Kiev, October 13, 2021
On Sunday, October 10, Philaret Denisenko, the “Patriarch” of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) concelebrated with a “hierarch” of one of the many schismatic Greek Old Calendarist groups.
While the entire Orthodox world recognized the defrocking, excommunication, and anathematization of Denisenko by the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1990s, he was declared a canonical hierarch by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in October 2018. Denisenko was previously the canonical Metropolitan of Kiev, and according to Constantinople, he was unjustly sanctioned by the Russian Church.
In December 2018, Denisenko and his KP joined forces with the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” in the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) created by Constantinople and ex-President Petro Poroshenko with the backing of the U.S. State Department. Although Denisenko soon left to reform his KP, the OCU still considers him a member of their group, which enjoys the recognition of Patriarch Bartholomew and the Patriarchate of Constantinople. According to the OCU Synod, it would be too Russian to punish Denisenko for going into schism.
This past Sunday, Denisenko concelebrated with “Archbishop” Andrei of Pereyaslav and Bila Tserkva (KP) and “Metropolitan” Auxentios (Marines) of Aegina of the so-called Church of True Orthodox Christians of Greece, reports the KP press service.
The self-proclaimed “Patriarch” Philaret (titled “Honorary Patriarch” by Constantinople’s OCU) has a long history of concelebrating with schismatics from Greece, Montenegro, and elsewhere.
The Old Calendarist groups in Greece have a complicated history, with frequent schisms and the formation of new “Synods.” Auxentios seems to have been part of the so-called Florinite Synod, but joined the new “Church of True Orthodox Christians of Greece” under “Metropolitan” Auxentios of Patras when a schism occurred in 1985.
He became a hierarch of the schismatic group in 1996, and in December 2002, he was elected Chairman of the Synod. In 2012, he stepped down and returned to his former diocese in Aegina.
And on Sunday, he served with Philaret Denisenko, who is considered a legitimate hierarch by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.