Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2013 2:50 PM
Subject: Re: [Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada] O. Litwin - October 16, 2013

Dear All,

Under Provincial Charity law it is the trustees elected by the congregation that must consent to the transfer of property. But the Metropolitan has claimed that the jurisdiction of the UOCC has been transferred to the EP, so it is no longer the UOC of Canada but the UOC in Canada. How many elected church trustees were involved in this transfer? It is contrary to Church Canon Law for any member of the clergy to act as Trustee for any Church property. So, OK -- property is not jurisdiction. Even the children's Orthodox encyclopedia states that jurisdiction has nothing to do with the laity.

But the shunning Decree "in accordance and blessing of His All-Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew I" stated that Patr. Filaret "cannot at this time be welcomed nor have banquets in his honour IN THE PARISHES, OR THEIR PROPERTIES, OF THE UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF CANADA". The Patriarch was shut out from the physical properties of all the UOCC parishes in Canada because of the religious jurisdictional control of the EP over these properties. The EP's jurisdictional control has suddenly seized control over all the church properties of the former UOC of Canada, in Canada.

There seems to be a contradiction here, where jurisdictional control impinges on property control, whereas the By-laws say that it is the congregation that controls and administers the property (except when the EP says: NO !?). The UOCC just runs roughshod over all the rules and will continue to do so until it is stopped. The hierarchs are just testing the waters. If they can get away with something like this, it means to them, that they can get away with anything else they want.

The 1990 Agreement clearly states the bishop is the "Bishop of Toronto". The By-laws also support this. Fr. Kutash supports this, yet ...This is not a big issue until one looks further and sees the full implications. This issue is taking the battle against the laity to the next level, between what has already been written and doubly approved and what the EP wants written. Such an opportunity does not come twice. It is indicative of the attitude of the Consistory and the hierarchs: do what the EP wants, nothing else, and is the excuse for accepting instructions not only from the EP but now also (according to the EP's demand in his "Message") is the excuse for accepting instructions from Moscow, such as: on the Holodomor and its weather-based origins, on the muzzled "response" of silence that indicates that the UOCC is not in favour of joining the Declaration of the Orthodox Churches on the Association with Europe, or any future action in support of the "Ukrainian" religious cause in Ukraine (or Canada, for that matter). The Kanonicity even pits the UOCC against the World Congress of Ukrainians, where the Metropolitan is on the Board!

By all means, do consult with a specialist lawyer on charity law. Petro Melnyk is correct on that, but neither can we be sure about how much value to place on the opinion of Mr. Melnyk, since he also is not a charity lawyer! Orest Sametz states that he has consulted with other lawyers: "I have had the opportunity to research the Agreement... with MANY OF MY LEGAL COLLEAGUES BEFORE I PREPARED AND WROTE THIS ANALYSIS". Perhaps there was a charity specialist that was consulted? Why was it important for Orest Sametz to add this statement at the very end of his article? Was it because it was not his sole opinion of the Agreement but an opinion bolstered by many other legal minds? See also the opinion of lawyer Eugene Harasymiw on this matter.

If an appropriately-worded request for a legal clarification could be filed, before Nov. 25th, it could save the UOCC and the NW congregation hundreds of thousands of dollars. It could possibly postpone the NW case for another year, since there is a waiting list for court time of 15 days straight. The NW lawyer, Bob Kuhn is a Mennonite, faith-based lawyer. He has just been appointed President of Trinity Western University in B.C. The University wants to set up a Law School but has run into difficulties from the Law Society of Canada on some religious issues. If the NW case is postponed, the NW congregation would be sure to cooperate with BRUOC in this ongoing, lingering issue on the Charter, as it is of concern to all UOCC congregations. 

The sooner the Charter/By-laws issue is resolved, the sooner the Consistory and hierarchs will start treating the members as real individuals in the Church, and not just ignore them as impediments to their schemes of administrative, synodal domination over the Body of the Church. Even in B.C. we have heard that some hierarchs are by-passing Toronto in order to not run into the overly-concerned members of the Church.

O. Litwin
O. Litwin - October 17

BRUOC, et al.

