Epiphany compares OCU with Apostle Paul
Dumenko believes that the OCU has never deviated from the teaching of the Orthodox Church and the system of church life determined by the canons.
On November 21, 2021, the head of the OCU, Epiphany Dumenko, compared his structure with the Apostle Paul, and those who did not recognize the OCU with the Apostle Peter, reports the website of the OCU.
In his sermon on the day of the Archangel Michael, Dumenko explained to his listeners that the words "canon" and "canonical" mean "law" and "correct". Continuing his speech, he noted that "the modern adherents of the law, whom the scribes and Pharisees considered themselves to be then, now appropriate the definition of the ‘canonical Church’, that is, ‘lawful’, and everyone who does not agree to follow their precepts is called ‘non-canonical’".
He accused the canonical Church of non-compliance with the canons and noted that "for decades these legalists, or canonical ones, have told us that no one recognized the Ukrainian Church and no one communicated with it, and by this they justified their departure from unity with us."
Epiphany further compared the OCU with the Apostle Paul: “Having no reliable accusation against us in matters really important such as doctrine, organization of church life, observance of Holy Tradition, they reproached us for allegedly violating the canons – just as false brothers reproached the Apostle Paul that he was violating the law of Moses."
Dumenko, whose structure was created contrary to the canons of the Church, is sure that the representatives of the OCU "has never deviated from the teaching of the Orthodox Church, from the structure of church life determined by the canons".
He also said that in a "dispute" with the canonical Church, "which lasted for decades, God showed who is right and who is wrong" since the head of the Phanar "three years ago together with the Synod made decisions that confirmed the independence of the Ukrainian Church".
“But instead of listening to the voices of not even us, your brothers, but the Ecumenical Patriarch, these legalists began to reject and condemn him as well. They also condemn and revolt Christians against all the Primates, and all the Local Churches that followed this good decision,” Dumenko said.
According to him, all this resembles a situation when “the zealots of the old law followed the Apostle Paul and angered the local Churches, teaching that only their vision was ‘canonical’ and the apostolic preaching was ‘non-canonical’ because it did not adhere to their legalistic, interpretations and traditions of the elders".
“Such false brothers, as we know, temporarily tempted even the Apostle Peter and some other apostles, and they began to move away from communion with Christians converted from pagans, although they did not reject communion with the Apostle Paul,” Dumenko noted.
He continued that "like Peter at that time and now, some of the Churches, not rejecting communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch, are prematurely removed from us". Dumenko believes that “this temptation will pass” and “the newest legalists will either realize their mistake and correct themselves, having returned to the fullness of unity with the whole Church from which they arbitrarily departed, unilaterally breaking off the Eucharistic communion, or they will completely fall away from the Church as dry branches fall away from a living vine."
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the Phanar hierarch compared Bartholomew with the Apostle Paul and John Chrysostom.