Kiev, April 15, 2019
“Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the schismatic-nationalist “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), said he is proud to be called a Banderite, meaning a follower of the controversial Stepan Bandera, who he considers a “genius, creating the Ukrainian nation and spirit,” reports the site of the OCU.
Bandera was the head of a militant wing of the Ukrainian independence movement and a leader of the terrorist activity of Ukrainian nationalists. He is widely venerated in Ukraine today, with statues and museums in his honor all throughout the country, though he is also widely considered to have been a Nazi collaborationist and war criminal, responsible for multiple genocides. The Ukrainian Parliament recently voted to make his birthday a national holiday.
The OCU is known to have been created by the Ukrainian state and the Patriarchate of Constantinople in a spirit of Russophobia and the same Ukrainian nationalism that fueled Bandera’s activities.
During a visit to the Lvov National Agrarian University, Dumenko said he and his fellow OCU members are proud to be considered Banderites. “Among the graduates of the university, it is worth noting and remembering the genius of the Ukrainian national and nation-creating spirit Stepan Bandera. He is a glorious graduate of your university, and when we are called Banderites, we are proud of this,” the schismatic head told the crowd.
Dumenko also said he intends to continue everything mapped out for the descendants of Bandera and his followers: “For some, such a designation is abusive, but for us it is an honor, because our land has given birth to such glorious heroes who have said that the time is coming when one will say: ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ and millions will answer: ‘Glory to the heroes!’ We have awaited this time, so we should rejoice that we are the heirs of our heroes and have the opportunity to realize and continue what they mapped out.”
The violent nationalism of Ukrainian schismatics and their adoration for Bandera has long been known. In 2016, “Metropolitan” Mikhail Zinkevich, then of the “Kiev Patriarchate,” consecrated a church in honor of the “Holy Warriors of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army,” which arose out of the Bandera faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.
In October, “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko blessed a new “icon” of St. George in Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Ternopil that is filled with Nazi symbolism. Other clergy of the OCU openly venerate Hitler.
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