All these machinations, just cited, only serve to prove that Kanonicity is simply politics, power and money. One couldn't invent anything better, to make this fake canonicity more ridiculous. The leaders in this subterfuge must love it. The "Kanonicity" of the Apostles is soo komplikated! The modern ROC's Kanonicity was granted by Stalin and this ROC has been accepted in its entirety, "lock, stock and barrel" (all portions of the gun) into the exclusive Klub Kanonicity by the EP. You mentioned earlier that Mr. Yelensky had outlined how the purportedly holy Kanonical "church relations" are 99% politics. This is a good example and reminds me of the front-page photo of Metr. John with the smilin' Seraphim.

But in the UOCC, one is up against preconditioned beliefs, not facts. The Herald was careful to not publish the 2003 article by prominent Edmonton lawyer, Eugene Harasymiw's take on Canonicity where he states: "There is nothing in the Charter to indicate that the Church canons are the prerogative of an outside authority." Why not put that to the test? Why do we need to drag that out of the mouth of the Consistory? Isn't it supposed to be the guardian and the mouthpiece for the Charter? Where does the Consistory stand on this issue?

The anathema on Patr. Filaret was meant to cut off Ukraine from accessing the fake Kanonical group and its politics. Good. We want none of it. This was the practical move and hammer-blow of the ROC that set up the opposition forces in Ukraine. Ditto Canada -- and the UOCC took it all in. Emerging from their successful church and their supposed isolation in Canada, some "laggards" of the pan-Orthodox elite clergy continued to believe in the magical powers of the EP's Kanonicity with Moscow. 

But the EP had betrayed the Ukrainians on many occasions (when he sold the Kyiv Metropolia, the 1995 Protocol, when he gave away the legacy of the Baptism of Ukraine in Moscow, the examples mentioned in Orest Sametz's "A Legal Analysis...", the recent "Message") and does not care two hoots about such details as the ROC's interpretations on the Holodomor. Today he is muzzled by Moscow against the joint declaration of the Ukrainian religious groups on the Association with Europe (as is the UOCC). Who knows what Putin will order him to say or to do tomorrow? Let us immunize the UOCC from such "instructions".

All one really needs to do is insist on the 1990 Agreement as signed by the EP. If one were simply to force the UOCC to assign the title to the bishop as required in the Agreement, as required in the By-laws, as supported by the commentaries of the clergy -- the whole house of cards would fall apart and the judge would just throw up his hands and say: "ENOUGH!" But the real problem is, that all this baloney with the ROC (as reconstituted by Stalin) and its political ONENESS with the UOCC has already been codified by the kooperative By-laws Kommittees in the UOCC By-laws.

This is where the legal opinions of Mesrs. Orest Sametz (and his esteemed legal colleagues) and the opinion of Eugene Harasymiw (an active member of the UOCC in Edmonton, now deceased) must take over, to up-end the whole process of what the hierarchs have done. The next step would be to ask the court to delete from the By-laws, those items unnecessarily inserted by the Kommittees and let the Church breath again. 

Surely we must all be aware by now, that such a legal process of clarification would never be allowed to take place at the Sobor level, because the "provid" is too enamoured with the EP and places complete trust in the EP's decision-making powers as sourced from Moscow. In effect, all UOCC decision-making is now run from abroad because the By-laws are not delineated by a spiritual/secular divide. This uncertainty needs to be cleared up before any other court case can proceed.

O. Litwin
O. Litwin - October 16, 2013 

Dear All,

It is important to determine whether the UOCC has contravened the 1929 Charter and whether it contines to be a legal entity after the signing of the1990 Agreement, that made its primate (the chief leading officer of the UOCC Corporation) and bishops (the local executive officers) as dual officers of the Corporation of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul. Previous to the vote of 1990, several leading Ukrainian lawyers had warned that the adoption of the 1990 Agreement and the resulting necessary amended By-laws would be in contravention of the Charter because there were no provisions in the Charter allowing for such a structural change in the organization.

By signing the 1990 Agreement the UOCC (as the hierarchs assumed) took on the added burden of responsibility to a body of Rules that were "foreign" to the UOCC and its members, as ascribed in the Charter, where the UOCC had already outlined its own Canonicity. The EP's "Message" in the Herald is a warning to UOCC members, that they must abide by the new rules set in Moscow or they risk losing their status as part of the religious Agreement of 1990. Because the By-laws had not been separated and included both spiritual and secular aspects, the members were subject to confusing edicts from abroad, not knowing whether such edicts were legal or not. The Consistory has remained silent on the issue.

