Ukrainian schismatics preparing delegation to send to Romanian Church—Epiphany Dumenko

Kiev, March 12, 2019

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The Ukrainian nationalist church created by the Patriarchate of Constantinople on December 15 is preparing a delegation to send to hold discussions with the Romanian Orthodox Church, according to the primate of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”

“Now we’re going to organize a delegation that will depart for the Romanian Orthodox Church. In connection with the adoption of this or that decision, we will look for dialogue with them to resolve the issues that exist in Bukovina. I think we’ll be able to do this successfully,” Dumenko said in a recent interview with the BBC.

In its statement from its February 21 session concerning the Ukrainian crisis, the Romanian Holy Synod set forth its own conditions and expectations regarding the Romanian presence in Ukraine, mainly in the Bukovina region where there are more than 100 Romanian-language parishes.

The bishops of the Romanian Church stated that in order to make a concrete decision, priority concern will be given to these parishes, and that they need to consult with them, as they are concerned about preserving their ethnic and linguistic identity. Further, the Synod states that it is necessary to obtain written guarantees from state and Church authorities that the Romanians’ ethnicity and language will be respected and that they will be able to organize into a Romanian vicariate of the Ukrainian Church.

In an interview with Pravda, Epiphany earlier stated that his group is prepared to form such a vicariate. However, in an interview with BBC Ukraine, he rejected the possibility of his hierarchs and clergy undergoing re-ordination, although concern about their lack of canonical ordination has been expressed by several Local Churches, including the Romanian, as well as the Cypriot, Serbian, Polish, and Albanian Churches, and hierarchs from the Greek, Georgian, Cypriot, and Czech-Slovak Churches, have rejected the possibility of serving with un-ordained schismatics.

Since the Romanian Synod issued its statement, at least two of the Romanian parishes in Ukraine have affirmed their loyalty to the canonical Ukrainian Church and its primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.

Recall that the Constantinople-Ukrainian hierarch Bishop Daniel of Pamphylia, who was one of the two Exarchs involved in preparing for the scandalous “unification council” that created a new ecclesiastical structure in Ukraine, predicted in early January that recognition of the Ukrainian schismatics would begin with the Greek and Romanian Churches, within a month and a half, and that the rest of the Churches would recognize them within a matter of months.

However, to date, no Local Church except for Constantinople has recognized the schismatics.

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