Kiev, October 16, 2018
All “sacraments” celebrated by clergy of the schismatic Kiev Patriarchate (KP) and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) are recognized as valid by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a Constantinople hierarch recently explained.
Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon, one of the two Patriarchal Exarchs in Ukraine, noted at a meeting with President Petro Poroshenko earlier today that the entirety of the clergy of the KP nand UAOC are now considered canonical clergy, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate’s October 11 announcement states that Philaret Denisenko and Makary Maletich, the leaders of the two schismatic organizations who were formerly clergy of the canonical Church, “have been canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank, and their faithful have been restored to communion with the Church.”
However, in the immediate aftermath, it remained unclear whether the clergy ordained by them during the period when they were anathematized were recognized by Constantinople as well.
But, as Abp. Daniel explained to Poroshenko, “The Church ‘sanctions’ against these spiritual leaders were lifted and they were restored in their spiritual orders, and with them the clergy who nourish the people of Ukraine in these churches. Therefore, when there is some talk about the non-canonicity of the holy Sacraments celebrated by the clergy of these churches, the holy Mother-Church has answered: These Sacraments and clerical actions are canonical.”
At the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, June 11, 1992, former Metropolitan of Kiev Philaret was defrocked, and the ordinations celebrated by him while in a state of suspension were declared invalid. As yesterday’s Statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church states, this was acknowledged even by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, who, in 1997, after Philaret had been anathematized, wrote to His Holiness Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow: “Having received notification of the mentioned decision, we informed the hierarchy of our Ecumenical Throne of it and implored them to henceforth have no ecclesial communion with the persons mentioned.”
“Now,” as the Statement reads, “after more than two decades, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has changed its position for political reasons.”
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