Filaret: OCU is non-canonical Church

Archbishop Ieronymos, Patriarch Bartholomew and Epiphany

The UOC-KP head believes that on June 10, none of the hierarchs of Local Churches served with Epiphany at Phanar, since they do not recognize him "as a canonical head".

Filaret Denisenko stated that the OCU is not a canonical Church, since it is not recognized by any of the Local Churches except Phanar. He said this in an interview with the Ukrainian radio in the program Persona Grata.

“Do not call the OCU as a canonical Church, do not state a lie,” said the UOC-KP leader to the correspondent of Ukrainian Radio. “It is not recognized by other Churches as canonical, but is recognized only by one Ecumenical Patriarch. It has Tomos only nominally, but actually it is not autocephalous. OCU is not recognized as a canonical Church by any of 13 Local Churches. So how can it be canonical? When no one serves with Metropolitan Epiphany except the Ecumenical Patriarch?”

Filaret reminded that when the Tomos was received, the recognition of the OCU by the Autocephalous Churches did not follow: “Not a single Church, not only the Russian, but also Hellas, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Serbian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Polish, Georgian – no one recognizes the new structure. Therefore, we should not boast that we have a tomos on autocephaly. It has misled us.”

Filaret also commented on the presence of Epiphany at the name day feast of Patriarch Bartholomew on Phanar, when many media outlets rushed to disseminate the information that the hierarchs of the Local Churches had served together with the head of the OCU.

“This Church (OCU – Ed.) only says that it is canonical,” says Filaret. “But if it is canonical, then why on June 10, when Metropolitan Epiphany congratulated the Ecumenical Patriarch and there were representatives of the Patriarch of Alexandria, the Jerusalem and Hellas Churches, did they not serve with him? Why did they not serve? Because these Churches do not recognize Epiphany as a canonical head of the Church.”

Earlier, Filaret said that if we take the position that in 2018 Phanar removed the anathema from him, then the whole “episcopate” of the UOC KP, including Epiphany, is not valid.

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