Constantinople wasn't bought off in 1589 nor 1687
Well, as IreneOlinyk mentioned on this thread a good professor of Ukrainian history is Frank Sysyn. Sysyn has studied the time frame above particularly well. He writes in "The Formation of Modern Ukrainian Religious Culture" published in 1990 that:
"Political events rapidly eroded the unity and autonomy of the Kyivan metropolitan see in the second half of the seventeenth century. In 1685-86, during the election of Metropolitan Gedeon Chetvertyns'kyi, the Muscovite government arranged, by means of pressure and bribes, the transfer of the see from the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople to that of the patriarch of Moscow."
A commemorative book edited by Zinkevych and Sorokowski in 1988 in North America to mark "A Thousand Years of Christianity in Ukraine", lists the following under the entries for the years 1685-86:
"....the Muscovite Tsar
Do they mean the Czar of All the Russias?
sends a message to the Patriarch of Constantinople Jacobus I, along with 40 sables and 200 red (golden) coins requesting the Patriarch to transfer the Kievan Metropolitanate to the Moscow Patriarchate. The Moscow Patriarch Yoakim send his representative cantor....Learning the purpose of the Muscovite delegation, the Patriarch of Jerusalem Dositheus II sends them an angry letter, in which he points out the illegality of their request and accuses them of trying to acquire a Metropolitanate by means of bribes of money and gifts. After prolonged negotiations, the new Patriarch of Constantinople Dionysius IV, does not agree to hand over the Kievan Metropolitanate. Then Moscow's representative appeals to the Turkish Vizier....the Vizier orders the Patriarch Dionysus IV to hand over the Kievan Metropolitanate to Moscow...
The Eastern clergy call a Patriarchal Synod for the end of they year, during which they deprive Dionysius IV of his office and cancel all his decrees connected with the transfer of the Kievan Metropolitanate to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow.
(emphasis above mine)
Indeed, someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe the Hierarchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada (EP) recognizes de jure the 1686 transfer of jurisdiction to Moscow.
And what the Ukrainian hiearchy in Canada under Constantinople has to say about Moscow's jurisdiction over Ukraine is determinative how?
So the statement in the OP is not simply much ado about nothing. There is history behind what is written there.
A history indeed:
So, again, please, let's discuss just this for now:
"After the so-called “re-unification” (1654), the mighty barons of Muscovy were not satisfied that they had captured the secular power all over Ukraine. They needed the soul of the Ukrainian people. Where is this soul? Of course, in the Church. So, the government of the Tzar, and the Patriarch of Moscow – by that time, the Metropoly of Moscow had already morphed into “Patriarchy,” by the way, also due to the means that had been, well, questionable… - raised the issue of subjugating the Kyiv Metropoly to Moscow. In 1686, a delegation led by Nikita Alekseev went to Constantinople, with the goal to extract the endorsement of Eastern Prelates for the liquidation of the Kyiv ecclesiastical authonomy. The Patriarch of Constantinople, +DIONISIUS, was showered with rich gifts, and he gave in. In less than one year after this shameful deal, the Patriarch was convicted of simony and defrocked. Yet, the decision to get rid of the ecclesiastically autonomous Orthodox jurisdiction with the center in Kyiv stayed. Now, we ask you: was this decision an act that was in line with the Canon Law? Was it in line with any law? You won’t answer, of course. But you know, with what ease has the Daughter bought the right to be “known” as “Mother,” and also just what she did with her actual Mother – robbed her, humiliated her, deprived her of everything and is still keeping the Mother in outrageous captivity, spiritual slavery."
Your comments, thoughts?
