Mt. Athos, August 26, 2022
In a new open letter, a group of 17 monks, led by a renowned disciple of St. Paisios the Athonite, protests the upcoming visit of the schismatic Epiphany Dumenko to Greece.
The head of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” is invited to participate in events dedicated to the holy Apostle Paul on the island of Thassos, September 3-6, together with the Greek primate Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
The invitation was already protested in a letter to the Metropolitan of Philippi, Neapolis, and Thassos, signed by more than 400 of his parishioners.
The Athonite monks write that they felt “great surprise, deep sorrow, and holy indignation” when they learned that Dumenko was invited to concelebrate with Pat. Bartholomew and Abp. Ieronymos.
The letter is signed by Fr. Gabriel of the Kelli of St. Christodoulos of Koutloumousiou Monastery, a disciple of St. Paisios the Athonite and a revered elder in his own right, and several other fathers residing in cells attached to a number of the 20 ruling monasteries.
As the Athonite fathers also noted in a previous message, Dumenko and his entire “church” are schismatic according to the sacred canons. They warn of “serious soteriological consequences for those who sacramentally commune with them.”
“Participants in such unholy rites risk their salvation, and don’t honor, but grieve and dishonor the saints, and don’t honor the Apostle Paul, who gives the strongest teaching about heresies and schisms,” the fathers write.
According to them, those who plan to award Dumenko the title of honorary citizen of the Greek municipality “reward his crimes and betray the canonical Ukrainian Church and the majority of the Ukrainian people belonging to it, and we are irrevocably denigrated before God as both the Greek Church and the Greek people.”
In conclusion, the Athonite fathers call upon the faithful to strengthen their prayers to disrupt this “bad plan” by Divine intervention, and thus “avoid spiritual consequences and a national catastrophe.”
They also call upon hierarchs, clergy, and laity to stay away from the events with Dumenko, and if it does take place, “to refuse to cooperate in the future with those who will take part in this unholy Liturgy.”