The Primate is ultimately responsible for clarifying the legality of the Agreement and its subsequent limitations on decision-making, but this has not been done in 23 years. Some UOCC members would like to be reassured that UOCC decision-making is still being made independently on such issues as: the naming of the Eastern Diocese bishop, the Decree shunning Patr. Filaret, the contentious issue of the Holodomor being a man-made or weather-based event, the postponement of decision-making on the Association with Europe, etc. 

The decisions made on these events all point in one direction: they have not been made independently by the UOCC or its officers or Consistory, but have been made to accommodate the religious Agreement of 1990, which mady have been accepted under duress by the voting delegates or was simply a vote that was taken without sufficient information as to its legality vis-a-vis the Charter. The fact that all the delegates approved a Sobor Resolution that outlined their necessary point of view in relation to the vote on the Agreement attests to their concern that the Agreement not impinge on the possibility of a unification of the Churches of Ukraine under a joint and independent leadership.

All subsequent events have proven that such concern was valid because the supposed Canonicity, as defined by the EP in the Agreement, was not the same Canonicity that was outlined in the UOCC statement in the 1929 Charter and some of the previous decison-making powers of the officers of the UOCC had been compromised by their dual position as officers of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul. It is important to clarify the legal position of the UOCC to its members prior to any other court case involving the UOCC.

O. Litwin
O. Litwin – October 14, 2013 

Dear All,

The BRUOC members should be aware that the declaration of the UOC(MP) in support of the Association with Europe and the silence of the UOCC on this issue, is a silence that is making a very loud statement, that the UOCC does not and cannot support the UOC (MP) on ANY ISSUE that is against Kanonical Moscow. The UOCC's involvement in the translation of the EP's book, indicated to Moscow, that the UOCC is on board with Putin in his Anti-European Union that is trying to drag in Ukraine. The UOC(MP) decision and its necessary rejection by the UOCC, has exposed the backside of the UOCC. The statement that the UOCC supports the unification of the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine has now been exposed as fiction and an impossibility for UOCC acceptance. The statement that has been masquerading for the members, as being in support of the unity of the Churches, is an impossibility, unless approved by Moscow.

Not only that, but significantly also, the symbolic gesture of the Holodomor statuette given to the EP, has been exposed as a crass photo-opportunity of the UOCC for the benefit of fooling its members, because officially, the UOCC knows and has accepted the fact that it must continue to tow the false Kanonical line that the Holodomor was a weather-based event. So this is the second time that the UOCC has been exposed (to the UOC-MP) in the hypocrisy of its continued membership in the false Kanonical group (the UOC-MP had earlier recognized the Holodomor as genocide).

In rejecting the values of its own 1929 Canadian Charter, the values of the European Association Agreement and the Holodomor as genocide, the UOCC has thrice rejected the values of the Ukrainian Orthodox diaspora and their Church. This detrimental stance of the UOCC elites, that is putting at risk the righteous cause of Ukraine, in the current situation of precarious political imbalance in the affairs of Ukraine, is an outrageous stance that must be condemned by all its members and the Ukrainian World Congress. The UOCC cannot continue being a hypocritical member in this body as it remains in cahoots with the foreign policy of Moscow. 

The continued, official silence of the UOCC on the decision made by the UOC(MP) on Europe is as loud (and a parallel) to the decision that was made to shun the UOC(KP) in Canada. The UOCC has thus rejected the decision of all three Orthodox Churches of Ukraine (on the Association) and can no longer claim to be in line with the Sobor Resolution in support of a unified policy for Ukraine and its Churches. The "Provid" is thus against Canada, against Europe, against Ukraine, against the Sobor Resolution, and is finally against itself in its $800,000 (potentially) court case. It is time for someone to call the UOCC on the carpet and expose the masquerading Consistory and its elites. 

For unknown reasons, the Eastern Eparchy remains without a functioning, official Bishop. The UOCC has not addressed seriously or in a timely manner, the outstanding issue of why the title of the Bishop has not been assigned. Any member of the Eastern Eparchy can ask this question be answered by the court. History can takes sides if it is given a nudge. This is the "deterrent" that can stop the suicidal march of the UOCC to the Kremlin, as advised by the EP. The dismantling of the UOCC is assured under the uncompromising, religio-political culture of Moscow. Is BRUOC willing to stop this march? 

