Head of OCU: Filaret’s ultimatum humiliates me as a primate

Head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko and head of the UOC KP Filaret Denisenko

Epiphany Dumenko responded to Filaret's rant: he won't fulfill ultimatums, won't allow authoritarian style and gave no pledges to the former UOC KP head.

On May 16, 2019, the BBC News Ukraine resource published an interview with the head of the OCU, Epiphany Dumenko, in which he comments on his conflict with "honorary patriarch" of the OCU Filaret.

According to Epiphany, he does not avoid communicating with Filaret, however, “one must understand the difference between advice and ultimatum. Communicating with honorary patriarch Filaret, I repeatedly emphasized this to him – I am ready to listen to his advice,” but added that “I am not ready to fulfill certain ultimatums, since I am a primate who is lawfully elected at the Unification Council ”.

“Therefore, I listened, I communicated, but all this time, to a certain extent, the attitude was humiliating for me as a primate of the Church because of pressure and demands being incompatible with the Statute and Tomos,” the head of the newly created structure explained further.

Speaking about the main differences between him and Filaret, Epiphany noted, “After the election, I spoke a lot about the need to reform and leave old Soviet traditions, but this was not perceived by him (Filaret – Ed.) as a normal thing. His only desire is to return to the old management system. There is a desire not to change and to keep everything in obedience to the will of only one person. As for me, I have a different vision.”

Epiphany also gave explanations about the pledges given to Filaret by him and President Poroshenko before the Unification Council that Epiphany would be the nominal “head” of the OCU, while its actual head would be the former head of the UOC KP.

“Personally, I did not make any promises in front of the council. During half a year, negotiations were conducted; there were a lot of meetings and different offers were made. I was not present at all negotiations, but attended a considerable part of them.

The last agreement on December 14, before the council, was laid out on paper without my presence. This was the final position. Everyone might have thought about his own way, but all agreements usually end up with signing documents. Therefore, to say now that someone somewhere promised something is inappropriate," concluded Epiphany.

As the UOJ reported, on May 14, 2019, the “honorary patriarch” of the OCU, Filaret Denisenko, published an official address “to the entire Ukrainian Orthodox flock” on the website of the Kiev Patriarchate.

In his address, Filaret once again stressed that the Kiev Patriarchate does not need to be reinstated, since it still exists. To substantiate it, the “honorary patriarch” recalled: the UOC KP is still registered with the state bodies of Ukraine.

Denisenko explained the conflict that arose in the newly created OCU by disobedience of the head of this religious organization, Epiphany Dumenko.

“The newly elected Primate of the UOC Metropolitan Epiphany does not comply with the agreements that were reached at the Council on December 15, 2018, in the Cathedral of St. Sofia,” the “honorary patriarch” explained.

On May 12, 2019, Filaret stated that he admits the possibility of a split within the OCU. “I assume the likelihood of the separation of the Church, but we are creating a single Church – Kiev Patriarchate,” he stressed.

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