Istanbul, March 25, 2019
Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew and “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the head of Constantinople’s schismatic Ukrainian church, are organizing a trip to Mt. Athos after Pascha, reports the Greek site vimaorthodoxias.gr.
Epiphany Dumenko will be traveling to the Holy Mountain, while Pat. Bartholomew’s participation awaits confirmation, the Greek outlet reports.
The trip will be preceded by a visit from another delegation of the schismatic church from April 5 to 9 “to prepare the ground for the visit of its primate and possibly Patriarch Bartholomew.”
“Nevertheless, the atmosphere on Athos is very heavy regarding the Ukrainian issue, and it seems the Sacred Community doesn’t have the slightest inclination to recognize the new Ukrainian Church,” vimaorthodoxias.gr writes.
A schismatic delegation earlier visited Mt. Athos from February 7 to 10, where they served Liturgy at two monasteries—Pantocrator and Vatopedi, communed at a third—Simenopetra, and served a moleben at a fourth—Iveron. However, other monasteries—St. Panteliemon’s, Dochariou, and Zographou—closed their doors to the schismatics. Other Greek monasteries, including Philotheou Karakallou, earlier said that they would close their gates to Epiphany Dumenko if he visits.
Fr. Oleg Tochinsky, a priest of the canonical Ukrainian Church in Lutsk, commented on the planned trip: “The purpose of this action is clear. Patriarch Bartholomew wants to finally bring Athos to its knees. I’m not ruling out that some kind of sanctions or even direct pressure will be placed against the rebellious monasteries, as happened with Esphigmenou. So… Athos awaits its final exam.”
According to Romfea, the early April delegation will be led by “Metropolitan” Mikhail Zinkevitch of Lutsk and Volyn and intends to visit several Athonite monasteries.
Moreover, a delegation from the schismatic church is currently visiting the island of Patmos, where St. John the Theologian received the revelation from God that became the book Revelation, reports the schismatic church on its Facebook page.
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