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UKRAINIAN MINISTRY OF CULTURE GIVES PERMISSION FOR UNIATES TO SERVE IN ANCIENT ORTHODOX CHURCH, PHILARET DENISENKO WORRIES THE KREMLIN WILL STAGE PROVOCATIONS
The Primate of the Alexandrian Church, Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa, in his interview to the newspaper “Ethnos”, for the first time takes a stand on the issue of granting Autocephaly to Ukraine.
Speaking about the attitude of the Archdiocese of Alexandria on the issue of the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, the Patriarch of Alexandria has clearly pointed out that he has lived the pain and schism of the Ukrainian Church, but he knows very well “the Russian Church as well, because I was nurtured there for ten years and the Patriarchate of Alexandria has emotional bonds with it”.
He acknowledges, however, that there is a huge problem, that of the Autocephaly, which “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had the right to grant” but he clarifies that what has divided the Churches is the people who took the status of Autocephaly.
He revealed the initiative of Archbishop of Cyprus to meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch so as to ask for a meeting between Bartholomew, himself and the Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow. “Every problem has its solution. Our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the Patriarch of Romiosyne, who we all respect and love. Do not forget that this issue is not a dogmatic one. There is a solution to the issue of Autocephaly”.
He also added that there will soon be a new meeting in Nicosia with the participation of the Patriarchates of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria and the Church of Cyprus.
“I think a solution can be found, if we let aside our personal issues and consider the interest of the Church” he characteristically said.
For the new Archbishop of Australia, Makarios, he stresses that “I know him since a kid, I love and appreciate him. I am glad that Elpidophoros is going to America, and that in France there is another Archpriest from Crete, Emmanuel”.
With regard to his work on the African continent, Theodoros stresses that the biggest challenge he faces in performing his duties is poverty: “Man is no longer happy; there are no smiles and joy anymore. Today affluence is an end in itself, so I see sad faces. However, in my own field of action, which is mainly Black Continent, I do meet happy people”.
Zoran Pezo: Od pada Rimskog carstva do grupe The Fall (Povodom 30. godina filma "Kako je propao rokenrol")Од Милан Ракић,
Kultni filmski omnibus “Kako je propao rokenrol” drži svoj status poput poluga zlata. “Čuo sam da ga puštaju Bad Blue Boysi kad se voze u autobusu na gostovanja”, rekao je između ostalog Zoran Pezo, režiser poznat po emisijama Hit Depo, Ružiona, te po režiranju dodjela nagrade Porin. U filmu “Kako je propao rokenrol” režirao je prvu (od ukupno tri) priče. Obljetnica filma je bila povod za ovaj razgovor u kojem smo se dotakli mnogo toga Kako sada gledate na „Kako je propao rokenrol”? To je prijelomni film naše generacije. Svi smo mislili da neće biti rata, a u filmu vidiš da najavljujemo rat, kad vidiš kartu kako osvaja Nindža. Nindža ima majicu Batmana, a taj film se pojavio tek poslije. To je zasluga scenarista Branka Vukojevića, on je osjećao što će biti trend. Branko je znao koji će bend za godinu dana biti bend broj jedan. On se igrao s naslovom: ‘Kako nam je propao seks?’, ‘Kako nas je propala droga?’. Te zajebancije je bilo stalno. Ja sam u snimanje ušao skoro pa potpuno nespreman. Trebao sam snimati zadnji, a zbog bolesti glumca snimao sam prvi, pripreme su mi skraćene s dva mjeseca na dva-tri tjedna. Ima ona scena kad Sarma (Ratko Tankosić) skuži u WC-u da je Koma Nindža, pa kaže: „Ćuti, bre, Koma, nemoj da te udavim u šolji”. Meni je to bio dobar znak da će film uspjeti, jer Sarma nije mogao od smijeha snimiti ispod 30 repeticija.
Naslov filma je nastao iz Brankove intervencije. Svi smo bili obožavatelji grupe The Fall i voljeli smo Marka E. Smitha i njegovu odbojnost prema mainstreamu. Onda je netko spomenuo da je najlošiji film svih vremena „The Fall of Roman Empire”, pa smo se igrali s tim naslovom i na kraju se iskristalizirao „Kako je propao rokenrol”, i svi su bili zadovoljni s naslovom, dakle tri kompletne ekipe, znači, tri režisera, tri scenarista, Pajkić, Šijan je povremeno s nama razgovarao, došli su muzičari Vlada, Gile i Koja, i kad se sve to ujedinilo kao projekt, tada je to krenulo. Ekipa je bila top, fantastična sa svih strana, bilo da je riječ o beogradskoj, zagrebačkoj ili sarajevskoj.
