Polish Church’s position remains the same: OCU is non-canonical

Warsaw, August 24, 2022

The hierarchs of the Polish Orthodox Church. Photo: ekai.pl The hierarchs of the Polish Orthodox Church. Photo: ekai.pl     

In response to the recent letter from the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” to His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, the Metropolitan’s chancellery again reminds of the Polish Church’s position, which it has expressed several times over the past several years.

As OrthoChristian reported yesterday, Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the Ukrainian schismatics, wrote to the Polish primate complaining that Polish clergy don’t concelebrate with or give communion to OCU clergy in Poland, and that Polish Orthodox clergy have been contacting the Patriarchate of Constantinople with grievances about the activities of OCU clergy in Poland.

The new statement reiterates that the Polish Church is in favor of granting autocephaly according to dogmatic and canonical norms to the whole Church in Ukraine, but not to a group of unordained apostates. “Apostates from the teachings of the holy church cannot represent a healthy church organism. This violates the Eucharistic unity of the entire Orthodox Church.”

The OCU “doesn’t meet the conditions of canonicity,” the Polish Church’s message states, because the ordinations and consecrations of its clergy trace to Philaret Denisenko, the former Metropolitan of Kiev who was defrocked in 1992 and anathematized in 1997.

“A person who has been defrocked cannot and has no right to ordain others,” the statement reads.

“Sacraments given by lay people cannot be considered valid!”

The uncanonical situation of the OCU is causing concerns and problems throughout the Orthodox Church, and thus the Polish Church has repeatedly called for the heads of the Local Churches to be convened, to try to resolve the issue, the statement reminds.

Furthermore, the Polish Church is open to Ukrainian refugees, who can receive the same pastoral care as anyone else, the Church reminds.

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