O. Litwin – October 14, 2013 

Dear All,

Please spread the news as widely as possible. We need to get moving on this before November 25th, 2013. If the UOCC is asked (in court) to clarify its stance on the Charter (Canonicity), why it is not abiding by its 1990 Agreement (and naming the bishop), how can it possibly support the Sobor Resolution without guidance from Moscow, etc., this may postpone the NW court case for another day for a future resolution, saving the UOCC $ in court costs. BRUOC is the only group that has the guts to do this.
O. Litwin – October 12, 2013 

I had mentioned that the UOCC and the American (EP) Church have been proclaiming that they want the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine to unite and form one Orthodox Church of Ukraine and that the diaspora must be patient and wait for such an outcome. Even as far back as 1996, the Orthodox Bishops of Canada and the U.S issued a joint, heartfelt declaration of such a wish for unity. They were, perhaps unaware that the EP had just explained in his 1995 Protocol to the ROC, how he had out-manoeuvred the "dim-witted" autocephalists (Metropolitan Ilarion had earlier written that the UOCC was an autocephal-self-governing Church).

This idea for unity was also propagated and re-iterated at UOCC Sobors. But the whole story behind this public subterfuge was being with-held -- that it was a UNITY UNDER MOSCOW that was the aim of the heartfelt hierarchs' message. So the public announcements that were always just short of the entire story and played on the hierarchs' deliberate ambiguity on the meaning of the word "independent" helped carry the ruse for decades. What they really meant was, they wanted the diaspora to wait until Moscow and the EP could take over the Orthodox churches of Ukraine under the omophor of the ROC. Then the Orthodox Churches in Canada and the U.S., that are in cahoots, would have a real and unified influence in the politics of America!

Even when the UOC(MP) announced that it was recognizing the Holodomor as a contrived political event, (as opposed to the ROC(MP) that had recognized the Holodomor as a weather-based event), the jointly calculated and deceiving announcements of the hierarchs were upheld. This was proven by the U.S. (EP) Church when it refused to commemorate the Holodomor with the KP Church. This was a result of the order dispatched from Moscow to the EP that the commemoration of the Holodomor had to be disrupted and that the fake joint Kanonicity had to be upheld at all costs, trumping the Holodomor. The EP diaspora churches had to fall in line with this interpretation of Kanonicity, in which the foreign policy of Russia took precedence over the legitimate desire of diaspora Ukrainians that this painful event be jointly commemorated by all Orthodox Ukrainians.

The diaspora hierarchs (in the U.S.) had abandoned their responsibility to the victims of the Holodomor by calculating that the fake Kanonicity with Moscow would take precedence over the joint Commemorative Holodomor Service. But they had earlier, already agreed, that they would go along with the EP, denying the rights for an independent church for Ukraine (free of Moscow), so this was just one more step on the path in the direction that they had chosen to take. This was confirmed by the EP's recent "Messsage" to the devout Ukrainians -- that they should submit to the state (Moscow) and the competent rulers there.

Of course, the hierarchs will claim that this is an over-simplification of the process and that they had already taken all this into account right from the start, when they signed up pfor the MP/EP omophor (ONENESS). And if that is the case, then we should soon be hearing from the hierarchs. Which side do they support on the Association with Europe? Kyryl has already announced his concern for the EP -- that Europe should be careful not to abandon the EP. If the Ukrainian hierarchs announce their support for association, they would be abandoning the EP and Kyryl. If they do not waver in their established principles, one can predict, that for the sake of the fake Kanonicity, the diaspora hierarchs will abandon Europe, as they have abandoned the Holodomor and the independence of Ukraine (while waiting for the MP to take over in Ukraine).

O. Litwin
O. Litwin - October 10, 2013

We need to start with the premise that in the past it has been fashionable for the Ukrainian hierarchs to show allegiance to Moscow, including for reasons of self-interest or proselytizing. Today, the UOCC is in step with that tradition. We know that this has come about as result of the 1990 Agreement that degenerated from a eucharistic union to a ONENESS with the ROC that includes directives from the EP for submission to Moscow, necessary changes to the By-laws and a change in the interpretation of the Charter on Canonicity, appointment of bishops, and some external foreign-policy pressure that led to the most shameful act to-date of the Ukrainian diaspora, with the shunning of the representative of 15 million Ukrainians, an officially false order that offended and angered many of the members of the UOCC and others.