An Anglican prelate at Constantinople in the days of EP +DIONYSIOS describes the status of the Eastern prelates on the eve of +DIONYSIOS' appearance on its throne:
[The patriarchs of Constantinople By Claude Delaval Cobham]
"The oppression which the Greeks lie under from the Turks, though very bad and dismal in itself, becomes more uneasy and troublesome by their own horrid Quarrels and Differences about the choice of a Patriarch: there being often times several Pretenders among the Metropolitans and Bishops, and they too making an interest, by large summs of mony, in the Vizir, or the other Bassa's, to attain their ends. He who by his mony and his friends has prevailed...will endeavour to reimburse himself and lay the burden and debt, which he has contracted, upon the Church, which must pay for all: while the rest, who envy his preferment...unite their interest and strength to get him displaced, by remonstrating against his injustice and ill management of affairs, and put up fresh petitions to the Turks, and bribe lustily to be heard. The Turks, glad of such an opportunity of gain, readily enough admit their Complaint, and put out and put in, as they see occasion When I reflect upon these Revolutions and Changes, I am filled at the same time with amazement and pity, and cannot but put up this hearty prayer to Almighty God...that He would be pleased to inspire the Grecian Bishops with sober and peaceable counsels.'" Smith, An Account of the Greek Church, pp. 80—83. Thomas Smith, B.D., Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, was chaplain to the English Embassy at Constantinople in the reign of Charles II. From the chapter in his book, out of which the above-quoted passages are taken, it appears that he left Constantinople to return to England in 1671 or 1672. He mentions the protection given by the Embassy to the deposed patriarch Methodius III in 1671.http://books.google.com/books?id=fatgAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA74&dq=Patriarchs+of+Constantinople+bribe&cd=1#v=onepage&q=Patriarchs%20of%20Constantinople%20bribe&f=false
From the EP's website, we see the following list of his predecessors and successor-including himself-for the period in question:
Methodius III 1668-1671http://www.patriarchate.org/patriarchate/patriarchs
Parthenios IV (3rd time) 1671-1673
Dionysios IV (1st time)1671-1673
Gerasimos II 1673-1674
Parthenius IV (4th time) 1675-1676
Dionysios IV (2nd time) 1676-1679
Athanasius IV 1679James (1st time) 1679-1682
Dionysios IV (3rd time) 1682-1684
Parthenius IV (5th time) 1684-1685
James (2nd time) 1685-1686
Dionysios IV (4th time) 1686-1687
James (3rd time) 1687-1688
Callinicus II (1st time) 1688
Neophytos IV 1688-1689
Callinicus II (2nd time) 1689-1693
Dionysios IV (5th time) 1693-1694
Callinicus II (3rd time)1694-1702
+DIONYSIOS IV Muselimes, as can be see, had five reigns (high for any EP). The EP website says that +DIONYSIOS "was imprisioned twice by the Turks and purchased his freedeom by ransom (1679 and 1688),"http://www.ec-patr.org/list/index.php?lang=gr&id=236
the last being the tenure that Fr. V. is so worried about. I don't know about the allegation that "the Patriarch was convicted of simony and defrocked," as him being taken for ransom wasn't the first time, and he went on once again to rule as Patriarch in the Phanar again afterwards, after six years and his predecessor becoming his successor. In the introduction to the same work quoted above, Fortescue gives the background of how EP Dionysios came and went from the Ecumenical Throne 5x:
The history of the patriarchs, however, during the reign of Mohammed II., so far as it is known, shows that if the patriarchate fell into an evil plight, this was due not so much to Turkish bad faith as to the prevalence of ' emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, envyings' among the clergy and people. ' Fortunati nimium, sua si bona nossent' is the conclusion one comes to after considering, on the one hand, the ample privileges bestowed upon the patriarchate by the Turkish conqueror, and on the other, the restless, unsettled state of the Church of Constantinople both under him and under his successors, down to the present day, a clear token whereof is the great number of patriarchal abdications, very few of which have been purely voluntary.
The depositions were not always effected by arbitrary intervention on the part of the secular power. More than once a patriarch was deposed by a synod of metropolitans, which also passed sentence of exile upon him. The execution of the sentence would, of course, be left to the secular authorities.
