Archimandrite from Athonite Philotheou Monastery leaves Liturgy, refusing to serve with schismatic OCU bishop

Litochoro, Greece, February 11, 2020

Epiphanius (Dimitriou) at his consecration as an OCU "bishop" Epiphanius (Dimitriou) at his consecration as an OCU "bishop"     

While a handful of Athonite monasteries have welcomed “hierarchs” and “clergy” from the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” and concelebrated with them, including participating in the recent celebration of the one-year anniversary of Epiphany Dumenko’s enthronement as “Metropolitan” of the schismatic structure, the majority of the holy abodes continue to stand for Orthodoxy.

Among the latter is the Greek Philotheou Monastery, which previously declared that they would shut their gates if Dumenko ever tried to enter.

More recently, an Archimandrite Stephen from Philotheou refused to participate in a Liturgy in Greece for the feast of St. Dionysios of Olympus which a schismatic OCU “hierarch” was concelebrating, reports the Greek outlet Katanixi.

On January 22, the Vigil for the feast was celebrated in the Monastery of St. Dionysios, which was attended by representatives of the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Alexandria and the Church of Greece.

However, the next day, “Bishop” Epiphanius (Dimitriou) of Olbia of the schismatic OCU arrived to concelebrate the Liturgy. “As soon as Archimandrite Stephen from Philotheou Monastery noticed the presence of the schismatic, he withdrew from the Divine Liturgy and left the Olympus Monastery,” reports Katanixi.

The Greek outlet also reports that Metropolitan Joel of Edessa of the Church of Greece asked Epiphanius of Olbia if he had a canonical consecration, at whose hands, to which he allegedly replied from Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, which satisfied Met. Joel.

Epiphanius (Dimitriou), however, was consecrated as a “bishop” by “hierarchs” of the schismatic OCU, not by Pat. Bartholomew, though the Constantinople hierarchs Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul and Metropolitan Amphilochius of Adrianople did participate in his consecration.

Dimitriou was formerly a cleric of the Demetrias and Almyros Diocese of the Greek Church and was selected by the OCU Synod to serve as “Bishop” of Olbia, tasked with working with Greek-speakers in Ukraine. He allegedly received a canonical release from his former Greek bishop Metropolitan Ignatius of Demetrias and Almyros months before Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens ever recognized the Ukrainian schismatics.

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