Uzhgorod, Ukraine, March 4, 2021
One “hierarch” of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) has fired back at His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia, who said in a recent interview that Patriarch Bartholomew violated the canons and tradition of the Church by interfering in Ukraine and creating the OCU.
Pat. Porfirije is no expert on the canons and should stop pretending to be a wise oracle, believes Viktor Bed, the schismatic hierarch of Mukachevo and Carpathia. And in any case, Ukrainians shouldn’t care much about the opinions of foreigners, he wrote on Facebook yesterday.
The spirit of his statement directly contradicts his primate, “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, who was quick to congratulate Pat. Porfirije with his election as primate.
His Holiness needs some time to properly understand matters and be worthy of the Patriarchal throne, the schismatic hierarch begins. His opinion about the OCU is only that of one man out of 7.5 billion people on Earth, “and nothing more.”
Downplaying the reality of the OCU’s standing in the Orthodox world, Bed writes that the Patriarch’s view is shared by “certain politicians, bishops with different titles, believers and non-believers, clerics and non-clerics.” As is well-known, Pat. Porfirije’s view is, in fact, shared by the overwhelming majority of the Orthodox world, with the exception of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the primates and certain bishops from the Churches of Alexandria, Greece, and Cyprus.
Moreover, the Serbian Patriarch will eventually, perhaps very quickly, begin to speak differently on the same question, the OCU bishop predicts. “Sooner or later, the laws of God and the Truth will prevail! Not the delusions or deceit of mortal people...” he exclaims.
Ironically, the hierarch of the OCU, which is a project of the Ukrainian state under former President Petro Poroshenko, writes that “the politicization and commercialization of church institutions, as well as narcissism,” is a path that inevitably leads to destruction.
The fate of the OCU and the creation of new church structures is not dependent upon Patriarchs Kirill or Porfirije or Pope Francis, Bed writes.
And in any case, the Serbian primate has no authority to speak about the canons, the OCU bishop believes: “Is or can, in particular, the Serbian Patriarch Porfirije be an exceptional expert or interpreter of Church canon law, in particular, on the issue of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine? Of course not...”
“Although, as I see it, he is trying to pretend to be an ancient elder or a world oracle...”
And in the context of the battle over the OCU, “we Ukrainians and Ukraine should be least interested in the opinion of foreigners, and especially our enemies,” the schismatic writes. Ukrainians must first live in unity, and then they will be recognized and their enemies will perish, he asserts.
In conclusion, he declares that the canons are on the side of the OCU.
As opposed to Bed’s dismissive attitude, Epiphany Dumenko congratulated Pat. Porfirije with his election, saying: “I congratulate my fellow brother newly-elected Patriarch Porfirije on accepting the invitation to become the primate of the sister Serbian Orthodox Church. May the successor to the throne of St. Sava, Patriarch Porfirije serve his Local Church, the pious people, and the fullness of Orthodoxy for many years!”
However, in the Serbian Church’s report about the many congratulations received by Pat. Porfirije, Epiphany Dumenko is not mentioned at all, while His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the canonical primate in Ukraine, is.