No doubt much of the disquiet and disorder in the Church of Constantinople during the seventeenth century was due to Jesuit intrigues. But the efforts of the Jesuits would have been comparatively harmless had they not been assisted by the factious spirit rampant among the Greeks. The worst enemies of the Church's peace were to be found among those who were of her own household. With regard to the Turkish Government, we may be permitted to doubt whether it stood in need of any encouragement to perpetrate acts of oppressive intervention, but one cannot be surprised that Sultans and Vizirs, finding themselves appealed to first by one and then by another Christian faction, should have laid hold of the opportunities gratuitously supplied them. If the Christians showed themselves ready to buy the support of the secular power, it was not incumbent upon the secular power, alien in race and religion, to refuse to do business. Phranza speaks of the bestowal of the patriarchal crozier as performed by Mohammed II. in imitation of his Christian predecessors. The ceremony of confirmation or investiture, as described by Phranza, appears not to have been retained in practice for very long. The escort of honour from the Porte to the patriarchal residence may have been continued, but the ceremony of the crozier appears in a document of the sixteenth century as an ecclesiastical and no longer a political one. Moreover, it very soon became customary for the patriarchs to take presents to the Porte, instead of receiving them there. The first four patriarchs, says Manuel Malaxos, were elected without making any present to the Sultan, but after the appointment of Mark Xylocaravis, a junta of immigrants from Trebizond offered the Sultan a thousand florins to obtain his support of their opposition to the patriarch, whom they purposed to remove in favour of a fellow-countryman of theirs, one Symeon, a monk. According to Malaxos, ' the Sultan laughed, and then pondered a long while, considering the enviousness and stupidity of the Romans, and their ungodly ways.' Then he confirmed an assertion made by them to the effect that Mark had promised a thousand florins for the confirmation of his election, though the patriarch had neither promised nor given a copper. The Sultan, however, saw an opening to the establishment of such payments as a regular custom. He took the money offered by Mark's enemies and bade them go and elect as patriarch whomsoever they would. A charge of simony was then brought against Mark, who was put on his trial before a synod, condemned, deposed and anathematized. Symeon was then elected and consecrated, but before very long was deposed by order of the Sultan. Once again money had been talking. The Sultan's stepmother, who appears to have been a Christian, was desirous to promote a friend of hers, the metropolitan of Philippopolis, to honour, and at the same time put an end to the scandalous agitations of the Church caused by the strife between the factions of Symeon and Mark. She therefore brought the Sultan two thousand florins in a silver dish and told him that there was a monk who was her friend, and that she wanted to have him made patriarch. The result of the proposal was an imperial order for the deposition of Symeon, who retired to a monastery. Mark was voted by the synod assembled in the capital, to which he had appealed for revision of his sentence, to the archbishopric of Achrida. Dionysius, the protdge' of the Sultan's stepmother, occupied the throne for eight years, and then, in disgust at a false charge of apostasy, though he clearly refuted it, abdicated and retired to a monastery near Cavalla in Macedonia. The synod, in whose presence he had refuted the charge of apostasy, recalled Symeon. It was necessary, however, to make sure of the Sultan's approval, and to this end a deputation presented itself at the Sublime Porte, bringing a thousand florins, and so carrying out in act the charge laid in word against Mark Xylocaravis. But the Defterdar rejected their petition and the proffered douceur. There was an entry in the imperial accounts, he said, showing that the proper amount of the fee was two thousand florins. This, of course, referred to the transaction between the Sultan and his stepmother. Of this matter the members of the synod possibly had no knowledge at the time, but whether they had or not made no difference. There was nothing for it but to sponge up another thousand florins, ' which being done, says Malaxos,' the Defterdar ceased from troubling.'
Thus an evil precedent was set, and henceforth every patriarch was expected to pay a fee for the imperial confirmation of his election. To this burden another was added by the reckless ambition of a Servian monk, Raphael by name, who procured the fnal dethronement of Symeon by the conversion ofo the investiture fee of 2000 florins into an annual 'kharaj' or triubte, the amount of the investiture-fee being now fixed at 500 florins. It was not to be expected, however, that these amounts should never be exceeded. By the time of Jeremiah II's first election to the patriarchate, viz. A.D. 1572, the investiture fee (peskesion as Malaxos calls it) was 2000 florins, while the annual 'kharaj' had risen to 4100. In A.D. 1672 as we learn from Paul Ricaut the English Consul at Smyrna, the debts of the patriarchate amounted to 350,000 piastres, equal to more than L40,000 at the present day; 'the interest of which increasing daily, and rigously extorted by the Power of the most covetous and considerable Turkish officers, who lend or supply the Money, is the reason and occasion that the Patriarch so often summons all his Archbishops and Bishops to appear at Constantinople, that so they may consult and agree on an expedient to ease in some measure the present Burden and Pressure of their Debts; the payment of which is often the occasion of new Demands: For the Turks, finding this Fountain the fresher and more plenifully flowing for being drained, continually suck from this Stream, which is to them more sweet, for being the Blood of the Poor, and the life of Christians.' It was, after all, not so much on the dignitaries and authorities of the Orthodox Church, as upon the parish priests and the poor among the people generally, that the fiscal burdens pressed most heavily. The most helpless had to suffer most. What help, indeed, could they expect when their chief shephers became robbers?