There is no way out from this box that has been entered voluntarily. Any possibility of strategic thinking from the hierarchs has been religiously disallowed through their own false belief in the Kanonicity granted by Moscow and all advice from the EP starts there. Instead of a ONENESS with the ROC, the UOCC needs to concentrate on the opposite -- the DISTINCTIVENESS of the ROC values from its own. Currently its position is (in denial) supporting the Kanonical Russky Mir of the "Rus" people and by extension, is also supporting Putin's policy of the Rossiysky Mir of a broader anti-European empire. Both these "brotherly" overtures are detrimental and dangerous for Ukrainians.

As part of the Agreement, the UOCC has accepted that Ukrainians are a branch of the Russian people (the demand of 1918 from Bp. Alexander), that Ukraine does not deserve an independent church, is not an independent country, and that it must integrate with Russia -- against everything that the Ukrainian nation has been striving for in history. The quintessential, symbolic example of its position was exemplified by the rejection of the visitor, who represented the opposite side of the EP and his Kanonicity and in practice, by its attempt to shut down KP congregations in Canada by using the parishioners' own money.

All this is happening as Ukraine is struggling internationally through its democratic forces (including all the religious groups) to rebut Moscow and convince itself that it is indeed ready to accept that it is geographically, historically and culturally a part of Europe, not coincidentally at the time as the UOCC has fallen into the belief of a false Kanonicity and the EP propaganda of the neccesity of a ONENESS with Moscow. The UOCC has become a detriment to the World Congress of Ukrainians and a pariah in Canada for its position, that must be kept hidden for fear of self-embarassment for the Congress.

The BRUOC can help free the chained-down Metropolitan by asking him to clarify the Charter and his position in it, the clause on Canonicity and whether Canonicity comes from the Charter or from the EP. If it can be shown that Canonicity comes from the Charter and its declarations, the Metropolitan can tell the EP that he wishes to switch sides and support Ukraine and its churches rather than Moscow and the ROC. The UOCC needs an excuse to de-Moscovize itself from the ONENESS with the ROC and to begin acting pro-actively, as soon as possible, perhaps sooner than the EP.

Questioning the Metropolitan may at first encounter some difficulties, but in the end would return the UOCC to its previous beneficial status as a unifying Church in Canada for all Orthodox Ukrainians and help it face its responsibilities to its laity members rather than pleasing the EP in his personal agenda as directed from Moscow. He could then say to the EP: "See, I must answer correctly and according to the rule of law. My hands are tied and I must abide by the Charter. We have always been Canonical and there are no provisions here for me to submit to any foreign or Moscow-induced suggestions."

Even, as James Sherr predicts, if Ukraine was eventually disappointed and rejected the Association with Europe, the UOCC would be justified for its actions. As it stands, should the project of association be derailed, the UOCC can then claim that it was one of the helping hands of Moscow for its ONENESS with the ROC. If the Association Agreement is signed, the UOCC is left in the dust with the EP and Moscow. BRUOC can help force the hand of the EP and move the chess pieces forward in timely fashion -- helping both the UOCC and the EP in countering their opponent in Moscow and stabilizing the divisive and centrifugal forces in Canada that have been caused by the 1990 Agreement on Kanonicity.

O. Litwin

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

O. Litwin – October 4, 2013 

Dear All and BRUOC,

Clifford D. May reviews Ilan Berman's book, "Implosion: The End of Russia and What it Means for America" (Nat. Post, Oct. 1, 2013, p. A11) where he mentions that those who expected Russia to transition from socialism to democratic capitalism were mistaken. Organized criminal groups operate in cooperation with the government. Capital flight has surged, abandoning the country's uncompromising economic atmosphere. There is an exodus of people that rivals the out-migration that followed the 1917 Revolution. Putin struts the world stage, playing the statesman and diplomat, writing advisory articles to the NY Times on how the U.S. should behave while his scorched-earth tactics in Chechnia have left more than a hundred thousand dead.

He is tempted now to pursue an even more aggressive policy toward Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic nations and Eastern Europe. There is absolutely no chance for any meaningful reform leading to revitalization. This nation was built on soul-crushing ideologies and the author of the book would like to think that such nations are doomed from the start. But that may be wishful thinking. We don't know whether history is on the side of freedom. Do we even know that history takes sides?

