Defector bishop Drabinko’s explicit correspondences cause scandal in schismatic OCU

Kiev, February 9, 2021

Photo: strana.ua Photo: strana.ua     

A “behind-the-scenes campaign” has been launched against Alexander Drabinko in the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) after the publication of his personal correspondences in Telegram revealed scandalous and compromising material, including of an explicit homosexual nature.

Drabinko was formerly a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but decided to depart into schism and joined the OCU in December 2018. He has described himself and Simeon Shostatsky, the only other canonical bishop to leave the Church, as enjoying a particular status within the OCU, as they are the only bishops whose episcopal consecrations are recognized as canonical by the entire Orthodox Church.

However, rather than using Drabinko to attempt to increase legitimacy, a number of OCU representatives are now calling for him to be excluded from any important Church-wide projects or dialogues with other Local Churches, whose recognition the OCU is desperately seeking, reports the pro-OCU Telegram channel Churcher.

It is even possible that “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko is involved in the movement against Drabinko, as is he uncomfortable with the close relations he has forged with Constantinople’s Exarch in Ukraine Bishop Michael (Anischenko). Often finding himself stuck between Constantinople’s Stavropegia and the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers, unable to “effectively defend the necessary position before the current government,” Epiphany perceives Drabinko’s close contacts with the Exarch as a personal threat, reports varta.com.ua.

OrthoChristian previously reported that OCU hierarchs were displeased with Drabinko’s presence at the consecration of Bp. Michael in Constantinople, understanding the threat of a developing Exarchate in what Constantinople publicly states is supposed to be their territory. It has been reported that Drabinko and Shostatsky are looking to move up in the Exarchate, to regain some of the authority they sacrificed by joining the schismatic OCU.

The Ukrainian outlet varta.com.ua even considers the possibility that it was Epiphany himself who hacked into Drabinko’s phone, and Drabinko himself acknowledges in one of the revealed conversations that he does not have a very good relationship with Epiphany.

In the same conversation, he says it was then-President Petro Poroshenko, not the attending bishops, who appointed Epiphany as the head of the OCU at the “unification council” on December 15, 2018, in order to please “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko.

Referring to its sources in the OCU, Churcher reports that there is a mailing list sharing the scandalous material with several hierarchs of the OCU with demands to push Drabinko “to the sidelines” because he “discredits the autocephalous Ukrainian Church.” It is proposed to “minimize his contacts with representatives of other Local Churches and to exclude him from meaningful negotiations with them.”

Compromising material against Drabinko from his own correspondences was posted on several sites, some of which has been subsequently deleted, Churcher reports. The screenshots contain information about financial fraud, chats with employees of the Ukrainian Security Service, and correspondence with foreign clergy, among other things.

Notably, the material also includes romantic and sexually explicit conversations and pornographic images between Drabinko and other men.

The Churcher outlet has evoked strong reactions from Drabinko in the past. Responding to his criticism of one of their reports in July, Churcher wrote: “We criticize [the OCU] because we love this Church… We want the politicization of religion to end, and we want gay and pedophile priests to disappear from this Church.”

According to varta.com.ua, the situation is being actively discussed by a number of OCU hierarchs.

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2/9/2021

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Comments
Archimandrite Gregory5/26/2021 8:17 am
These "OCU" were created by forces who want a gay oriented society in Ukraine, to fit in with the west. The Ukrainian people see through this sham.
ACatharina2/10/2021 11:51 am
Did his life-long priesthood ever mean anything to him at all...very sad.
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