Media: Filaret's supporters may become “schismatics” for Constantinople

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko

The Phanar can apply sanctions for trying to implement the plans of the “Honorary Patriarch” to step back from Tomos provisions, reports the “BBC. Ukraine” news agency.

The “bishops” and the “clergy” of the new religious structure who support the “Honorary Patriarch” of the OCU Filaret Denisenko can become “schismatics” for the Constantinople Patriarchate, the “BBC. Ukraine” news agency reported.

“For an attempt to implement “Filaret’s scenario” and deviate from the provisions of the Tomos and the statute (of the OCU - Ed.), the Phanar can apply sanctions. Those hierarchs or clergymen who may follow Filaret are allegedly at risk of becoming "schismatics" for Constantinople and find themselves having a non-canonical status,” the “BBC. Ukraine” journalists reported the information from a source close to Epiphany.

In their opinion, the majority of “hierarchs” of the new religious organization are afraid of such a prospect.

But the source of the news agency close to Filaret claims that there is discontent in the relationship of Constantinople and the head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko. Among the reasons, he cited the situation with the transfer of foreign parishes to the new church structure under the jurisdiction of the Phanar and the formalization of the official name of the religious organization.

“There are questions about the formalization of the name of the new church as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (OCU), although there should have been only the OCU,” the source of the “BBC. Ukraine” said.

According to the journalists, Epiphany’ supporters are still confident that they will be able to avoid a split in the newly created church structure.

A meeting of the “synod” of the OCU is scheduled for May 24, 2019. Next day, the head of this church structure plans to celebrate his Angel's Day and invited all the “bishops” to the celebrations. If most of them come to the event, it will show full support for Epiphany.

Earlier, Filaret said that he can’t exclude a split in the OCU, but he will not give up the idea of creating the Kiev Patriarchate.

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