Greek bishop served with Ukrainian schismatics “in academic capacity,” not representing Greek Church, diocese clarifies

Langadas, Greece, July 30, 2019


The Greek hierarch who concelebrated with the Ukrainian schismatics in Kiev on Sunday did so “in his academic capacity” as a professor of theology in Uzhgorod University in Western Ukraine and not as a representative of the Greek Orthodox Church, according to a press release from the Metropolis of Langadas published on Romfea yesterday.

While “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), took it upon himself to declare that Metropolitan Ioannis of Langadas’ participation in the Divine Liturgy for the feast of St. Vladimir means the Greek Church has de-facto recognized the OCU, the Langadas press release refutes this declaration.

“He was not present as a representative of the Greek Church, which, as is known, has not come to an agreement on the issue of recognition [of the OCU—O.C.],” the statement reads.

Moreover, as OrthoChristian reported yesterday, Langadas is among the “New Lands” dioceses in northern Greece that are administered day-to-day as part of the Greek Church, but are officially subordinated to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which is the sole Local Church to recognize the OCU.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the schismatic OCU are eagerly anticipating the recognition of the latter by the Greek Church. Both “Met.” Epiphany and Patriarch Bartholomew have publicly declared many times that the Greek Church will be the first to enter into communion with the schismatics, though the hierarchs of the Greek Church have yet to seriously address the issue.

Epiphany made a surprise trip to Istanbul in June to celebrate Pat. Bartholomew’s name’s day and to meet His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos, the primate of the Greek Church. Abp. Ieronymos was not expecting Met. Epiphany and though the two attended the same Vespers service, they did not serve together.

On May 26, Archimandrite Epiphanius (Dimitriou), formerly a cleric of the Demetrias and Almyros Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church, was consecrated as a “bishop” for the schismatic OCU. He was reportedly released by his hierarch His Eminence Metropolitan Ingatius of Demetrias and Almyros of the Greek Orthodox Church, though the Metropolis did not respond to OrthoChristian’s inquiries about this information.

Though it was previously expected that the Greek Bishops’ Council would consider the Ukrainian issue at its upcoming October session, it is not on the agenda.

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