Najzaslužniji za mogućnost realizacije filma su bili Miša Radivojević i Branko Baletić, direktori Avala filma. Nismo mogli imati više sreće kad smo kao debitanti radili taj film koji nas je jako obilježio. Goran Gajić je već imao prvih problema na snimanju. Bili su mitinzi pred skupštinom, izvukao sam se prije mitinga, već sam montirao svoj dio. Ako gledaš kako Nindža osvaja tržište, točno su tako počinjala žarišta. Već se Bata Živojinović počeo zajebavati, dobacivati, već je tada slovenska roba bila pod embargom u Srbiji, a mi kao ekipa smo mislili da se to u stvari nikad neće dogoditi. Vlada Divljan i ja smo se zezali, hoćete li vi nas napasti, sjebao je sve taj rat.
Branko Vukojević je poznat i kao glazbeni novinar… O njemu je napisana prekrasna monografija „Kako je bio rokenrol”. Branko Vukojević je s Nebojšom Pajkićem bio duša filma. Nebojša je bio središte toga da smo ih sve okupili u tako brzom roku. Branko Vukojević je nakon „Kako je propao rokenrol” napisao scenarij za film Gorana Gajića „Vita jela, zelen bor”. Izvrstan film. Tu se već vidi rat, dvije obitelji komuniciraju putem video kaseta, jedni šalju lovu i žele vidjeti što su sve napravili s tom lovom, ovi drugi muljaju.
Kako se uklopio Bata Živojinović? Čini se da je Bata Živojinović bio vrlo benevolentan… Prišao je sa simpatijama i to se vidjelo. Čak se malo i zafrkavao, doživljavao je to kao rekreativni pristup. Trebali su snimati Bora Todorović i Srđan Todorović Žika – otac i sin u ulogama oca i sina. Međutim, u priču se upleo Kusturica, koji je Bori svašta napričao, i Bora se povukao. Srđan mi je rekao: „Ja ga mogu nagovoriti ako insistiraš”. U međuvremenu stupili smo u kontakt s Batom Živojinovićem koji je bio pojam one kinematografije i svega, a osim toga uloga Krste Klatića Klaje je izgledala kao da se po njemu pisala. Sjećam se da je na Festivalu u Vrnjačkoj Banji pogledao film i oduševio se.
Našao sam Žikinu izjavu kako nije bio baš oduševljen sa svojom ulogom… Žika je imao „method actor” fore, mjesec dana uopće nije prao kosu, on je to jako dobro postavio, nije bio otvoren, nije bio nasmijan i na taj način se zrcalio svom ocu jer je bio klinac koji se bunio protiv sistema. Na probnim snimkama na velikom platnu je bio fantastičan.
U filmu je bilo zezanje sa Sonjom Savić, kojoj u jednom momentu Koma dobacuje da ne voli debele devojke, i onda sam se sjetio da je Gile 1986. Sonji Savić posvetio pjesmu „Debela devojka”. Da li je ta scena referenca na pjesmu „Debela devojka”? Bile su stalno iskrice, konotacije takvog tipa. To je bio krug ljudi koji je bio jako dobar međusobno privatno, kao rock-obitelj.
Koji su bili vaši počeci? Gajić i ja smo počeli kao tinejdžeri i to kao književni kritičari i onda je došao novi val, rokenrol nam je bio puno bliži. Nema otkačenih književnih kritičara, ja sam se bacio na grupu Film, na Haustor, to su bili naši počeci. Imali smo 18-19 godina kad smo počeli i sve se zavrtjelo kad smo imali 24-25. Prvi spot za Partibrejkerse „Hiljadu godina” mi smo radili na njihovoj prvoj zagrebačkoj svirci u Saloonu. Gajić i ja smo pohađali tadašnji CEZAKUM, današnju Drugu gimnaziju, smjer novinski izvjestitelj. Imali smo školski list u kojem su glavni urednici bili Predrag Figenwald i redatelj Danko Volarić, te književnik i urednik Zoran Roško. Vesela televizija je prvotno napravljena za potrebe par koncerata, osnovana je kao “off-shot” projekt, na večeri Prskalica subotom u Lapidariju, ali bili smo toliko popularni da smo počeli to izvoditi sami četvrtkom. Pojavili su se Betamax, mala kamera i mali rekorder i mi smo počeli snimati, paralelno sa školom. Imali smo otkačene parodije, male video-skečeve, zezali smo se na temu Mirka i Slavka, male segmente videa, bilo je i erotike.
