Hierarch of Greek Church: OCU is not canonical, Dumenko is a layman
Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus believes that people who do not have holy dignity participated in the so-called “Unification Council” of the OCU.
Seraphim (Menzelopoulos), Metropolitan of Piraeus of the Hellenic Orthodox Church, believes that such church as the “OCU” does not exist from the canonical point of view and its entire “hierarchy” is non-ordained laymen, the Greek publication Romfea reports citing the website of the Piraeus Metropolis.
In particular, commenting on the decisions of the Council of Bishops of October 12, His Eminence Seraphim emphasized that “referring to the sacred canons and the canonical order of our Church, we completely refuted the unfounded and unscrupulous conclusion of the synodal commission on canonical issues, which was fully accepted by His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece at the Council of Bishops, namely that allegedly, according to the 9th and 17th rules of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, the Most Holy Ecumenical Patriarch has the privilege of ‘considering appeals’ from the hierarchs of all other Local Churches."
According to Metropolitan Piraeus, “it is clear that such a statement is not valid, since these rules suggest that the Diocese Exarch and the Ecumenical Patriarch are vested with a parallel jurisdiction. The Holy Fifth-Sixth Ecumenical Council, which selectively approved some rules of the Council of Carthage, resolved this issue once and for all.”
That’s why, says Vladyka, “the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate made a peremptory and an ultimate decision to reinstate the former clergy, who are now even lay people, in the priestly rank without proper jurisdiction and canonical competence, since they had been earlier deprived of the holy dignity by the perfect patriarchal council of the Russian Church."
According to Metropolitan Piraeus, “the decrees of the Constantinople Patriarchate are INVALID for they were adopted by the body that has no canonical competence thereon and will remain INVALID forever, no matter how many years pass, since only the de jure principle rather than the de facto one applies in the Church of Christ.”
Based on these arguments, the metropolitan emphasizes that “given the legal and canonical grounds, it follows that the so-called ‘Unification Council’ is also INVALID, because people who did not have the holy dignity participated in it, therefore the granting of autocephalous status to the canonically non-existent ‘church’ structure is INVALID as well."
Consequently, says Metropolitan Seraphim, “I have never supported His Beatitude’s proposal to recognize autocephaly in this invalid and canonically non-existent ‘church’ created in Ukraine. It was documented that I resolutely expressed my opinion and said that we are invited to recognize invalid ecclesiastic acts being detrimental to the unity of the Church. I also warned of possible tragic implications that can be foreseen immediately.”
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that, according to Protopresbyter Nikolaos Savvopoulos, the Council of Bishops of the Greek Church tried to trap the hierarchs, preventing them from studying the conclusions of the synodal committees.