Epiphany: Several Local Churches to recognize OCU by the end of the year
The head of the OCU conducts secret negotiations with the Local Churches and is confident that some of them will recognize his structure before the end of the year.
During 2019, several Local Orthodox Churches should recognize the OCU, the head of the new church structure, Epiphany Dumenko, prophesied in an interview with the first Ukrainian information channel “5 Channel”.
According to Epiphany Dumenko, the representatives of his religious organization are negotiating with some Local Churches in order to have them recognize the OCU; however, they are doing it secretly.
“We are negotiating with several Orthodox Churches but not officially. In order for this process of recognition not to be spoilt. I think that during this year, several Local Orthodox Churches should gradually recognize autocephaly – the action of the Ecumenical Patriarch in relation to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” said the “primate” of the OCU.
According to him, each Church should review the issue of the Ukrainian autocephaly and study it in detail. Since this process takes time, as well as the adoption of a conciliar decision, no one just had time to recognize the new church structure, believes Epiphany.
“Now there are several positive messages from representatives of some Local Churches, which, in some ways, are wavering,” said the head of the OCU. “But I believe that in the near future several Churches will recognize this act of proclaiming autocephaly by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (OCU – Ed.).”
In his opinion, the reason why the OCU has not yet been recognized lies in the actions of Moscow, which allegedly “succeeds in counteracting from the outside”.
Recall that the Jerusalem Patriarchate refused to allow the delegation of the OCU to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on Great Saturday. “Anyone can come to the temple and receive the Holy Fire. This is allowed to everybody because of the holiday. However, to get inside the shrine, as well as to hold a communal prayer there or to serve in the Cathedral of Jerusalem on the eve is not permitted for your second Church (OCU – Ed.),” said the representative of the Jerusalem Patriarchate then.
On May 2, 2019, an Easter letter concerning the situation in Ukraine was published on the official website of the Kythira and Antikythira Metropolis, which the hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira, sent to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches. In this letter, Vladyka Seraphim stressed that the head of the new church structure, Epiphany Dumenko, received his ordination and all three priesthood degrees (deacon, presbyter and bishop) from the former Metropolitan of Kiev Filaret – “actually excommunicated, anathematized and schismatic”, which makes Dumenko himself, according to the Sacred Canons and Church Tradition, deprived of any sacred degree, "and it is impossible for this accomplished act to be cured retroactively".
“I humbly and zealously think that we are confronted with a big canonical problem, which lies in the so-called reinstatement and recognition of the two existing schismatic parts as ‘Autocephalous Ukrainian Church’,” wrote the hierarch of the Greek Church.