All this has relevance to the advice of the EP to the devout Ukrainians. Putin has asked why Ukraine would want to commit suicide by signing the agreement with Europe. We may ask why Ukraine would want to commit suicide by following the soul-crushing ideology of Putin. Or, why the UOCC wants to commit suicide by signing the Agreement with the EP whose advice is to follow the ideology of Putin and his Russky Mir.

Before 1990, the UOCC was still a dynamic Church because the parishioners were the stakeholders. Then the By-law Committees kicked in their bit with an excessive concern for protecting the elitist positions in the Church and the rules were skewed against the laity. Eugene Harasymiw wrote that if the Proposed Bylaws were adopted, the "Sobornopravnist" principle would be severely compromised. The compromised silence of the Consistory has proven him correct. In preparation for more changes, the laity has been isolated, "instructed" (the Decree) and advised (the Message) and have nothing left to lose except their ONENESS with Moscow.

O. Litwin
O. Litwin - October 3, 2013 

Dear All,

We are quick to blame Moscow for the sorry condition of Ukraine and for diaspora problems but often overlook our own foibles that have helped cause such negative results. Since 1453 and the destruction of Constantinople, Moscow has aspired to become the third Rome. The methodology of using the old and established symbols of the EP within the newer structures of the Russky Mir is the latest religio-political ideology being employed by Moscow.

When the EP was forced to accept Moscow as leader of the kanonical klub, the resultant Kanonical Orthodoxy became an extension of the ROC -- a religion without sanctity overflowing with politics. In 1990 the UOCC gave the EP and Moscow free access to express the "foreign influences" that were much feared and opposed by previous Sobors. In his "Message" the EP has encouraged the UOCC members to submit to Moscow.

Following this line, the UOCC Metropolitan has been co-opted as an officer of the EP into supporting the sham kanonicity by shaming himself and shunning Patr. Filaret and disallowing him access to congregational property, an act contrary to the UOCC Charter. The unsuspecting and well-meaning UOCC Metropolitan is convinced that he is acting correctly and has allowed his position as an officer of the EP define his approach to the UOCC, while encroaching on the secular aspect of the UOCC Charter.

Thus, an impasse has been created and the true meaning and value of Ukrainian religious expression during the Church Service has been blocked for the UOCC member by the strength of the influence of Moscow, the collusion of the EP and the submission of the UOCC through its misguided leadership and the quagmire of a misunderstood, perceived-as-necessary, canonicity requirement (already granted, by its own statement in the Charter). All positions have dug in (with their own interests at stake) and are unlikely to be moved by logic: Third Rome (Moscow), day-to-day survival (EP), fear of loss of administrative control to the KP (UOCC).

There is no one in the UOCC, other than the BRUOC, that has the fortitude and the means to address the above problem. The European Parliament has recognized the problem, but the UOCC leadership does not. First in line are the hierarchs, who refuse to comprehend that, had they been around in 1918, there would be no UOCC today, because the ROC rejected the ONENESS with the UOCC (so valued today) and refused to accept the UOCC as a member of the Canonical group, or even to accept Ukrainians as part of a nationality. THE ROC HAD REJECTED THE ONENESS but the Ukrainians had already forgotten this and the EP was able to convince the ROC (his 1995 Letter) that the ROC was assured of becoming the beneficiary over the Ukrainian serfs who are slow to understand (or to remember) what others in Europe, already know.

O. Litwin
From O.Litwin:

Dear UOCC members and members of BRUOC,

On the contentious issue of the appointment of Bishops, E. Harasymiw in his "Reflections..." (p. 3) writes that the Charter states in s.9[c] that, as a temporal matter, the UOCC By-laws may regulate the appointment of Bishops, which has been the case since 1929. But the recently amended By-laws state that such appointments can ONLY take place with Patriarchal approval. This By-law thus contradicts the Charter and is a violation of the 1990 Sobor resolution. That is the reason for the hang-up on the naming of the Bishop.

On Church canons, the very first section of the Charter includes the spiritual declaration of the Church. E. Harasymiw writes: "There is nothing in the Charter to indicate that the Church canons are the prerogative of an outside authority." (p. 4) It is the UOCC that is the interpreter of the canons, according to the Charter, not the EP. The UOCC remains canonical if it abides by its own spiritual declaration "that its faith and dogma are the same as that of the various already existing Greek Orthodox Churches, and adheres to the faith and dogma adopted by the First Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Christian Church." What the EP has offered is the political Kanonicity of a club that is managed by Moscow.

