Kiev, May 23, 2019
Hierarch of the Patriarchate of Constantinople Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul met with Philaret Denisenko, the “Honorary Patriarch” of the Ukrainian schismatic church and primate of the still-existing “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) in Kiev yesterday, reports vimaorthodoxias.gr.
Officially, Met. Emmanuel traveled to Kiev with Deacon Gregorios (Frangakis), the Deputy Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, to celebrate the name’s day of the schismatic primate “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, though Met. Emmanuel, who chaired the scandalous “unification council” in December, also found time for a three-hour meeting with Denisenko, who has been causing serious waves in the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) as of late.
Philaret’s desire to continue serving as an active “Patriarch” and to revive his KP jurisdiction threatens to blossom into a schism in the OCU, which has been marked by divisions and an inability to work together since before its inception. The bishops of the KP and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” were unable to cooperate and write their own statutes and call their own council, leaving it up to the Holy Synod of Constantinople to handle both tasks.
The “council” itself was a tumultuous affair. Seeing that the proceedings were not going according to plan, Met. Emmanuel and those with him attempted to leave and return to Constantinople, but, as several participants in the “council” have attested, former President Poroshenko ordered the closing of Kiev’s airports so they could not leave.
Romfea reports that the meeting between Philaret and Emmanuel was “cordial” and that Philaret expressed his gratitude to Patriarch Bartholomew for all he has done for the Ukrainian people and for the Patriarchal throne of Constantinople.
Philaret also assured the Phanar representatives that, despite the present problems in the OCU, he continues to support “Met.” Epiphany, who is his spiritual protégé.
His assurances stand in stark contrast to his very public statements as of late that Epiphany and Poroshenko deceived him, having promised that he would continue to lead the church despite the formal election of Epiphany, which has not happened, and that by its tomos of autocephaly handed to Epiphany on January 6, the Patriarchate of Constantinople ensured the Ukrainian nationalist church’s dependence upon Constantinople.
Philaret has openly declared his desire to revive the KP, which still legally exists in the state register despite Philaret’s promise to dissolve it. He has even stated that the OCU’s problems would be solved if Epiphany would just submit to him.
According to the site of the KP, which continues to operate despite the KP officially joining the OCU in December, Philaret stressed that he will continue to do everything “to make the Ukrainian Church the only one and always serve the interests of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian state” during this time of Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The participants in the discussion also touched upon common issues of Church life, including the process of recognition of the autocephaly of the OCU by the other Local Churches. To date, only Constantinople has recognized the OCU as a legitimate Church.
Met. Emmanuel also met with Epiphany Dumenko today, reports Romfea with reference to the Phanar hierarch’s Twitter page.
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