Digla se velika fama oko toga, jer nije bilo zamislivo da netko sam proizvodi TV-program. Bili smo u Beogradu, čak i u Makedoniji, čak smo završili na izložbi u Klovićevim dvorima. Zezali smo se da je to „deevolucija hrvatske kulture od Baščanske ploče do Vesele televizije”. Kad smo dobili nagradu „7 sekretara SKOJ-a”, mi smo se zezali „7 samuraja SKOJ-a” i nitko nam to ni tada nije zamjerio. Iskustvo s „Veselom televizijom” nam je jako puno pomoglo za slaganje filma „Kako je propao rokenrol”. Gajić je imao bend po imenu Kapetan Video koji je čak dogurao do pozornice SKC-a. Stalno smo se motali između filmova, videa i rokenrola. Video nam je najbolje išao, a igrani film nam je bio san.
Kako su profesori s Akademije gledali na vaše projekte? U počecima njima se to nikako nije sviđalo. U početku Vukotić i Babaja su bili protiv toga, da bi Akademija kasnije počela proizvoditi samo za televiziju i video. Na Akademiji se dogodio obrat, kad smo mi već krenuli drugim putevima, da su sve radili na videu, a nama je to što smo mi radili na videu bio problem, kao: „Kakav video, ovo je ozbiljna filmska akademija”. Teško su prihvaćali promjene. Babaja se hvalio da nikad u životu nije gledao „Star Wars”, a nama su Spielberg, Scorsese i Lucas bili samo takav pojam. S druge strane, bilo je naprednih ljudi kao Nenad Puhovski, Hrvoje Turković kao avangardni teoretičar, veliki Ante Peterlić koji ti je u teoriji dao sve što ti je mogao dati. Veliki Nikola Tanhofer je radio fotografiju… Svaki snimatelj koji je s nama radio vježbu je bio već zreo da odmah praktički bude u profesionalnoj produkciji. Hrvatska stvarno ima sreće da ima svjetski dobre snimatelje…bila je to dobra Tanhoferova podloga. Krešo Golik se nikad nije bunio na umjetničke stvari, samo zanatski dio posla, ozbiljna pitanja. Mi klinci smo često neke od njih doživljavali kao prepreku. Na kraju kad podvučemo crtu, dosta smo dobili od njih. Bili su to ozbiljni profesori s ozbiljnim znanjima, ali kad su te gurali u svoj umjetnički svijet koji nas tada nije zanimao, onda smo to doživljavali kao opresiju.
S obzirom na povezanost filma i stripa, je li bilo kakvih razmišljanja da se „Kako je propao rokenrol” pretvori u franšizu? Nije, jer nas je bilo puno, nema Branka koji bi to sigurno mogao izvesti… Ima ideja da se proba napraviti spin-off, to već sad nije iduća generacija, sad je Koma deda, ili možda bi se dalo napraviti da je stariji tata. Vidjet ćemo, razgovara se, bilo bi dobro da se još malo zezamo dok su uspomene jake. Nadam se da ću napraviti bar booklet sad za tridesetu obljetnicu. U jesen ćemo u Studentskom centru organizirati 30. obljetnicu filma. Probat ćemo dovesti ekipu, da se svi zabavimo. Koja ima bend Trese lupa udara koji svira muziku iz filma. Gledao sam ga u Vintageu i bio je fantastičan. Bilo bi sjajno da omogućimo da dođe i s tim bendom.
Kako ste funkcionirali s Vladom Divljanom koji je radio muziku za vašu priču u filmu? Divno. On je bio prekrasan čovjek i bilo mi je žao što on i Idoli nisu više poslije svirali u Kulušiću. Bio sam u njegovoj ekipi za tulumarenje po Zagrebu i Beogradu, on je tada tek istraživao po filmu, iako je imao već dvije tri kompletne filmske muzike.
Potpisani ste kao koautor „Ninja mixa”… Da, svirali smo i bili zbor. Nešto smo snimali i s Kojom, koji je više volio da je njegov rad – njegov rad. U filmskoj ekipi, u manjoj ulozi se pojavio i tadašnji bubnjar Električnog orgazma, Goran Čavajda, naš dragi Čavke, koji je nažalost preminuo, laka mu zemlja.