With ironical respect the Orthodox laity, under the Turkish regime, spoke of their bishops as 'despota'— despots. The powers enjoyed by the episcopal order, whose members were made use of by the temporal power as agents of police, were so considerable as to make even an ordinary bishopric an appointment to be coveted—still more a metropolitan see, and most of all the patriarchate. Even apart from the financial opportunities, in the use of which a patriarch or metropolitan could rely on secular assistance, the dignity and honour of ' chief seats in the synagogue' must always have had considerable attraction for the Greeks, who, even after the Turkish Conquest, esteemed themselves the first of nations. Add to these conditions and circumstances the spirit of jealousy which has been, and still is, the bane of the race—the spirit which gives a Greek army so many generals and so few soldiers—and it is not hard to understand why changes in the occupancy of the patriarchate of Constantinople have been so numerous and frequent. The patriarch and the bishops purchased their dignities, and repaid themselves by selling ecclesiastical rank and privileges; the priests purchased holy orders, and sold licenses to marry. The laity paid for marriages, divorces, baptisms, pardons, and dispensations of many kinds to their bishops. The extent to which patriarchs and bishops interfered in family disputes and questions of property is proved by contemporary documents.'— Finlay, History of Greece, v. p. 156, cf. p. 150
The Turkish conquest of Constantinople (1453), strangely enough, added still more to the power of its patriarchs. True to their unchanging attitude the Mohammedans accepted each religious communion as a civil body. The Rayahs were grouped according to their Churches. The greatest of these bodies was, and is, the Orthodox Church, with the name ' Roman nation' (rum millet), strange survival of the dead empire. And the recognized civil head of this Roman nation is the oecumenical patriarch. So he now has civil jurisdiction over all orthodox Rayahs in the Turkisk empire, over the other patriarchs and their subjects and over the autocephalous Cypriotes as well as over the faithful of his own patriarchate. No orthodox Christian can approach the Porte except through his court at the Phanar. And the Phanar continually tries to use this civil jurisdiction for ecclesiastical purposes.
There is also more about Patriarch Dositheus (much more) but I'll post that seperately.
So yes the Ukrainians, the Russians, the Greeks, heck the Arabs, think every event in history revolves around them and interpret accordingly, but that doesn't make it so. I know it is attractive to dismiss the transfer back to Moscow as the result of bribes. But the record would seem to indicate it was business as usual, how EP Dionysius, Pat. Dositheus, and all the rest of those clery that Zinkevych and Sorokowski talk of got their positions, so where are you going to stop canceling all of their actions, including taking the Metropolitanate of Kiev from Moscow in 1589?
Bottomline, in my humble opinion, the Moscow Patriarch's refusal to see an Autocephalous Church in Ukraine or a Patriarchate is more political and secular than spiritual.
How do you think that "elder Constantinople" got its position? Is Fr. V's "argument" spiritual? Not political nor secular? Moscow has no spiritual attachment to the seat of St. Vladimir, "Mother of Russian Cities?"
The MP and EP have already come to blows over Estonia with the MP not listening to its elder Constantinople.
There comes a time when Mother has to tell grandma to butt out of raising the daughter.
Although the EP found a nice Greek from the Congo who doesn't speak Estonia to stick in Tallin, the Estonian speaking, Estonia bred, baptized, chrismated and consecrated MP had a fine Estonian speaking, Estonia bred, baptized, chrismated and consecrated Metropolitan in Estonia. The EP breaking canons wasn't welcome, except by the non-Orthodox political and secular establishment of Estonia.