by arras, published with agreement of the author
On January 5, 2019, Bartholomew I, patriarch of Constantinople (today known as Istanbul in Turkey) had signed a decree of autocephaly (independence) for the new unified Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Decree of autocephaly is also known as Tomos. This was preceded by the council organized by the Ukrainian government on December 15, 2018 in Kiev which was supposed to unite three existing separate Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in to one. Unity did not materialize as the largest and oldest of the three churches, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow patriarchate refused to attend, bringing fears that Ukrainian government may resort to more heavy handed methods to subdue it. Like those used against Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east of the Ukraine, sparking 4 years of civil conflict in Donbas and ethnic violence elsewhere.
However Tomos for Ukraine created large controversy not just inside Ukraine but in the whole Orthodox Christian world, as it brought Bartholomew I in to inevitable confrontation with Russian Orthodox Church, which was for centuries senior to Ukrainian Orthodox Church and claims that Bartholomew I have no right to grant Ukrainian church independence as he has no jurisdiction over it. Other Orthodox Churches all around the world now have to choose between Patriarch of Constantinople and Russian Orthodox Church, which is by far the largest and most influential one among all Orthodox Churches.
Despite looming schism in Orthodox Christianity, Kiev authorities and their backers in Washington and London had burst in to celebrations. Pictures from these celebrations which emerged from Kiev and Istanbul had however left many people baffled. Even people supporting Bartholomew’s actions. Standing around the cradle of the new independent Ukrainian church were strange figures. Figures that bring questions about what purpose and whose interests new Ukrainian church represent.
The first one is Jack Devine, ex-Acting Director and Associate Director of the CIA’s operations outside the United States. As such he directed CIA overthrow and assassination of the president Salvador Allende in Chile, bringing to power dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1973. In 1980s he oversaw Iran–Contra scandal, illegal sale of arms to Iran in order to finance US death squads in Nicaragua. Height of his career came however when he directed creation of the Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to fight Soviet Union.