On Church jurisdiction, Harasymiw writes that nowhere in the Charter is there a hint that there can be any subservience to a jurisdiction that is subject to the EP.

The issue of subservience to the EP and Moscow (that cast the anathema) has been clearly pointed out by the shunning of the visitor as ordered by the Metropolitan's Decree, yet as mentioned, the canons are the prerogative of the UOCC only, not the prerogative of any outside body, so it is the Metropolitan that must take full responsibility for the Decree. Did the Metropolitan not say that he also has "directors" above him?

In 23 years, has anyone in the Consistory done anything to rectify the anomalies between the Charter and the By-laws? Why was the By-law Committee allowed to push these through? The issue must be challenged in court by the BRUOC as a query for proper determination and resolution. What better time is there to challenge the UOCC than now, just before the NW local embroglio and the signing of the partnership with Europe, that is a rejection of Moscow and the EP.

It is indeed ironic and shameful, that at this time, when all Ukrainians should be joining forces, the EP is advising the UOCC members to submit to the will of Moscow in his "Message" to the devout Ukrainians and this "Message" is printed in the Church Herald. The EP is not a friend of the UOCC but is the servant of Moscow.

O. Litwin
From O. Litwin -

Dear UOCC members and members of BRUOC,

The EP is playing with the others in the political sandbox of Orthodoxy that is ringed by the Kanoniko-foreign policy barbed wire of the ROC. The EP's recent "Message" and his suggestions for reconciliation-submission to Moscow is like throwing sand in the face of the representative of 15 million Ukrainians who is standing on the other side of the barbed wire fence.

The MP Church of Ukraine is also playing in the sandbox with the ROC and with the EP but really wants to play with the KP (the embrace). It is surprised and dissuaded by a smaller kid (UOCC), sitting all alone, in the corner of the sandbox that also suddenly takes a handful of sand and spitefully throws it in the direction of the KP representative (the shunning in Toronto) following the example of the KP. This is the same kid that was spanked in 1918 by ROC Archbishop Alexander (Nemelovsky), a Ukrainian by origin, who at first agreed to canonically accept the UOCC but then backed down under official pressure from St. Petersburg (p. 47). 

What is wrong with this picture? It is not the same picture as outlined on p. 23 of "Articles of Agreement Between the UOCC of Canada and Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople" (Winnipeg, Man., Eclessia, 2000):
"The Patriarchate of Moscow objected strongly [to the 1990 Agreement], correctly discerning in this relationship a further erosion of its authority over the Church of Ukraine, a position which had been used by the secular powers to gain and maintain colonial rule over the people and land of Ukraine for centuries. These objections [from Moscow] did not prevent the Patriarchate from going further and accepting in 1995 (five years later) virtually all of the rest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in the diaspora under this umbrella."
Was the writer of these lines aware of the 1995 letter (five years later) from the EP to the ROC explaining the collusion and how the slow-witted Ukrainians had fallen for the scheme? On page 31 we read:
"We use the term 'Mother Church' when speaking about our relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate only to underscore that Moscow's claims to be the 'Mother Church' of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are invalid. This Agreement... is arguably one of the major achievements of current Ukrainian Church history with far-reaching immensely positive consequences for Orthodoxy, for the Ukrainian cause and especially for our Orthodox community (in which the Canadians of Ukrainian descent are in majority) in Canada." [Toronto has more Ukrainians than the prairie provinces]
The EP has "circumvented" the claims of Moscow (and of the writer) by making it into a "sister church" of Ukraine. He gleefully explains how the Ukrainian "independents (autocephalists)" have been outfoxed, even though Metropolitan Ilarion has written that the UOCC was an autocephalous Church. The UOCC is today on the other side of the fence, standing opposite all the representatives of the European Parliament and Canada. This is good for the cause of Ukraine and the diaspora?

Point 2 of the Agreement (p. 15) states:
"The specific identity of this internally distinct ecclesiastical entity [we are an entity, not a Church!] ... shall be independent of any secular, POLITICAL expression and manifestation."
But in his recent "Message" the EP asks the devout Ukrainians to submit to the state of Moscow and all the well-meaning people in charge, there! Is this not a request for a POLITICAL expression and manifestation that is outlawed by the Agreement? Is the EP aware that he is asking the UOCC member to break the Agreement that he has signed? 

