Kiev, May 30, 2018
The head of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate,” (KP) the self-proclaimed “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko once again addressed the possibility of Ukrainian schismatics receiving a tomos of autocephaly in his Sunday homily, boldly asserting that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has no real choice in the matter, Romfea reports.
Noting that His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew has been at times closer and at other times further from recognizing the “Kiev Patriarchate” over the past 25 years, he said the patriarch no how has no choice but to recognize the Ukrainian schismatic body’s autocephaly. “He is now in a situation where he cannot refuse,” Denisenko declared.
The false hierarch is referring to the appeal sent to the Ecumenical Patriarchate from Ukrainian President Poroshenko, with the backing of the Ukrainian parliament and the nation’s schismatics and Uniates.
Denisenko declined, however, to explain why the Ecumenical Patriarch is now obliged to grant autocephaly to the schismatics of the KP and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,” (UAOC) who have dreams of creating a united, autocephalous Church. Poroshenko and the parliament have led the initiative, fueled by anti-Russian sentiments.
The canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine is a self-governing part of the Moscow Patriarchate, and thus derided by schismatics and nationalists as “KGB agents.”
However, even without recognition from the 15 autocephalous Orthodox Churches of the world, Denisenko asserts that the “Kiev Patriarchate” is a true Church, with grace-filled sacraments.
“Does Divine grace not act upon us? It does… Are we unable to celebrate the Divine Liturgy? Are our priests lacking grace and the right to forgive sins in the sacrament of confession? We have all that. Why then do we want this publication of a tomos of autocephaly? There is only one reason: We want to have Eucharistic communion with all the Orthodox Churches in the country,” Philaret preached.
However, it is well known that the hierarchs of the canonical Ukrainian Church do not back Poroshenko’s appeal and will not join a church amalgamated out of two schismatic bodies. Moreover, “Archbishop” Evstratios Zorias of the UAOC has stated that once a tomos of autocephaly is granted, a synod will be held consisting only of the hierarchs of the two schismatic bodies. That is, the hierarchs of the canonical Ukrainian Church would be excluded.
He further states that he does not care if any other Churches accept the autocephaly they hope to be given: “It does not matter to us if the other local Churches accept this tomos. The most important thing is to have a decision by the Ecumenical Patriarch, because it will be legitimate in every respect even if no one else supports it.”
Meanwhile, the canonical Ukrainian Church does not believe that the KP has real sacraments: “The logic is simple: If there is a valid priesthood, that means the Sacraments celebrated by such priests are true,” Fr. Nikolai Danilevich, the Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations, explaines. “An invalid priesthood brings with it invalid sacraments. Clergy who go into schism, and especially those who received ‘ordination’ in schism, according to the First Canon of St. Basil the Great, ‘became laymen, and had no authority either to baptize or to ordain anyone, nor could they impart the grace of the Spirit to others, after they themselves had forfeited it.’”
Evstratios Zorias also says that Philaret is the only person capable of leading a united Ukrainian Church, and that the largest holy monasteries of Ukraine, the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras, which remain bastions of true Orthodoxy in Ukraine, will be transferred to the forthcoming united autocephalous Ukrainian Church, against their wishes.
Philaret has made the same claim.
For the time being, the Ecumenical Patriarch has stated that he will meet with the heads of the other Orthodox Churches to discuss the matter, but it is known that the Ukrainian schismatics have no support in the Orthodox world.
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