Constantinople cannot proclaim autocephaly on the foundation of the Moscow Patriarchate, Zorya explains.
Kiev, September 26, 2018
“If [Philaret] is not a bishop … who am I?” wondered “Archbishop” Evastry Zorya, the speaker for the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP), in a recent radio interview posted on Facebook.
If the anathema against “Patriarch” Philaret, the head of the KP and former Metropolitan of Kiev of the canonical Church, is not invalidated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, then he and all the schismatic bishops he ordained cannot become part of the Ukrainian Orthodox church that will be created by an expected tomos of autocephaly from Constantinople, Zorya explained.
Zorya thus acknowledges the illegitimate and uncanonical status of his orders and the KP. This is precisely why the KP has put forth a thesis on the rehabilitation of Philaret, the KP speaker explained.
It was reported in June that Philaret had filed a canonical appeal with the Ecumenical Patriarchate to consider “the removal of his rank and anathema” invalid, claiming the Moscow Patriarchate did not observe the proper canonical procedure and made its decision arbitrarily.
In 1992, then-canonical-Metropolitan Philaret of Kiev, who was elected the Locum Tenens of the Muscovite patriarchal throne following the 1990 death of Patriarch Pimen, demanded autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. When his demand was denied, he created and legally registered the self-styled “Kiev Patriarchate.” None of the 15 canonical Local Orthodox Churches recognize or have communion with Denisenko’s group, and he was declared anathema by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1997.
“He is not only the primate of the Kiev Patriarchate but he’s also a hierarch from whom and through whom not only bishops of the Kiev Patriarchate were established, but also the majority of the hierarchs of the Autocephalous Church—they also have a line of consecration through Patriarch Philaret,” explained “Archbishop” Evstraty.
Therefore, according to him, “if Moscow’s decisions against Patriarch Philaret are not invalidated, we cannot talk about the full participation of these hierarchs in the unification process, because who are they?”
“If he is not a hierarch, who are they? Who am I?” the KP speaker wondered.
Many analysts believe Constantinople is already laying the groundwork for lifting the anathema against Philaret. Last week, Archbishop Job (Getcha), a hierarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, stated that Constantinople does not recognize Moscow’s anathema against Hetman Ivan Mazepa, a Ukrainian Cossack of the 18th century. Thus, not only does Constantinople not respect the Russian Church’s canonical territory, but it also disrespects its canonical resolutions.
Zorya made a similar statement in June: “Without rejecting Moscow’s anathemas, there is no other way for Constantinople to recognize the Ukrainian hierarchs who are outside the Moscow Patriarchate. And without the recognition of the hierarchs and clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, there is no point in talking about autocephaly because Constantinople cannot proclaim it on the foundation of the Moscow Patriarchate.”
“Patriarch” Philaret made big news last year, when in a letter addressed to the Russian Bishops’ Council, dated November 16, 2017, he stated his readiness to repent of all his sins and to work towards restoring Eucharistic communion, asking that the anathema against him be lifted.
However, within days he began to back away from this position and declared he would never give up on the dream of autocephaly for the KP, and it is now clear that it was merely an attempt to be recognized so that he could then receive autocephaly from Constantinople.
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