We need to put an end to these aggressive provocations to the Agreement. The EP has agreed to the title for the Bishop of Toronto and yet this has not been done. The EP has agreed to no political expressions in the "entity" and yet he is the one who is encouraging them. The EP has agreed that the UOCC keeps its administrative procedures, but the UOCC Metropolitan is chosen by the EP Synod. The silence of the Consistory after the shunning, indicates the emasculation of the Consistory.

"Metropolitan Ilarion, as an archpastor, dedicated special attention to canonical order and liturgical practices. He wrote, spoke, preached and taught about these matters constantly." (p. 53). So if he wrote that the UOCC was canonical and autocephalous, what was the point of the Agreement? Was it made solely to give "office" to the hierarchs who are now above the UOCC and can dictate its administrative By-laws that are now rendered worthless? And yet point 1 of the Agreement "proclaims that our Church [correction -- entity] continues to maintain its present internal structure and organization. This means we shall always -- UNLESS WE OURSELVES FAIL IN THIS UNDERTAKING -- be governed by our own Charter and our own By-laws.(p. 23)

It may be time to admit that we have failed in this undertaking. The grit in our eye should be a good indicator of that. The NW case begins Nov. 25, 2013 and it is high time to open a second, Eastern front. Opportunism is a virtue in politics and there should be no qualms or doubts that this is politics. This is not a crisis of religion, dogma, or ecumenical relations.

O. Litwin
Message from O. Litwin:

Dear UOCC members and members of BRUOC,

Let us summarize the problem and put all the cards on the table. The current tragedy of Orthodoxy is the making of the Ecumenical Patriarch. For whatever reasons of realpolitik, he has deliberately chosen to ignore the reality and has recognized the Russian Orthodox Church at face value as a church like any other. He continues to maintain the charade and tries to convince the other churches that this is a truly canonical position. For its own reasons, the UOCC leadership has been willingly convinced and has agreed to be ONE.

The European Union has recognized that Ukraine needs special help in the face of the economic empire that Russia is setting up. In effect, the European Parliament has accepted that Russia has an imperialistic economic agenda. This economic agenda is no different and is a parallel of the religious agenda of the Russky Mir. What Russia is planning for Ukraine in the economic sphere is the same it is doing for Ukraine through the Russky Mir -- a recreation of the USSR. The UOCC is clearly on the side of Russia and the EP.

The Roman Catholic Church, as part of Europe has not become a spent force but is facing up to the challenges of change. We understand that European values are not limited to economics but the contentious issues should not be enough to deter the Ukrainian Church from abandoning the agenda of Moscow and prevent it from entering the family of Europe from whence it came. The other option is the GULAG of Putin (Lutsenko's words).

The UOCC and its authorities are acting on the side of Russia in ignoring that the ROC is a political arm of the foreign policy of the future Empire. The UOCC is also colluding with Russia in its traditional opposition to European values in an attempt to isolate Ukraine from Europe. The UOCC needs to recognize that its position, relying on the Kanonicity of Moscow and the support of the EP is not a sustainable religious value and that it serves only to keep Ukraine and the diaspora in the backwoods with Russia.

The enlightened UOCC members and BRUOC must present a solution to the impasse that has been set up by the Agreement of 1990 and the UOCC's excuse of the Agreement as binding. There needs to be a review of the Agreement as it was envisioned by the Sobor delegates as a eucharistic union -- not as administrative union, which it has become. There needs to be a recognition that the UOCC members cannot be defined as being ONE with the foreign policy of Russia -- as a necessary result of the Agreement with the EP. There needs to be a recognition that the UOCC is in part an extension of the history and is closely aligned to the Church in Ukraine and cannot be an extension of the false Kanonicity of the ROC in Canada. 

If no progress can be made on these issues, then other suitable measures must be taken. The UOCC must be taken to task for not complying with the existing By-laws on the naming of the Bishop. The UOCC must comply with existing By-laws even if they conflict with the EP. This may force the leadership to take a hard look at the Agreement and reassess its value to the membership. If the UOCC is willing to go ahead with a court case that is going to cost $15,000 per day for 15 days, then surely it can afford to fight the battle for the Kanonical EP on the naming of the bishop.

O. Litwin