Kako ste uspjeli nagovoriti pjevače kao što su Halid Bešlić i Toma Zdravković da sudjeluju u filmu? I Vesna Zmijanac, i Halid Muslimović je tamo… Nisu oni uski kako se to misli. Baletić me molio da ubacim Tomu jer je već tada bio jako bolestan, da ga ovjekovječimo i da on paše u priču. Odmah sam to i snimio. Snimali smo Zdravkovića u sceni s Batom, najnormalnije, bio je fantastičan, ima svoju scenu, postoji ti verzija filma koja je rađena za TV i to je jedino iskoristila TV Sarajevo i koja je 15 minuta dulja. Verziju za kino smo morali malo sabiti jer nismo htjeli da film bude duži od dva sata. Scena s Tomom Zdravkovićem nije bila toliko bitna za sadržaj, pa je maknuta iz verzije za kina, ta scena je samo objašnjavala kako je Bata fenomenalan narodnjački manager. Mi smo išli na TV Sarajevo tri ponedjeljka kao tri odvojena filma, što je bila odlična fora. Prije toga bi bio razgovor s nama 10-15 minuta i s duljim verzijama naših filmova, što bi se tama zaokružilo na sat vremena. Sukus filma se najbolje zrcali u međuskečevima Zelenog Zuba, kojeg su formirali Gajić i Koja, uza svesrdnu pomoć ostatka ekipe.
Kako ste oba Halida, Vesnu Zmijanac i Tomu nagovorili da to snime? Bila je to neka hit parada, njihov skupni nastup, rekli smo im da će biti na filmu i što treba raditi – slikati se s Ninjom i mahati u kameru. Njima je to bilo super. Poslije sam radio nešto s Bešlićem i čini mi se da on ni ne zna da je u tom filmu. I da ti još nešto kažem. Paralelno u studiju do nas su Dušan Kovačević i njegov ko-redatelj (mislim da je Andrija Đukić) dovršavali „Profesionalca” i mi smo gledali kako rade. Svaki njihov kadar je nama bio sjajan, a Kovačević i njegov koredatelj su se svađali kao pas i mačka. Nama nije bilo jasno zašto se toliko svađaju kad je, kažem, njihov film već tada izgledao super. Mislim da su njih dvojica tek na Festivalu u Puli shvatili kakav su sjajan film napravili.
ARCHDIOCESE OF RUSSIAN CHURCHES IN WESTERN EUROPE LIKELY TO RETURN TO RUSSIAN CHURCH
The administration of the Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe, formerly an Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, has published a number of texts leading up to and resulting from its recent pastoral assembly on May 11 in which the clergy of the Archdiocese gathered in Paris to further deliberate on their future following Constantinople’s sudden revocation of Exarchate status in November.
In a proposal on the future of the Archdiocese, a group of Archdiocesan clergy write about the structure’s history as the continuation of the Provisional Administration of the Russian Parishes in Western Europe, founded by St. Tikhon of Moscow in 1921. It was this structure, created by the Russian Church, that later received Exarchate status from the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1931, 1971, and 1999—and it was this status that linked the group to a Local Church in communion with the broader Orthodox community, the authors write.
“Therefore, we consider that while the Patriarchate of Constantinople may indeed revoke the status of Exarchate as stated in the synodal act of November 27, 2018, it is not for it to abolish a structure that the Patriarchate did not create,” they continue. With the tomos granting Exarchate status revoked, the Archdiocese must be attached to a Local Church.
The proposal notes that the Archdiocese is looking for a home that will respect its administrative independence, statutes, and liturgical and linguistic practices, grant the possibility of electing hierarchs by Clergy-Laity Assemblies, according to the principles of the Moscow Council of 1917-1918, grant the status of metropolis to the group and of metropolitan to its primate, and grant the possibility of participating in the work of the councils and hierarchical assemblies of the given Local Church.
Moreover, the authors “note that at present, only the Russian Orthodox Church is likely to give an answer that would make it possible to elaborate a solution corresponding to the requirements of our principles of ecclesiastical functioning.”
Likewise, in his letter of April 22, His Eminence Archbishop John of Chariopoulis, the ruling hierarch of the Archdiocese, noted that contact with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Orthodox Church in America, and the Romanian Patriarchate did not yield results.
