Kiev, December 18, 2017
A meeting was held on Friday in Kiev between the schismatic and self-styled “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko of the “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) and the canonical hierarchs Archbishop Daniel (Zelinsky) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, and Bishop Hilarion (Rudyk) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada, both of which fall under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The participants in the meeting “discussed issues of mutual interest,” reports the KP press service.
Philaret Denisenko celebrated his name’s day on Thursday, the commemoration day of St. Philaret the Merciful. A service was held in Kiev’s St. Vladimir Cathedral, with congratulations being offered to the schismatic leader. According to Sedmitza, Abp. Daniel and Bp. Hilarion had reportedly arrived in Kiev to celebrate with Philaret, despite the fact that the former Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine was removed from his rank already two decades ago, and is under excommunication and anathema by the Moscow Patriarchate, with whom the canonical Ukrainian hierarchs are in communion.
The hierarchs of the Ukrainian Church in the USA have long had friendly relations with the anathematized Philaret. They received him a year ago at their St. Sophia’s Seminary in South Bound Brook, New Jersey, discussing “the issue of the recognition of the Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarchate… in the course of the warm and amicable conversation.”
The same two Ukrainian hierarchs visited the KP in Ukraine in 2015 as well, without the blessing of the local canonical hierarchs. The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church subsequently called on the Ecumenical Patriarchate not to allow his hierarchs to interfere in Ukrainian Church matters and to make hierarchical visits without the blessing of the relevant ruling hierarchs.
The KP has been in the news much lately after the Russian Council of Bishops, which recently met in Moscow, addressed a letter sent to them from Denisenko, expressing his desire to restore Eucharistic communion and asking forgiveness for all his sins. This set off a series of confusing and contradictory statements coming from the KP. Philaret also sent a letter to Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, stating that the Moscow Patriarchate could heal the Ukrainian schism by giving autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.