Polish Church warns about destructive activity of Ukrainian schismatics

Warsaw, October 27, 2022


The hierarchs of the Polish Orthodox Church are concerned about the continued “destructive activity” of “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”

The Council of Bishops of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church (PAOC) met in Warsaw on Tuesday under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland. Having read the letters of local Church leaders about the Church’s position “on the so-called ‘Metropolitan’ Epiphany of the OCU,” the hierarchs reaffirmed the same position they have held for several years now, reports the chancellery of the Polish Council of Bishops.

The Polish hierarchs have declared several times since 2018 that the OCU is schismatic and Dumenko is nothing more than a layman. This position was reaffirmed most recently in August, after Dumenko wrote to Met. Sawa complaining that Polish clergy don’t concelebrate with or give communion to OCU clergy in Poland, and that Polish clergy have been contacting the Patriarchate of Constantinople with grievances about the activities of OCU clergy in Poland.

And earlier this month, despite the Polish Church’s unchanging position, the Synod of Bishops of the schismatic OCU sent a letter both to Pat. Bartholomew of Constantinople and Met. Sawa of Warsaw about the issue of pastorally caring for Ukrainian refugees.

In response to the OCU’s activity in both Ukraine and Poland, the Polish Council of Bishops stated on Tuesday:

The war in Ukraine has completely disrupted normal life in this country, Europe, and the world. This applies in a special way to the life of the Orthodox Church.

Orthodoxy in Ukraine has been divided and the faithful often feel lost. We regret this because this state has had a negative impact on the entire body of Orthodoxy.

As for the destructive activity of the so-called “Metropolitan” Epiphany, the Holy Council of Bishops of the PAOC maintains its position expressed in the resolutions: 340 p. 3; 341 p. 7; 342 p. 1; 343 p. 1; 346 p. 5; 347 p. 1; 348 p. 4.

The Holy Council of Bishops calls on the faithful to continue praying for peace in Ukraine, and end to the war, and an end to the division (schism) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

At the same time, the Holy Council of Bishops asks His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to convene a Synaxis of the primates of all Local Orthodox Churches.

The Holy Council of Bishops expresses appreciation and thanks to all the faithful, Church organizations, and individuals for their spiritual and material assistance to Ukraine and its citizens. Let us not give up our zeal and let us continue in this good work of helping those in need.

Almighty God! We ask you to give peace to the people of Ukraine and the holy Orthodox Church.

On Monday, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reported that residents of the Kharkiv Province had received another shipment of humanitarian cargo from the Polish Church’s Eleos charitable fund, purchased with the assistance of the Orthodox Church in America and International Orthodox Christian Charities.

The Polish Council of Bishops also resolved to recognize the canonicity and autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric on Tuesday.

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