Epiphany: Local Churches have never recognized Filaret’s anathema

Head of the OCU Epiphany

The head of the OCU stated there is no evidence where the Local Churches would recognize the punishments and anathema imposed on Filaret.

Epiphany stated that there is no documentary evidence in which the Local Churches would approve the disciplinary punishments and anathema imposed on Filaret. He told this to BBC journalists.

Commenting on the decisions of the Church of Cyprus, where doubts were expressed as for the legal ordination of the leader and the OCU "episcopate", Epiphany declared that since the anathema was imposed on Filaret in 1992, all Local Churches have been silent, "because they were afraid of Moscow." In fact, in the opinion of the OCU head, all this time the hierarchs of world Orthodoxy understood that injustice had been committed against Filaret, and therefore, according to Epiphany, there is not a single document from any Local Church to agree to the actions of the ROC towards Filaret. Therefore, ”it is hard for the Local Churches now in some sense so to accept all this."

Epiphany also stated that world Orthodoxy does not recognize Metropolitan Onufriy: "He is not recognized by the Orthodox world as a Primate of the independent Orthodox Church."

Meanwhile, there are a lot of documents and testimonies, where representatives of the Local Churches clearly and unequivocally expressed their position regarding the attitude towards Filaret and his "episcopate."

And above all – the Church of Constantinople.

In 1992 Patriarch Bartholomew sent an official letter to Patriarch Alexy of the Russian Orthodox Church, in which he wrote about the anathema imposed on Filaret: “Our Holy Great Church of Christ, recognizing the fullness of the exclusive competence of your Holy Russian Church on this matter, accepts the synodal decision of the above.”

In 1995, the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued a confirmation letter that "among the Orthodox Churches there is no canonical Church with the title ‘Kiev Patriarchate’."

In 1997, the head of Phanar, in his letter of April 7, 1997 to Patriarch Alexy about the anathematization of Filaret Denisenko, said: “Upon receiving the notification of the aforesaid decision, we informed about it the hierarchy of our Ecumenical Throne and asked it not to have any church communion with the mentioned persons.”

In 2015, Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Church, wrote in an official letter to His Beatitude Onufriy: “Schismatics from the so-called “Kiev Patriarchate” have long been rejected by the Orthodox Churches and refer to Orthodoxy only by name. It is evidenced by their disregard for the norms of Christian morality, their willingness to hate, lie and shed blood.”

In 2015, the Synod of the Bulgarian Church, in a letter to the President of Ukraine, stated: “The so-called 'UOC of the Kiev Patriarchate' is not recognized as an Independent Local Church of the world. <...> We have no Eucharistic and prayerful communion with religious structures having backslid into schism.”

In addition, a lot of such evidence is collected in the work of ex-Metropolitan Aleksander Drabinko "Why schismatic groups in Ukraine are called non-canonical."


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What will happen if the Church of Greece recognizes the OCU?
it will put itself out of Orthodoxy
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