He then notes that contact was made with the Moscow Patriarchate via His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), recalling the words of Metropolitan Evlogy who, on the eve of a receiving the tomos that provisionally linked the group to Constantinople, noted that it was not therefore separating from the Russian Church and had every intention of returning fully to the Moscow Patriarchate when conditions would allow.
Abp. John notes that the dialogue with the Russian Church has been frank and respectful and allows the Archdiocese to continue its mission in Western Europe. He has openly spoken previously about his desire to see the Archdiocese join the Moscow Patriarchate, which has offered to accept it intact as an ecclesiastical body.
He also writes that following the Assembly of February 23, a delegation was sent to Istanbul to ask the Patriarchate to reexamine the situation, though it was told only that it had to implement the Synod’s surprise decision of November 27 because the Patriarchate had no intention of reversing its decision. Moreover, the delegation was told that not only had the Archdiocese lots its Exarchate status, but it no longer existed at all in Constantinople’s vision.
No response has been received to letters sent to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Abp. John notes.
A General Assembly is scheduled for September 7.
On February 26, 2019, at the session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, a decision was made to establish a diocese of Korea as part of the Patriarchal Exarchate of South-East Asia. Bishop Feofan of Kyzyl and Tyva was appointed its ruling hierarch. In an interview to Pravoslavie.ru portal Archbishop Feofan told about the history and present-day situation of Orthodoxy in Korea, as well as about the life of parishes in the newly-established diocese.
– Your Eminence, at the session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, which took place on February 26, 2019, it was decided to establish a diocese of Korea of the Patriarchal Exarchate of South-East Asia. On April 4, you were appointed its ruling hierarch. What has prompted these decisions? How timely are they?
– The Holy Synod has rightly decided that the Russian Orthodox Church is called today to resume its pastoral and missionary work in South-East Asia – the work that was initiated several centuries ago.
The emergence of Orthodoxy in Korea is closely linked with the development of Russian-Korean relations in the 19th-20th centuries. In the second part of the 19the century, Koreans began resettling en mass in the Far East of imperial Russia. The missionary activity of the Russian Orthodox Church among the Koreans began in 1856 when St. Innocent (Venyaminov), Archbishop of Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands and the Aleutian Islands, began sending Orthodox preachers to the South-Ussuri Region with its inflow of Korean settlers. The Koreans embraced the Orthodox faith by whole settlements. Later many of them returned to Korea, thus forming the first flock of the Russian Ecclesial Mission in Korea established in 1897 and began functioning in the Korean peninsula in February 1900, and only the tragic events in the history of Russia and Korea prevented its normal function. I mean the 1917 Russian Revolution, which led to the formation of the Soviet state with its hostile policy toward the Church, and the division of Korea after World War II into North and South Koreas with a subsequent civil war waged in the period from 1950-1953.
In 1949, the South Korean authorities banished the head of the Mission, Archimandrite Polycarp (Prijmak). Due to certain political reasons, the Mission’s work was suspended and its property was confiscated. Today, when there are no factors preventing missionary and pastoral work in Korea, we can speak of continuation of the work that began long ago.
The circumstances of the modern time when a considerable number of the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church – not only Russians but also citizens of other states under the canonical responsibility of the Russian Orthodox Church – are coming to Asian countries for permanent residence and for temporary business trips, oblige our Church’s authorities to take pastoral care of these people, who do not want to break their spiritual ties with their Church. Thus, in the Republic of Korea alone, the number of registered Russians is about 20 thousand people, and in 2018, some 300 thousand Russian tourists visited South Korea. Evidently, a considerable part of these people wishes to take an active part in church life and to attend divine services celebrated in accordance with the traditions and church calendar adopted in Russia.
As for the establishment of a Patriarchal Exarchate in South-East Asia, it is not an innovation either in the history of our Church but rather the rebirth of once existing church structures. In December 1945, the parishes in China and Korea were united into a Metropolis of East Asia, which, by the decree issued by Patriarch Alexis I in 1946, was transformed into an Exarchate of East Asia based in Harbin. The exarchate was abolished by a decision of the Russian Orthodox Church Holy Synod in 1954 due to the circumstances of the time. Today, it has been restored with taking in account the changed conditions.
