Mass media: Epiphany Dumenko attempts to seize Filaret’s office
An informal coalition has been formed within the OCU willing to remove the “honorary patriarch”.
The head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Epiphany Dumenko, tried to forcefully seize the office of the former head of the Kiev Patriarchate, Filaret Denisenko, Vesti reported citing a source in church circles.
According to the newspaper, the opposition is growing between the leaders of the OCU. “An informal coalition, which includes Epiphany, Zoria, and Simeon (former UOC Metropolitan of Vinnitsa and Bar – Ed.), has been formed in the OCU,” Vesti quotes its source. “This coalition is jointly trying to ‘topple’ Filaret”.
The latter is taking retaliatory steps and has cut funding for the Kiev Orthodox Theological Academy, which was previously led by Dumenko and from which he allegedly received money.
“Now that the financing channel is blocked, the only source from which the head of the OCU can receive money is Andrei Matsola (founder and co-owner of the “First Private Brewery” – Ed.), the source said. “Also, Epiphany without the assistance of Filaret has no support at the local government level. During his visit to Lvov, he was not even provided with a car; for Filaret such things were done in a tick.”
"The main blow", according to the publication, Filaret prepared for the summer: the Local Council of the OCU is scheduled for July, at which several changes would be made to the organization’s statute. In particular, the number of permanent members of the Synod will be increased from three to “about 12”, while the powers between Filaret and Epiphany will be distributed and fixed: the “honorary patriarch” will administer the OCU, whereas the “primate” will perform representative functions.
The Presidential Administration is aware of the conflict in the OCU but they cannot reconcile the two "hierarchs", Vesti writes.
The confrontation between the leaders of the OCU has been going on for more than a month. As the UOJ wrote, the new team is trying to curtail Filaret’s rights, the “bishops” cannot divide the dioceses among themselves, while the structure itself is dogged with legal and organizational chaos.