Morphou, Cyprus, October 30, 2020
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine is, was, and hopefully will be the canonical hierarch of Kiev, His Eminence Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou of the Church of Cyprus said at a recent meeting with parishioners.
Conversely, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the Patriarchate of Constantinople recognized the schismatics that now make up the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) for geopolitical purposes, he told the faithful. A video of the talk is available on YouTube.
During the meeting with parishioners on October 28, Met. Neophytos was asked about the canonicity of Met. Onuphry and the commemoration of Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the schismatic OCU, by Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus. The sacred canons dictate that there can only be one bishop per city, he replied.
“There cannot be two bishops in one city, just as there cannot be several fathers in one house. When there are two fathers in one house, then one is a father, and one is beast,” His Eminence said, making a play on words in Greek.
After Abp. Chrysostomos commemorated Dumenko on Saturday, four hierarchs of the Cypriot Church immediately denounced his decision and called on him to revoke it. Proponents of the Ukrainian schism proclaimed that the protest of only four hierarchs is essentially meaningless, but Met. Neophytos’ statements show that other hierarchs also stand with the canonical Ukrainian Church and canonical order in the Church.
“Kiev is a city that adopted Christianity from the Byzantines, that is, from Constantinople, more than 1,000 years ago,” he recalled. “It was the first city of the whole vast Slavic region and it was the great blessing of the Lord that these people became Christians from the Byzantines, and to this day, thanks to the Lord, preserve the faith, despite all the vicissitudes, the Unia, forced Catholicism, atheism, communism, and Papism. All these heretics try to change this people and draw them away from the Orthodox faith.”
Met. Neophytos affirms that “the canonical bishop of Kiev was, is, and hopefully will be, Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev.” His Eminence expressed the same conviction in a similar talk with parishioners last November.
And the fact of Met. Onuphry’s canonicity was recognized by everyone, including Constantinople, Alexandria, Greece, and Cyprus and every other Local Orthodox Church until quite recently, Met. Neophytos emphasized.
But “when politics are mixed up with Church affairs, it leads the Local Churches to great upheavals, and if they’re not careful, to schism. This has happened before, and this is not the first time,” the Morphou hierarch said.
“Personally, I think this is already a difficult task, since the Ecumenical Patriarchate, solely for geostrategic, geopolitical reasons, within the framework of the New World Order, recognized as the new primate a person who comes from a schismatic group of non–ordained people (meaning without the Holy Spirit), Epiphany,” Met. Neophytos concluded.
Other hierarchs from throughout the Orthodox world have also pointed to the geopolitical foundations of Constantinople’s Ukrainian project, including His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem and His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus of the Church of Greece.
Hierarchs of the schismatic OCU themselves have publicly acknowledged that Pat. Bartholomew created the OCU and granted it autocephaly in cooperation with the American and other powerful western governments.
And in concert with the four hierarchs who authored the appeal to Abp. Chrysostomos, Met. Neophytos emphasizes that the Church knows no Papism, but rather is administered conciliarly. And in February last year, the Holy Synod of the Cypriot Church conciliarly decided to maintain a neutral position in the ongoing scandal.
This position was taken, His Eminence explains, because the Church of Cyprus “saw the games of the New World Order against Russia, which doesn’t want to participate in them and obey. It even developed its own vaccine because it does not trust the American and European ones.”
A neutral position means maintaining that Met. Onuphry is the canonical hierarch of Kiev, the Cypriot hierarch said.
And as Metropolitans Athanasios of Limassol and Nikiforos of Kykkou have revealed, at the most recent Synodal session, the hierarchs implored the Archbishop not to commemorate Epiphany, but to hold the neutral position that is necessary in order to calm those who are quarreling.
However, the decision to commemorate Epiphany Dumenko was not at all sudden, as some have said, but, in fact, the Archbishop “prepared this act by some devious means, without the consent of the Synodal hierarchs.”
Commemorations and Eucharistic communion cannot be a matter left simply to the whim of the primate, Met. Neophytos emphasized. “Orthodoxy is not used to this kind of Papism. Its structure is synodal, which the Papists envy and fear, so that we don’t fall into the sin of Papism.
“I am the primate, and I’ll do what I want,” is not a coherent approach to Church leadership, he said, because different primates can have different views, and the Church will always swing back and forth, recognizing one bishop today and another tomorrow.