I would say that we had better revive the Russian church structures in Korea earlier. However, when diplomatic relations were established between Russia and South Korea in 1990, the Russian Church in its homeland experienced a difficult period of revival after decades of atheistic captivity. The Russian parishioners who visited the Republic of Korea used to find spiritual support in the existing parishes of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Nowadays, the Church in Russia is actively developing its missionary service seeking to accompany her faithful in all the life circumstances. The flow of Russian-speaking people to Korea has grown by dozens and perhaps hundreds of times, and the need for the Moscow Patriarchate to open parishes in Korea has clearly ripen. In addition, because the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople has been discontinued, our faithful have found themselves in a situation where they have nowhere to go to, the opening of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in Korea and other countries of South-East Asia meet their vital need.
– Your Eminence, soon after our Church’s Synod made these decisions, the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s Metropolitan Ambrosios, who serves in Seoul gave an interview in which he criticized the actions of the Moscow Patriarchate in Korea. How would you comment on it?
– I would like to pay respects and love to Metropolitan Ambrosios and all the clergy who work under his jurisdiction in Korea. For me personally, my ten-year long service in Korea has been a significant experience and I wish to preserve warm relations with them all for good. However, with pain in my heart I read now unfair reproaches heaped on the Russian Church, published in the internet editions and signed by His Eminence Ambrosios. I think they do no help pacify the minds and hearts of readers.
I would also very much like to remind His Eminence Ambrosios in a brotherly spirit that despite the problems existing now in relations between our two Churches, there is no need for anybody to indulge in an aggressive tone intended to insult hierarchs of other Local Churches. It does not at all stimulate constructive dialogue.
I believe that instead of sorting out who has more rights to engage in mission in Korea, we had better work peacefully and calmly, preserving mutual love and communion. It will be a more real testimony to the unity of the Church before the non-Orthodox and secular world. The field for work is large and there is enough room for all.
– Is it possible to speak of certain ‘premeditated plan’ to which Metropolitan Ambrosios refers in his interview?
– It would be more correct to speak of the work to order church life for compatriots abroad and of concern for those who live far from their homeland. Indeed, for many of our compatriots, Orthodox parishes are not only places where the faithful assembly for worship, but also places for fellowship, mutual aid, support of national traditions and celebrations. In many countries, precisely a church becomes a place for people to help preserve their cultural identity.
Of course, the fact that the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople is impossible has stimulated to some extent the formation of new parishes, but even without it the Moscow Patriarchate parishes would eventually emerge in the Republic of Korea because the need for them is ripe.
The absence of canonical community between the Russian Church and the Church of Constantinople is a painful situation for any Orthodox believer. We continue to hope that it will be resolved with time and the faithful will be able to participate in sacraments in any Orthodox church regardless of its jurisdiction. At every Divine Liturgy we pray for the restoration of church unity.
– Your Eminence, tell us please about how you see the work in Korea at the present stage. Is any property of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission has survived in Korea? What is already there and what is to be done?
– At present, unfortunately we have no land for construction. The old plot of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, which was located in the center of Seoul in the Chondon district and bought with the joint funds allocated by the government of the Russian Empire and donated by people in Russia, does not belong to us now. By the decision made by His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon on November 4, 1921, the mission in Korea was subjected to Archbishop Sergiy (Tikhomirov) of Tokyo. For this reason, the land and buildings were registered as property of the Japanese Orthodox Church. Later, the local Orthodox community, which had jointed the Patriarchate of Constantinople by that time, was given by court the right to own all the property of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Korea and after selling it a new lot was purchased in Seoul in the Mapo district, where later a St. Nicholas church was built…
At present, a small facility is rented for the new Parish of the Resurrection in the Yongsan district, in which divine services are celebrated. On the Easter day now, it was already a little tight as over 100 came for the service. The parish in Seoul consists of citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and the USA. In spite of the fact that the services are celebrated in Church Slavonic, they are attended by citizens of Korea as well. Some Orthodox Koreans, having expressed disagreement with the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine or for some other reason come to our parish in Seoul. There are many Russian-speaking parishioners residing in the city of Busan. Divine service were organized for them several times, also on Easter. In addition to Seoul and Busan there are other cities with Russian-speaking people who live in compact groups, and everywhere we are to arrange full-fledged church life.
– And who serve in the new Parish of the Resurrection?
