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Philaret Denisenko’s “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) does not and has never existed, Patriarch Bartholomew told a group of Ukrainian journalists in Istanbul last week. “As for [Ph]ilaret, he was restored to his episcopal dignity as former Metropolitan of Kiev. The so-called ‘Patriarchate of Kiev’ does not exist and never existed,” the Patriarch told the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine. The head of the Union, Sergei Tomilenko, wrote about the meeting on his Facebook page and published the full text of Pat. Bartholomew’s English speech. The declaration comes against the background of Philaret Denisenko’s active attempts to garner support for the revival of the KP, which he loudly proclaims never ceased to exist, despite his promise to liquidate it on the morning of the “unification council” in Kiev on December 15. The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice has confirmed that the KP was never liquidated and continues to exist, at least in the eyes of the state. Moreover, the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,” which united with the KP to create the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), was also not liquidated before the council. Thus, there are now three schismatic bodies in Ukraine, rather than the two that existed before the “unification council.” A battle has begun between Philaret Denisenko, the “Patriarch” of the KP, considered the “Honorary Patriarch” of the OCU, and the primate of the OCU “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, that only further delegitimizes the OCU in the eyes of the Orthodox world and threatens to tear apart Pat. Bartholomew’s personal creation. While the Orthodox world has never recognized the legitimacy of the KP, it does not deny its existence. Moreover, in the same speech, Pat. Bartholomew himself speaks of the separation of Ukrainian Orthodoxy into “three separate entities,” and states that “This reality, the existence of two schismatic groups, was a real agony.” The rest of Pat. Bartholomew’s speech is largely a reiteration of the same points he and other Constantinople representatives have been making since the summer. He states that the granting of autocephaly to Ukraine was a purely pastoral matter on the part of Constantinople, to free Ukraine from the oppression of being part of the Russian Church and to create unity within Ukraine. The Synods, primates, and hierarchs of other Local Churches have, however, noted that Ukrainian Orthodoxy is only less unified since Constantinople’s interference there. He also repeats the historical claim that the Kiev Metropolis never transferred to the Russian Church—an assertion that only the Patriarchate of Constantinople accepts. Further, he states that “The issue in Ukraine was timely. That is, the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not suddenly decide to intervene,” although he had denied numerous appeals from schismatic clergy and state authorities over the preceding three decades, changing his mind only after the unsuccessful Crete council in 2016. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, a hierarch of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, has tied Constantinople’s interference in Ukraine to Pat. Bartholomew’s disappointment that the Russian Church did not participate in the Crete Council. Pat. Bartholomew further states: “As we have maintained, there are no more schismatics in Ukraine because they have been restored to communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.” However, to date, the OCU is in communion only with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, not with the Orthodox Church as a whole. They have been explicitly rejected as schismatics by several Local Churches. http://orthochristian.com/121591.html?fbclid=IwAR12vr6wJNpNvByH8txIEr8X_vQXe-kVpv516GgsNGD1zDILzsNqiZ7tAgg
Murat Bayaral made the proclamation on religious TV in Turkey. His intervention Islamisation of Turkey under President Recep Erdogan. President Erdogan does not have a beard, which raises many questions. By Josh Robbins An Islamic preacher in Turkey launched a scathing attack on clean-shaven men, claiming that they "look like women" and provoke "indecent thoughts". Murat Bayaral's intervention, made on a religious TV channel on 16 December, has highlighted the increasing Islamisation of Turkey under President Recep Erdogan "Men should grow beards. One of the two body parts that separate men from women is the beard," Bayaral said. "For example, if you see a man with long hair from afar you may think he is a woman if he does not have a beard. Because nowadays women and men dress similarly. God forbid! You could be possessed by indecent thoughts," he added. The preacher, who enjoys a sumptuous bounty of well-groomed facial hair, made the comments as Turkey's secular heritage looks increasingly under threat. President Erdogan, who does not have a beard relies on a conservative support base, which is eager to see a muddying of the separation between mosque and state. Evolution was removed from science classes in public schools earlier this year and girls are now allowed to wear headscarves when attending school. Enrollment in religious schools has leaped from 63,000 children to 1,000,000 since Erdogan first rose to power in 2002, Politico reported. "Turkish debates on piety and modesty reoccur frequently," Magdalena Kirchner, a fellow at the Istanbul Policy Center in Turkey, told Newsweek. "Erdogan declared in 2012 his intent to raise 'devout generations,' and former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinc stated in 2014 that women should not laugh out loud in public," she added. Turkish president Recep Erdogan is suspiciously beardless Adnan Abidi/Reuters While Bayaral is a marginal figure in Turkey, Kirchner warned that his statement demonstrated that the government's pious base exerted "bottom-up pressure against [a secular] way of life without having to impose legal constraints." Turkish school are not only being injected with a lot more religious studies, but also a lot more Erdogan studies. The 63-year-old is increasingly competing with Turkey's founding father General Ataturk for space on the national curriculum. The president appears to have consolidated his grip on Turkey after a controversial referendum in April cleared the way for him to transform the parliamentary system into an executive presidency. Mostafa Kemel Ataturk established Turkey as a secular state in the 1920s. However, Erdogan has promised to "raise a devout generation" against the secular establishment. An Iraqi man who fled Isis uses a pair of scissors to trim Odd Andersen/AFP The enemies, real or imagined, of Erdogan's vision for Turkey, are an educated and liberal elite living in Istanbul, who have a taste for alcohol. Preacher Bayaral's claims are a reminder of the widening polarity within Turkish society. The beard is a pressure point for Islamist and Islamophobic policies alike. Militant groups such as Isis have previously forced men living under their jurisdiction to wear beards, while China's authoritarian government has banned men belonging to the Uyghur Muslim minority population from sporting facial hair. Contrary to Bayaral's claim, scientific studies have never shown that men without beards provoke "indecent thoughts". However, several have demonstrated that homophobic men are more likely to be repressing gay desires. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/beardless-men-look-like-girls-provoke-gay-thoughts-says-muslim-preacher-1652159?utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=%2Fbeardless-men-look-like-girls-provoke-gay-thoughts-says-muslim-preacher-1652159 MORE