Athens, November 11, 2019
Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, the President of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, commemorated Epiphany Dumenko, the primate of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” for the first time yesterday, reports orthodoxia.info.
Thus, the recognition of the schismatics and their primate indicated by the irenic letter the Archbishop sent to Dumenko on October 21 has been finalized.
Meanwhile, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia stopped commemorating Abp. Ieronymos for his recognition of the schismatics, beginning last Sunday.
The Bishops’ Council of the Greek Church met on October 12 to discuss the Ukrainian issue. Abp. Ieronymos and other hierarchs spoke in favor of recognizing the schismatics, while a few spoke against. In the end, the hierarchs voted to recognize Constantinople’s right to grant autocephaly to the OCU and Abp. Ieronymos’ authority to resolve the issue on behalf of the Greek Church.
The following Saturday, he concelebrated with Patriarch Bartholomew in Thessaloniki, with Epiphany Dumenko being commemorated by Pat. Bartholomew.
Two days later, he sent his letter of recognition to Dumenko, which became publicly known about a week later, and yesterday he commemorated Dumenko as a primate of a Local Church during the Liturgy.
Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria also began to commemorate Dumenko on Friday, though he made the decision on his own, without a Synodal decision from his hierarchs. Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, the Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, announced that Pat. Kirill would thus cease commemorating Pat. Theodoros as well, and that the Synod would decide what other, if any, actions to take.