Patriarch Bartholomew, Poroshenko, and Epiphany thank Greek Church for recognizing OCU

Athens, October 14, 2019

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The Bishops’ Council of the Greek Orthodox Church resolved to recognize the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” on Saturday.

The Greek Church thus becomes the first Local Church other than Constantinople to recognize nationalistic OCU.

Accordingly, the creators of the schismatic organization, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and former President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, and its primate, Epiphany Dumenko, immediately offered their thanks to Archbishop Ieronymos and the bishops of the Greek Church.

Epiphany Dumenko, who was ordained in the “Kiev Patriarchte” by the anathematized “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko, immediately sent a thank you letter to Abp. Ieronymos and the other hierarchs, which reads:

I am grateful to my Brother in Christ, His Beatitude Ieronymos, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, President of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, and Brother Hierarchs of the Council of Hierarchs, for today determining to support and follow the canonical and historical decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, opening the possibility of full interaction between our two Local Autocephalous Churches in all spheres.

The histories of our two ancient nations, Greece and Ukraine, include many shared pages of friendship and cooperation. The establishment of full Eucharistic unity and official relations between the Local Churches of Greece and Ukraine is a new page that will forever be bound in our history and in our hearts.

I hope that in the near future I will have the pleasure of visiting Athens, close to my heart, and personally conveying our feelings of love and respect to His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos, Brother Hierarchs, and the entire Church of Greece.

Patriarch Bartholomew, who together with the Synod of Constantinople decided to take the canonical jurisdiction of Ukraine away from the Moscow Patriarchate and to install a group of schismatic clergy in place of the canonical Ukrainian Church, also thanked Abp. Ieronymos, in a phone call on Saturday.

“Thank you for supporting the Ecumenical Patriarchate and for being close to the Mother Church,” he told the Archbishop in the brief phone call, reports

The Greek outlet interprets the phone call as a message to the other primates, and especially to the Grecophone primates of Alexandria, Jerusalem, Cyprus, and Albania, who are expected to stand by Constantinople as fellow Greeks.

Pat. Bartholomew addressed the Greek Church’s decision again during the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, saying the Greek Church made an historic decision recognizing the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s exclusive right to grant autocephaly.

“We thank the Sister Church, the Church of Greece, and we are grateful to the President of the Holy Synod, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and of all Greece, who took the initiative and brought this to a good conclusion,” Pat. Bartholomew said.

Pat. Bartholomew refers to Abp. Ieronymos as “President of the Holy Synod” rather than as primate of the Greek Church because according to the tomos of autocephaly of the Greek Church, granted by Constantinople in 1850, he does not enjoy the full privileges of a primate.

Finally, Petro Poroshenko, the former president of Ukraine who teamed up with the Patriarchate of Constantinople to create a new church organization in Ukraine that would replace, and as he dreamed, drive out the canonical Ukrainian Church that is an autonomous body within the Moscow Patriarchate, offered his word of thanks to the Greek hierarchs.

Poroshenko, who used to be a parishioner of the canonical Church but now communes in both the schismatic OCU and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church, wrote on his Facebook page of the “wonderful and inspiring news from Athens,” saying, “We welcome this decision of our sister Church with gratitude!”

He also thanked Pat. Bartholomew and the Church of Constantinople for its tireless work “in support of the Ukrainian Church” and expressed the belief that all Orthodox Churches will eventually recognize the OCU.

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Bob 10/14/2019 7:13 pm
Sounds like a good idea, but no doubt we are too entrenched now to hope for this kind of revolution. The Greeks couldn't even stand up to EP when they had the chance. Here we are blaming MP for not giving in to the EP at the same time EP refuses to talk with him or anyone else that disagrees. Sorry, too late. Hate to be pessimistic.
Antiochene Son10/14/2019 2:38 pm
In my view, it's clear that the existence of any sort of primacy for Constantinople (or Rome, or any other local church) was economical in nature, rather than theological. Constantinople was the glorious capital of the Empire, so naturally it was treated with some deference. Old Rome had its own laurels to rest upon, but again, not theological in nature. But all of that is gone now. There are no Orthodox monarchies, no Orthodox empires. Perhaps it would be better to assume a pan-Orthodox structure closer to that of the Oriental Orthodox in nature, where there is no level above the local church except for an Ecumenical Synod. If any decision will be made that affects two or more churches, it must be decided by a council. Isn't that a better manifestation of the conciliarism that Orthodoxy believes in, that we would require of the Latins? Do away with the whole notion of an Ecumenical Patriarchate, and all its papist temptations and trappings. It is a relic from another time, and it has no theological significance to the Orthodox Faith. If there must be a presidency, let it rotate among the primates annually.
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