Schismatic OCU protests that Polish Orthodox Church doesn’t commune its clergy

Kiev, August 23, 2022

The symbol of the OCU. Photo: The symbol of the OCU. Photo:     

Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” recently wrote to His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland concerning the fact that the Polish Church hasn’t established canonical relations or a dialogue with his structure.

Dumenko protests the fact that the Polish Church has addressed the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which created the OCU together with the Ukrainian and U.S. governments in 2018, with concerns about the activity of OCU “clergy” in Poland, and that Polish clergy refuse to either concelebrate with or commune OCU “clergy.”

The text of the letter, approved by the Synod of Bishops of the OCU, was published on the OCU’s official website.

Dumenko begins recalling the creation of the OCU in December 2018, and the tomos it received from Constantinople in January 2019.

“The Orthodox Church of Ukraine was canonically created and recognized as an autocephalous sister church…,” he writes, “Therefore, we don’t see any canonical basis, except for subjective bias, which would prevent the establishment of a normal order of communion between our Local Churches.”

However, Dumenko is well aware that the Polish Orthodox Church, and the majority of Orthodox Local Churches, in fact reject the creation and supposed autocephaly of the OCU, pointing to the anti-canonical manner in which Constantinople acted in Ukraine.

Met. Sawa reiterated the Church’s stance in an interview just last week, stating in particular that Dumenko is, in fact, not ordained from a canonical point of view.

The situation with the lack of relations between the Polish Church and the OCU is worsened by the fact that so many Ukrainians now find themselves refugees in Poland, the unrecognized Dumenko writes.

“It’s with pain that we receive testimony of numerous examples of how the hierarchs and clergy of the Polish Orthodox Church not only refuse to concelebrate with priests of the OCU, but even refuse them Communion, treating them as non-Christians,” he continues.

However, it was the Polish Bishops’ Council that forbade its clergy “from having liturgical and prayerful contact” with the clergy of the OCU. For the Polish hierarchs, recognizing schismatics as part of the Church “violates the Eucharistic unity of all of Orthodoxy.”

But as they are rejected by Polish Orthodox clergy, OCU “clergy” in Poland therefore turn to the Catholic church to grant them places to serve, Dumenko tells Met. Sawa, referring to another sore issue raised by the Polish primate in his recent interview.

Since the OCU is an “autocephalous Local Church,” Polish clergy should turn to it, not the Patriarchate of Constantinople, if they have concerns about the activity of OCU “clergy” in Poland, the OCU head continues.

Polish hierarchs also turned to Constantinople for an explanation in January, after the OCU’s “Metropolitan” Alexander Drabinko visited Poland without receiving the necessary blessing from the Polish hierarchy.

“As a Local Sister Church, we honor and respect the canonical order and rights of your holy Local Church. Therefore, we emphasize that our clergy are forced to carry out church activities on a temporary basis among Ukrainian refugees, because your holy Church hasn’t and doesn’t offer them any other way to meet their spiritual needs,” Dumenko states, concluding with a call for dialogue.

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Alex8/24/2022 3:29 am
Mister Epiphany Dumenko, you are a big joke. A very big and tragic joke, along with your fake church. Why should the Polish Orthodox Church recognize and concelebrate with you?! And, why does your fake church steal churches away from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church? Why do your people also beat up priests and old ladies that defend their legitimate churches? Why?!
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