– From the very beginning of organizing the parish in Seoul, priests were sent on short missions from the parishes of the Patriarchal Exarchate of South-East Asia. Now we will have to select permanent clergy. Serving is Seoul is also Archpriest Paul Kang, a national of the Republic of Korea, a cleric of the Russian Church Outside Russia. Another priest from South Korea, Hieromonk Paul Chkhwe from South Korea, is now finishing his training at St. Petersburg Theological Academy. I hope that after that he will come back home and help us.
– It is known that in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea there is an active church of the Trinity in Pyongyang. Tell us about it.
– The decision to build the first Orthodox church in the DPRK was made by the DPRK leader Kim Jong-il in 2002, after he visited the church of St. Innocent of Irkutsk in Khabarovsk. Soon after a church was built in Pyongyang and in July 2006, the community of the church of the Life-Giving Trinity was admitted to the Russian Orthodox Church, The church was consecrated in August 2006 by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad (now His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia). The clergy of the church were trained in the theological schools in Russia and were ordained by Russian hierarchs. At present, the church is attended mainly by staff members of the diplomatic missions in Pyongyang.
– Your Eminence, what else would you like to say to our readers?
– I would like to address through your edition all the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church who live in Korea with a call to unite around your Church and its Primate and to express my support for His Beatitude Onufry, Metropolitan of Kiev, and for all the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who are going through hard times today. At a time when the parishes in Korea are only being formed, your active help is needed for the building of new communities. I invoke God’s blessing on you all!
– Thank you for the interview.
– My thanks to you too.
The Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church is about to convene within the next few days. A group of hierarchs allegedly led by Metropolitan Daniel of Chiatura and Sachkhere is up to discuss the recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), which was established in Kiev in December 2018, and received autocephalous status from the Ecumenical Patriarch.
Constantinople is especially interested in the recognition of the OCU. If recognized, “Metropolitan” Epiphany and his organization can augment the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s power in the Orthodox world, weaken the Moscow Patriarchate’s influence and allow the Patriarch of Constantinople to make decisions on extremely important matters for Orthodoxy by sole authority.
Local Churches are in doubt: Despite pressure, none of them has recognized the OCU yet. How could autocephaly have been granted to the Ukrainian Church if it still lacks unity, and some parishes seize the churches of other parishes? Why was autocephaly granted solely by Patriarch Bartholomew, without any discussion with the other Local Churches, in total disregard of the existing canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church? Why there was so much haste with the Tomos, why did it happen shortly before the electoral campaign of Ukraine’s former president Poroshenko? Could Ukrainian autocephaly cause a schism in the Orthodox world? These and other questions were addressed to Constantinople delegations by Local Churches before and after the OCU was established.
Some Local Churches have opposed Patriarch Bartholomew’s policy—including the Patriarchate of Antioch, which once granted autocephaly to the Georgian Orthodox Church; and the Patriarchate of Serbia, which claimed that the OCU hierarchy has no canonical succession. Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus and Archbishop Anastasios of Albania asked Patriarch Bartholomew to convene a Synaxis of Primates but he firmly refused.
The OCU’s future is uncertain; the relations between the groups that formed it are unstable. Even now there is a conflict between Philaret Denisenko, the “honorary patriarch” of the OCU, and its formal head Epiphany. This conflict undermines the OCU’s unity and can lead to its breakup in the nearest future.
If the Georgian Orthodox Church recognizes the OCU, it won’t be able to independently deal with its own issues. Abkhazians have already asked to be allowed to join the Ecumenical Patriarchate and receive the status of autonomy. Metropolitan Emmanuel of France once hinted to the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia at the fact that the Abkhazian plea could receive a positive answer if the Georgian Church doesn’t support Constantinople. But now Constantinople pretends to have the right to grant autocephaly anywhere across the world. If we recognize the OCU, we will let Constantinople into the canonical territory of the Georgian Church.
During the previous meeting of Constantinople hierarchs with Ilia II in Tbilisi, one of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s representatives, Metropolitan Amphilochios of Adrianopolis, is said to have begun his speech with the words: “There is an opinion that the Orthodox Church is led by Jesus Christ. But in fact the Church is led by the Ecumenical Patriarch.” The Catholicos-Patriarch seems to disagree with this statement. Those Orthodox hierarchs who are famous for their spiritual experience and the purity of their edifying life disagree with that also, for example, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, who restored his Church after communist repressions and who is already considered to be saint by many Greeks.
The Orthodox Church has never followed after the Roman Catholics. But those of spiritual clarity understand that the Orthodox Church is facing a new large-scale threat, and the Ukrainian issue is only a part of it.