Zaporozhye, Ukraine, January 31, 2020
Only a hierarch who has forgotten the Gospel and the principles of love and relations taught there could proclaim his primacy to the whole world, His Eminence Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church believes.
When the apostles debated amongst themselves about who would be first, the Lord put them to shame, teaching them that the first shall be last, Met. Luke reminds in a recent post on his Telegram Channel.
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople’s behavior can in no way fit into the framework of the Gospel, he states, and the “church” he created in Ukraine is nothing more than a band of criminal atheists.
Met. Luke’s post reads in full:
Reading the Gospel of John (21:1-14) at this evening service for this Sunday, I once again thought about the essential principle of the structure of our Church. It tells about the appearance of the Risen Christ to the apostles on the Sea of Tiberias. But before that is a simple story about how Peter decided to go catch fish. When he said it, the other apostles said they wanted to go with him. If they hadn’t gone, they wouldn’t have met Christ there. But Peter didn’t force them to follow him. The apostles were inspired to do so by their love for Peter.
Love was the principle on which the relationship between the apostles was built. The only time during the earthly life of Christ that they tried to establish a hierarchy within themselves and find out which of them was first, Christ responded to this debate saying that he who wants to be first must be last. Washing the feet of His disciples at the Mystical Supper, the Savior set an example of how the First should behave. After that, all disputes about any primacy among the apostles ceased.
This principle of relation forever determined how the successors to the apostles should behave. Any other model of behavior is, in fact, both anti-Christ and anti-Church. Only the hierarch who has forgotten what the Gospel is about can tell the whole world that he is the only one in charge and no one has the right to decide anything without him. Can you imagine how the apostles Peter, Andrew, or John behaved? Could Peter have gone to the place where the other apostles were gathered and reprimanded them for having gathered without his permission? The way the person who calls himself the Patriarch of Constantinople behaves today has not fit into any Evangelical framework for a long time now.
His ideologically-adopted children behave even worse. Imagine that a community founded by the apostle Peter breaks down the door to a community that is worshiping together with the apostle Paul. They kick them out, beat them up, throw them out on the street, and take over their premises. Only persecutors of Christians can behave this way. Therefore, that which is called the OCU-HCU [Orthodox Church of Ukraine-Holy Church of Ukraine—Ed.] in Ukraine should, in fact, be called an organized criminal group headed by Chokalyuk-Dumenko. This is not a Church, but a gathering of atheists. This organized criminal group is engaged in robbery and banditry against the Orthodox.
The time will come when God will put everything in its place. In the meantime, this is their hour, and the power of darkness, but the Sun of Truth will surely rise!