Historic decision: BOR advocates the establishment of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Ukraine

During the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, on Thursday, February 29, it was decided to support the establishment of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, which will be subordinated to the Romanian Patriarchate.

BOR ruling underlines distance from Russian Church – Photo Shutterstock

Concretely, the Romanian Orthodox Church will interfere directly in the neighboring country, a decision considered “a radical change in positioning”, as analysts say. This decision underlines the BOR's distance from the Russian Church.

Currently, the Romanian churches in Ukraine, a country at war with Russia, are subordinate to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, and others are even close to the Russian Orthodox Church. “Local sensitivity” was the reason why the BOR refused to get involved in Ukraine until now, says the correspondent of Radio Romania Actualitàtî.

Blessing, encouraging and supporting the initiatives of the Romanian Orthodox communities in Ukraine to restore communion with the Mother Church, the Romanian Patriarchy, through their legal organization in the religious structure called the Romanian Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”, it is specified in the press release announcing the decisions of the Holy Synod.

Ukrainian political analyst Ihor Lubianov spoke on public radio about this topic.

The Romanian Orthodox Church proposed to the Ukrainians to create this structure for the Romanians in Ukraine, which was done. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church acquired its autocephaly from Constantinople a few years ago and became an autocephalous church. Of course, a part of the Ukrainian Church, which has not recognized it until now, belongs to the Russian Church. The Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Church has already created a separate structure for Romanian-speaking parishes in Ukraine, respectively they have much greater freedom than those under Russia. The churches of Greece, Constantinople, Alexandria and so on support the autocephalous Urainian Church. The decision of the Holy Synod on Thursday represents a radical change in the positioning of the Romanian Orthodox Church“, said Ihor Lubianov, according to Radio Romania Actualitătă.

On the other hand, an analysis of the Black Sea House Association, coordinated by the geopolitical expert Dorin Popescu, highlights that: “There will be statements, concerns, chain reactions and difficult evolutions of the decision of the Romanian Orthodox Church to encourage and support the legal organization of the Romanian Orthodox communities in Ukraine in a new religious structure, the Romanian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. The decision of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church (…) will complicate the picture of the current dissensions, tensions and conflicts existing on the territory of Ukraine“, say the experts.

The BOR decision responds to needs constantly expressed by the Romanian Orthodox communities in Ukraine.”, the analysis states.

An analysis carried out by LARICS pointed out that 60% of the Romanians in Ukraine argued that it is a good idea for the Romanian Orthodox Church to open places of worship here.

But the harsh statements were not long in coming: “The Romanian Church, through its decisions, testified to the whole world that there is a possibility of open state bans and persecutions against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which includes Romanian-speaking parishes and monasteries in the Ukrainian territories adjacent to modern Romania. (…) As much as Ukrainian politicians try to justify the segregation of their compatriots on religious grounds from their European colleagues, more and more signals are coming from abroad about fears for the situation regarding European fundamental rights and freedom of conscience in Ukraine. What we know about the decision of the Romanian Synod indicates that this concern is rapidly developing into a practical plan.”, the head of the Synodal Directorate of Information and Education of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Kliment of Nijn and Pryluki, sent, according to BucPress, news agency from Chernivtsi.