OCU comes out swinging against Philaret Denisenko’s bishops, gives Philaret himself a pass

Kiev, February 3, 2022

Photo: spzh.news Photo: spzh.news     

Hierarchs who have participated in recent episcopal consecrations in Philaret Denisenko’s “Kiev Patriarchate” are subject to canonical penalty, says the Synod of Bishops of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”

And those who were “consecrated” are not, in fact, bishops.

Moreover, the Synod has appealed to the Church of Greece to excommunicate the Greek Old Calendarist “bishops” who were received into the KP last year.

However, Denisenko himself, despite being the head of the KP, is given a pass by the OCU, “out of respect for his previous merits … and taking into account his age and state of health,” states the Synodal report.

The OCU is between a rock and a hard place when it comes to Denisenko. The canonical Metropolitan of Kiev for many years, he eventually became the ideological leader of the Ukrainian schismatic movement of the 80s and 90s, for which he was defrocked, excommunicated, and anathematized by the Moscow Patriarchate.

The majority of the “bishops” of the OCU trace their ordinations and consecrations to Denisenko, and their story is that he was unjustly persecuted by the Russian Church for desiring Ukrainian Church independence, which justifies his departure from the canonical Church.

In the fall of 2018, the Patriarchate of Constantinople gave its blessing to his schismatic activity and declared the canonical penalties against him null and void, also claiming that he had been unjustly persecuted.

Later that year, Denisenko agreed to dissolve his KP and join the OCU, though he quickly left again when it became clear that he would not be in charge of the new structure. He rebooted the KP and took a handful of “bishops” with him. Together they have since consecrated several more “bishops” and received others from schismatic Old Calendarist groups.

The OCU Synod continues to act as if Denisenko is still a member. In 2020, it sent him into retirement and forbade him from celebrating any ordinations or consecrations, but it’s unable to canonically sanction him for his activity without implicitly acknowledging that the Moscow Patriarchate was right to sanction him for the exact same kind of activity 25 years ago, and thereby implicitly condemning its own existence.

However, the same does not apply to Denisenko’s associates. Thus, while he is shown mercy, all “priests” whom he consecrated as “bishops” are accused of “actions aimed at provoking divisions in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church” and are “subject to ecclesiastical court and the defrocking from their sacred dignity.”

Moreover, “Metropolitan” Joasaph of Belgorod, “Bishop” Philaret of Fălești and East Moldova (considered the bishop of Belgorod and Dniester by the OCU), and “Bishop” Peter of Valuyki, all of whom were already considered to be bishops while briefly in the OCU, are accused of “gross violation of canonical order, participation in illegal meetings and so-called episcopal consecrations in Kiev,” and are suspended from serving and summoned to the OCU’s ecclesiastical court “on charges on which they are subject to defrocking from their sacred dignity.”

They are already referred to as “former” bishops in the OCU report, and their pictures are no longer included among the “bishops” of the OCU on the official website, although Denisenko is still pictured.

The OCU Synod also stressed that “no followers of the Old Calendar schism in Greece are in ecclesiastical communion with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and in no case can be accepted into such communion.”

Thus, the OCU “hierarchs” call upon the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece to consider excommunicating “Metropolitan” Auxentios (Marines) and “Metropolitan” Chrysostomos Kallis, who brought their schismatic dioceses into the KP last year.

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Editor2/3/2022 9:02 pm
Steve, it's meant to be read as saying the schismatic movement is from the 80s-90s, and Philaret became its ideological leader.
Michael 2/3/2022 5:42 pm
Between this and what is happening in Africa, perhaps the patriarch of Constantinople will see the error of his ways and beg forgiveness. But I don’t think so. He lined his pockets with blood money to deliver this result. Hell will freeze over - with him in it - before Black Bart repents for his treachery.
Steve2/3/2022 5:21 pm
Dear Editor, how do you figure that Denisenko is "the ideological leader of the Ukrainian schismatic movement of the 80s"? The Kievan Patriarchate didn't even exist in the 1980's.
Alex2/3/2022 4:32 pm
And, the circus continues.
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