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Let’s create the unity of Ukraine and Europe

Economic, political, financial, military and other solutions to this problem are very complex, but they depend in many aspects on our society's understanding of many worldview issues.
Let’s create the unity of Ukraine and Europe

In our circumstances, the consolidation of Ukrainian society is a prerequisite for the victory of Ukraine in the non-declared war of Russia against the Ukrainian people and our state. Russia behaves like a terrorist state, aiming to destroy not only the land and economy of Ukraine, but also our spirituality, culture and faith – there will be no Ukrainian people without them.

We are talking about the situation as of mid-2022

On May 7, 2022, on the 74th day of the Russian military invasion in Ukraine, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy in his address to the people emphasized that “… the Russian army used a missile to destroy Grygory Skovoroda Museum in the Kharkiv region. A missile. To destroy the museum. The museum of the philosopher and poet who lived in the XVIII century. Who taught people what a true Christian attitude to life is and how a person can come to know himself. Well, they seem to be a terrible danger for modern Russia – museums, Christian attitude to life and people’s knowledge of themselves. Targeted missile attacks on museums – not every terrorist even thinks about it. But such an army is fighting against us. This is what they want to bring to other European countries. As of May 7, the Russian army has destroyed or damaged almost 200 objects of cultural heritage”.
Let’s create the unity of Ukraine and Europe

These are churches, mosques, synagogues, educational and administrative buildings of religious communities of Ukraine. Among the buildings, damaged by the enemy’s attack: 5 - Muslim, 5 - Jewish, the other 173 - Christian. 22 buildings belong to Protestant communities, 19 – to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), three – to the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and two – to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC). Almost three quarters (73%) of the facilities – 127 out of 173 damaged Christian buildings, completely or partially destroyed as a result of Russian attack, belong to the UOC.
Let’s create the unity of Ukraine and Europe

In war conditions, the humanitarian component of Ukrainian society is indivisible with the military and economic components, so we should focus on solving the problems of the humanitarian aspects of war, in particular, history, spirituality and such a sensitive realm as faith. According to Ukrainian sociologists, in the mid-2000s, more than 31 percent of the population held religious views, and Ukraine ranked 11 among 34 countries of Europe by its degree of religiosity.

To consolidate the measures of Ukrainian society in the spiritual and religious sphere, given the modern historical context, it is advisable to turn to the old Ukrainian heritage. In this context, the period of the ІХ-ХІ centuries is of special interest: the persons and events connected with formation of Kyivan Rus’ and its integration into the international and European community.

Let’s start from St. Volodymyr the Great

The Great Prince of Kyiv (979-1015), Prince of Novgorod (970-988), baptizer of Ukraine-Rus’ (988). The founder of the Kyiv Metropolis of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, builder of the Tithe Church in Kyiv. The relics of St. Clement of Rome, which Volodymyr the Great received after the victory during the Korsun campaign (987-988) over Byzantium, were placed in the altar of the Tithe Church.
Let’s create the unity of Ukraine and Europe

Volodymyr the Great’s efforts to obtain the relics of the Hieromartyr St. Clement of Rome were not secondary. At that time, in Christendom and throughout Europe there were certain legal norms defined in the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, which until 1054 were common for the Catholic, Orthodox and other Christian churches.

The Seventh Ecumenical Council (the Second Council of Nicaea) in 787 defined “... As to any venerable temples, that have been consecrated without holy relics of martyrs, we decree that in them there shall be made a deposit of relics together with the usual prayer. Let anyone, then, that consecrates a temple without holy relics be deposed from office, on the ground that he has transgressed ecclesiastical traditions”. This Council was the last one, the decisions of which are recognized by the Orthodox and Catholic churches.

As a result of the Korsun campaign, Volodymyr the Great married Anna – the sister of the Byzantine Emperor Basil II. He chose as his coat of arms a trident minted on the coins of Volodymyr the Great, which today is the coat of arms of Ukraine. Volodymyr the Great is canonized by the Orthodox and Catholic churches as an Equal-to-the-Apostles Saint.

