Kiev, February 6, 2019
The Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian nationalist church, the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” met for the first time yesterday in Kiev. “Honorary Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko, who was reportedly too ill to attend the enthronement of “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko on Sunday and was under constant doctors’ supervision, had recovered enough to attend the Synod.
Vladimir Legoida, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Synodal Department for Relations with Society and the Media, commented on Denisenko’s absence from the enthronement, saying that “Philaret does not want to go without his patriarchal koukoulion, but the delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople would never have allowed it. That’s why he got sick. Diplomatic disease, as they say.”
The first Synodal session, held in the Metropolitan House at St. Sophia’s Cathedral with the participation of 12 hierarchs of the schismatic church, resolved to leave Philaret Denisenko as the head of the Kiev Diocese, despite that the official primate Epiphany Dumenko bears the title of “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine,” reports the press service of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
Denisenko was the canonical hierarch of the Kiev from 1966 to 1992, after which he departed into schism and later ruled as the “Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine. He was received into the Patriarchate of Constantinople on October 11, officially as a retired metropolitan, though he insisted he will always be a patriarch. The “unification council” held on December 15 dubbed him “Honorary Patriarch,” though he declared that he would continue to rule the church.
According to yesterday’s Synod, Philaret is in charge of all the parishes and monasteries of Kiev under the schismatic church, except for St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery.
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