Thassos, Greece, August 10, 2022
Met. Stephanos of Philippi (left), Epiphany Dumenko (right). Photo: proininews.gr
More than 400 parishioners of the Metropolis of Philippi, Neapolis, and Thassos of the Orthodox Church of Greece have a message for their hierarch: Don’t concelebrate with “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine!”
In a letter to Metropolitan Stephanos, 407 faithful tell of the sadness they felt when they learned that “the schismatic pseudo-bishop of Kiev, Epiphany … who is a layman in vestments,” will participate in the September celebration of the newly established Synaxis of the Saints of the Island of Thassos together with the primates of the Churches of Greece and Constantinople.
The letter, published on Romfea, was also sent to Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, and all the members of the Permanent Synod of the Church of Greece.
The majority of Orthodox Churches don’t recognize and don’t have communion with Epiphany or his “church,” the faithful write. “You made us very sad with your choices,” by inviting Epiphany, they tell Met. Stephanos.
Concelebrating with Epiphany and other unordained “clerics” would be an offense to the “high priesthood that the Triune and One True God gave you,” they write. The sacred canons entail “heavy consequences” for such actions, they remind the Metropolitan.
“Are the pursuits and ambitions of third parties (e.g. politicians, diplomats, and ecclesiastical men) worth offending your authority and scandalizing the faithful?”
Unlike Met. Stephanos, Dumenko and his colleagues are completely lacking in Apostolic Succession, the parishioners write. Thus, “as children who see their father preparing to take anti-canonical actions, we call on you to resist all those who planned this unacceptable concelebration.”
Such resistance would please the Lord and reassure the people that they have hierarchs who resist “petty political interests.”
“We wish you good enlightenment to make Orthodox decisions, and may the Triune God give you strength, enlightenment, and courage in your work,” the faithful wish their hierarch, informing him that the collection of signatures will continue until Dumenko’s invitation is canceled.
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