The chronicle reports on the main result of this princely campaign to Korsun that, returning to Kiev, Volodymyr took “… the relics of St. Clement and Thebes, his disciple, also took the church utensils [and] icons for his blessing”. In Kyiv, the first Christian church, the Tithe Church, was laid on the relics of St. Clement of Rome.
Let’s create the unity of Ukraine and Europe

Volodymyr the Great baptized Kyivans in the Dnipro River with the head of St. Clement. That is why St. Clement is considered to be the pontiff and protector of Kyivan Rus’. His personality fully met the conditions set by Volodymyr the Great – to position his state as a Christian, recognized in the Western and Eastern world.

St. Clement of Rome, or Clement I (? - November 23, 97/101) is the forth Pope (88-97), a Holy Martyr, one of the 12 apostolic fathers who were contemporaries of the apostles, their disciples, who continued the traditions and teachings of the apostles themselves. The Apostle Peter personally consecrated Clement as the bishop of Rome. He is known as the author of the letter to the church in Corinth, calling for Christian unity.

The virtuous life, mercy and prayers of St. Clement I at one time turned many Romans to Christianity. Therefore, the Emperor of Rome Dominian accused Clement of disregarding the official pagan deities and in 97 sent him to the quarries of Crimea.

In quarries near the annalistic Korsun (the Chersonesus) St. Clement met many faithful Christians, helped them in hard work, and continued active pastoral activity. During his stay in Crimea, seventy-five Christian churches were built, the number of Christians increased significantly.

In 101 the Emperor Trajan ordered to execute Clement for such actions. He was tied to an iron ship anchor, taken by boat to the sea and drowned (modern Kozacha Bay in Sevastopol). According to sources, the Christians, present at the execution, prayed for giving them opportunity to bury Clement according to Christian tradition. And a miracle happened – the sea receded from the coast and they found the body of Clement on a rock resembling a temple. An anchor was found next to the body of the executed Clement.

According to ecclesiastical retelling, every year on the day of the Martyr’s death (according to the Gregorian calendar – November 23, according to the Julian calendar – December 8), a strange phenomenon was repeated, and during the week pilgrims had the opportunity to visit the Clement’s tomb. At the end of the Fourth century the Roman Church recognized the Pope Clement as the Saint Martyr (Hieromartyr).

The anchor with the personality of St. Clement of Rome is connected by some researchers with the so-called “cross-anchor” or trident. Anchor in the hands of St. Apostle Peter is depicted on the fresco in the basilica of St. Clement I, which was built in Rome near St. Peter’s Cathedral.
Let’s create the unity of Ukraine and Europe

Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine (Cyril) and Methodius, known as Thessalonian Brothers, are Slavic enlighteners. Around 861, in the time of the Byzantine Emperor Michael, they visited the Chersonesus (Korsun) and found the relics of St. Clement of Rome and solemnly transferred them to the Church of the Holy Apostles.
Let’s create the unity of Ukraine and Europe

The Thessalonian brothers brought part of the relics of St. Clement to Rome when they were called there in 866 by the Pope Adrian II. The holy brothers were met by the Pope himself with all his clergy and townspeople, who came out with lit candles to meet the holy preachers. According to retellings, during the meeting of the relics of St. Clement, found near the Chersonesus, numerous miraculous healings took place. It was then that the Pope Adrian II approved the liturgy in the Slavic language in churches.
Let’s create the unity of Ukraine and Europe

The presence of the relics of St. Clement in Rome made him known in Europe, and especially in the Balkans among the Slavs. It was then that the Saints Cyril and Methodius received permission to distribute Slavic church books and conduct worship in the Slavic language. Ivan Franco, who thoroughly investigated this issue in his work “St. Clement in Korsun. Materials to the history of an early Christian legend” (1906), noticed: “a mention of bringing the relics of Saint Clement to Rome forever and inseparably linked with a debut of a Slavic hand-written word on the world arena, with the first approval of its equality… with cultural languages ​of Europe”.

Let’s continue discussing this topic

Olexandr Bielov, Director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies (1996-2001), the First Vice President of the “Borysfen Intel” Independent Analytical Center for Geopolitical Studies.
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