Greek Synod rejects Philaret Denisenko’s consecration of Greek Old Calendarist

Athens, February 17, 2022

Philaret Denisenko with Chrysostomos Kallis. Photo: Philaret Denisenko with Chrysostomos Kallis. Photo:     

The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece completely rejects the recent “consecration” of a Greek Old Calendarist as a “bishop” in Philaret Denisenko’s “Kiev Patriarchate.”

This decision comes two years after Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens entered into communion with the schismatics of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” thereby officially recognizing the ordinations and consecrations celebrated by the same Philaret, despite the fact that he had been canonically defrocked and anathematized by the Moscow Patriarchate.

In a statement from the press office yesterday, the Synod announced that “Bishop” Chrysostomos Kallis of Mariupol and Dervenochoria can in no wise consider himself an actual hierarch of the Orthodox Church.

Dimitrios Kallis is a former cleric of the Church of Greece, the statement notes. As OrthoChristian previously reported, canonical accusations were brought against him in 2020, which he refused to recognize. Instead, he resigned from his parish and joined one of the various Greek Old Calendarist groups, where he was made a “bishop.”

He was received into Denisenko’s “Kiev Patriarchate” on December 13, and two days later he was again “consecrated” as a “bishop.”

It’s unclear why the KP consecrated him, as he was already considered a metropolitan when he was received. For comparison, “Metropolitan” Auxentios (Marines), who was received into the KP from a Greek Old Calendarist group in October, wasn’t re-consecrated by KP bishops.

Earlier this month, the Synod of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” leveled canonical accusations against all the bishops of the KP, except Philaret himself, and called upon the Greek Synod to excommunicate the KP’s Greek hierarchs.

In 2020, Philaret, who by that time had already left the OCU and revived his KP, was sent into retirement and banned from celebrating any ordinations or consecrations by the OCU Synod.

However, the OCU can’t canonically sanction Philaret, the ideological leader of the Ukrainian schismatic movement, 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. Otherwise, the OCU would implicitly condemn its own existence, as the majority of its hierarchs come directly from the hands of Philaret himself.

But with its position towards Chrysostomos Kallis, the Greek Synod has taken the contradictory stands of both recognizing and renouncing consecrations celebrated by Philaret Denisenko while in schism.

For his part, Kallis’ diocese calls on the Greek Synod “to solve the issues and problems of its own jurisdiction and clergy, not the bishops and clergy of another ecclesiastical jurisdiction in another country.”

The statement emphasizes that he is a legitimate hierarch of the KP, with no relations with any other ecclesiastical authority outside its borders.

The diocese also declares that “with long-suffering, he forgives all those who try to harm him personally in various ways, and prays for them that God will enlighten them and forgive them for their special attitude towards His Grace.”

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Editor2/18/2022 9:02 am
James: We have never stated here that Archbishop Ieronymos is the only person in Greece who recognizes the OCU. But we do know that the bishops and faithful of Greece are of divided convictions on this matter. You won't necessarily read in the news about monasteries that wouldn't let OCU bishops in, or priests who refused to serve with them, but this does happen—quietly, for obvious reasons. It is pretty clear that His Beatitude Ieronymous recognized the OCU due to pressure from Constantinople, and from certain political forces, and not out of faithfulness to the canons.
James2/17/2022 10:01 pm
Dear editors, It’s bothersome when you make it seem like only Archbishop Ieronymos II recognizes the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The entire Church of Greece is in communion with the OCU. It doesn’t matter what Piraeus Seraphim personally believes. He and all other Greek metropolitans commemorate Archbishop Ieronymos II, who commemorates Metropolitan Epiphany of Kyiv. This is how communion works.
Alex2/17/2022 9:12 pm
Oh, boy...what a circus!
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