’re in jail can’t be a priest — a penny the price to you will be like the priest in seminaries, academies, conferences and in other public places.

Our social service is to become a family, first of all, these people — the needy, the poor and the marginalized. And since we are native to whom? Businessmen, entrepreneurs, members of the government? But it is easy to be family. But we as a Church — we’re not some consolation organization for the powerful. We have to denounce, and there are such examples in our rich Church history.

Otherwise, it turns out that somewhere we hold, perhaps only to justify those misdeeds that are done now at all levels of public life. This is a problem that hangs in the air, and every one of us, one way or another, feels.

To get out of this state and not be a kind of a privileged community, elitist, sorry, club, and to be the Church, we, again, need to become penitent sinners and overcome the triumphant saints.

— How dangerous is it where you serve?

— The mayor of Konotop, where I come from, elected in the present time of troubles — perhaps the most outspoken nationalist in Ukraine. In his office hangs not the President’s portrait, and a portrait of Bandera, and it at all levels struggling with our Russian culture. In schools, all students were obliged to sing the anthem of Ukraine, hand on heart, before the start of classes.

Now it is dangerous to stick your neck out, to Express their point of view. But sorry: at the moment of this danger we, as a Church cannot get in the cellar and wait. To some extent, it is necessary to establish communication even with completely irreconcilable people.

The same mayor, I told my friends, occupying a certain social position, a man able to hear. But the only representative of the clergy, who constantly communicates, is a representative of the so-called Kiev Patriarchate. Here commemorative events at the memorial on victory Day — there is, in theory, should be our clergy, but there are only schismatics. And so everywhere.

If we, the Church people were more active, well organized, then it would be easier to resist — to oppose constructively — what is happening before our eyes today. In General, now is the time paradoxes. The same mayor-«Bandera» — that he now opposed the gay parade in Konotop. That is, even here there is common ground where we can find some understanding for cooperation.

Although there are, of course, and just absurd things. We have one of the Central streets of the city renamed from «Street of brothers of Radchenko» in the street «Brother Luzanov». We begin to wonder: what is this brothers Luzany? It turns out the policemen, who in a neighboring village in our area was plundered during the occupation of 1941-1943 years. And these people did now heroes, their name was called out. But the saddest thing is that this all went unnoticed, no one from the Church people are not even opposed — not necessarily on behalf of the Church, but simply as a citizen of this country, this city…

We should, of course, not rebellious part, not war, and the human — including in the lives of those disoriented individuals who were in the territory of a particular region. This danger is to be a Confessor of the truth. But a Christian always be dangerous. It was said that «good is to be desired the bishopric» — the bishopric wanted those who were ready for martyrdom.

The problem is that those of our priests who could withstand the pressure of the authorities, nationalists and dissenters — gifted priest, capable of more active service, but not as bright managers of some commercial projects and almost all of them are on the margins, in some «Tmutarakan» in the farthest corners of the territories where they live. Very often the Bishop surrounds himself the priesthood which is able to provide the material component of the so-called Church life.

And people, meanwhile, are increasingly moving to the dissenters, who «announce» and broadcast everywhere from morning to evening. We are the ones that have people open their eyes to what is happening — was waiting parishioners. The time has come when we need to reach out to people.

— And in other dioceses, what’s the situation?

— Similar. Do not undertake to say, but it seems that this situation is everywhere in Ukraine.

— It is known that the Ukrainian mass-media sharply negative attitude to the Moscow Patriarchate repeatedly drawn attention to the UOC-MP. Here, in principle, there can be no collaboration, or the voice of the Orthodox believers there still can be heard?

— All the media in Kiev, Ukraine are involved in the coverage of the Church life, «posted» supporters of a break with the Moscow Patriarchate. Local channels — only schismatics. Aggression in the public space is now very large. Everywhere the «enemies». The main enemy — is Putin, «Muscovites», «the Pro-Moscow Church.» All the causes of their problems blamed on us — we are guilty. And many, unfortunately, it seduces.

But that does not change and our challenge — to somehow try to get in communication with the media, there are adequate people. It is not necessary to keep aloof, to wait for better times will come.

By the way, there are people who with their own example prove that we can counteract. They say in a loud voice — and nothing, their hands not povykruchivatsya, the prison is not driven. However, this is only possible when people are organized around their life: they are not alone, they have support in those who might oppose the current hype.

And people believe all these lies about Russia, which they are told on different channels? What is the mood among your parishioners with whom you constantly communicate?

Now, to some extent, the attrition has already happened. Those who remained in the bosom of the mother Church is the people, «approved», understand the situation. Judging by our city, where I know a lot of these people use information resources more objective media, including Russian.

For a more active participation in public life, we organized a charity Fund «Grace». Want to accumulate some funds, which would allow to organize people and to assist the priesthood in his Ministry. And not only the priests, our doctors, teachers need to help public figures, talented youth.

People have generally no opportunity for someone and something to rely on in their testimony and opposition to comprehensive lie. Many of those who acted alone, already «hidden». We believe that we have some way to engage in constructive confrontation deception, using a healthy part of society.

Many now leave from the Ukraine, and these people cannot be blamed — they are a kind of Confessors, they did not agree to live in these conditions. Unfortunately, in Russia it is quite difficult to organize your life. But these people must not be strangers here, or just refugees — they should be fully part of society, they need help in settling. We hope that a proper organization of people, the people of God, for the dispensation of charitable forms of life, regardless of the complexity of the historical period — possible and necessary.

Venerated in the Ukraine, the late elder Archimandrite Zosima (Sokur) in his dying Testament said that there would come a time when the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be drawn into a confrontation and tear it off from the Moscow Patriarchate. And he said: «When you no longer commemorate the Patriarch of Moscow — all, it will not be the Church.» Those who do not commemorate the Patriarch, they will come out of the Church. It is necessary that this last will and Testament in every Church in the Ukraine was in a prominent place. Only in Union with the Patriarch and the mother Church we will be able to continue.

We are now staying there and living, hope and believe that the Lord will provide. May be allowed this that we kind of shook himself, came to his senses and become what we should be.

The Church life is the most significant depth of life. This is the life of people who primarily turn to the Sky to save the earth. And if at this depth, everything falls into place, everything else gradually getting better. As the gospel says: «…Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all else will follow».

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