OCU and Lutherans on the way to unity?

27 May 21:01
Joint Joint "liturgy" of representatives of the OCU and the Lutherans of Germany. Photo: Facebook

The OCU community in Hamburg has performed several joint “worship services” with Germany’s Lutherans, but there is no response from the OCU leadership to this fact. Why?

On May 28, 2023, a joint "liturgy" of representatives of the OCU and Lutherans of Germany will be held in Hamburg. The "priest" of the Dumenko structure invited his parishioners to this "service", promising them "confession" and "communion". Note that the Hamburg Orthodox Lutheran "worship" is far from the first one – something similar happened at Christmas and Easter. However, there has been no reaction from the leadership of the OCU so far. Why?

Western Ukraine will be Uniate

In his interview to the UOJ, Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou said that some kind of experiment is taking place in Western Ukraine, the purpose of which is to completely oust the canonical Church from the region in order to bring its population to union.

In his opinion, the people behind the destruction of churches in Ukraine “do not want the presence of Orthodoxy in all of Western Ukraine, they do not want the Orthodox to live there. They want only Uniates to remain. And you will see that there will be a structure that has never been seen before.”

“They want to make an experiment in Ukraine. They want to convert the whole of Western Ukraine into Uniate. And then our brothers from the Holy Mount, the bishops who will now serve with the OCU, will be surprised. They will see Epifaniy serve with the Uniates,” said Metropolitan Neophytos.

They do concelebrate.

Let us remind you of some of the most resonant "concelebrations" with Catholics (Uniates and Catholics are one structure), not only representatives of the OCU, but also its leadership.

For example, on October 14, 2019, in the city of Varash, in the altar of an Orthodox church, the Catholic priest Vasyl Plakhotka prayed together with Epifaniy Dumenko and other members of the OCU.

On November 4, 2019, in the village of Hermakivka, Ternopil region, the rector of the local church of the OCU Volodymyr Stefanko prayed at the festive service of the UGCC together with the Uniate Bishop Dmytro Hryhorak and Greek Catholic clergy.

On October 14, 2022, the “archbishop” of the OCU, Nestor Pysyk, and other representatives of the OCU concelebrated with the rector of the Catholic Church of St. Sophia in Pidvolochysk Petro Savchak.

We have no doubt that all these cases of joint “worship” are just the tip of the iceberg that has come to the attention of the media. In fact, the situation is much worse than it seems. And this is no wonder given the position of the leadership of the UGCC, OCU, RCC and Phanar.

OCU, UGCC and union

For several years now, both Shevchuk and Dumenko have been saying that the UGCC and the OCU should unite. Thus, Dumenko stated back in 2019 that “in the future we (the OCU and the UGCC – Ed.) will look for those points of contact that will unite us.” Dumenko’s position was endorsed by Shevchuk, who noted that “the road map that His Beatitude Epifaniy spoke about is nothing but our definite intentions to serve our people together. And to develop the tradition of the once united, but today, unfortunately, divided Kievan Church. Because today we can already become a union.”

Today we can say that the first steps towards this middle ground have already been taken – the OCU and the UGCC almost simultaneously switched to a new calendar and from now on will celebrate Christmas and other holidays together. Actually, this decision was hardly dictated by the desire of these structures to be “away from Moscow”, but by their desire to be closer to Rome.

The fact is that in 2025, Phanariots and Catholics have scheduled a joint celebration of Easter. By this date, probably, the rapprochement is planned not only for the Phanar and Rome, but, first of all, for the OCU and the UGCC.

This fact is recognized even by the pro-Uniate telegram channels, which write that “there is a desire of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Pope to celebrate Easter together and dedicate it to the anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council. There is a tendency towards unification and the creation of a United Ukrainian Church... Will the OCU not meet the wishes of the Ecumenical Patriarch? Moreover, the idea of uniting with the UGCC is already sparkling in the air, which, in turn, will not go against the wishes of the pope.”

Indeed, neither the OCU nor the UGCC will dare to object to their masterminds if the latter order to unite. The same Dumenko stated that "the key to the union of the OCU and the UGCC is not in Ukraine, but in Rome and Constantinople."

In addition, the curators themselves show their subordinates an example of "respect" and striving towards each other. It will suffice to recall the prayer of Patriarch Bartholomew in the Catholic abbey of Belgium, Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy in Rochefort.

Therefore, the joint "liturgies" of the Orthodox and the Uniates no longer cause surprise or resistance within both structures (OCU and UGCC). Likewise, the attempts of the OCU to move closer to the Lutherans are no wonder. Moreover, the Phanariots have been making advances to the Lutherans for a long time.

Phanar and Lutherans

For example, on September 29, 2022, the Finnish Archdiocese of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland signed a joint baptismal declaration. This declaration not only acknowledges the “grace” of Lutheran baptism, but also says that “the Orthodox Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church have common roots in the undivided Christianity of the first millennium”, but “subsequently, the doctrine was developed so that we have different ideas about Baptism and how it is performed.”

Lutherans are heretics. Not schismatics or something else, but heretics. In addition, back in 1986, the Lutherans of the same Finland approved the female priesthood (by 2013, the number of “female pastors” in Finland already amounted to 50% of the total number of clergy, while in 2010, the Lutherans of Finland ordained their first “bishopess”).

In 2017, Lutherans shared the “rejoice” over the “equal marriage” law, i.e. recognized LGBT marriages. The ROC immediately broke off the dialogue with them. Interestingly, Patriarch Bartholomew, in response to the Lutherans' position on accepting homosexuality, stated that although he condemns homosexuality, he will continue the dialogue with Lutherans "on a social and theological level".

Apparently, it is precisely within the framework of this “dialogue” that the representative of the OCU in Hamburg, Yaroslav Bogodist, performs his “service”. Albeit, he went a little further than the “social and theological level” and decided to conduct an experiment to change the very essence and understanding of the Orthodox liturgy, turning it into something incomprehensible.

OCU and Lutherans

On December 25, 2022, the “priest” of the OCU in Hamburg Bogodist announced on his Facebook page a “unique historical Christmas service”. According to Bogodist, “it is unique in that we will celebrate a joint liturgy with Pastor Kord Scholer, in which there will be two Eucharist, Orthodox and Protestant, this will be a common holiday, united in love for Christ Jesus.” How technically this "union" of the two "Eucharists" took place is unknown. Which, however, is not a big deal, because the concept of "Eucharist" for Bogodist is relative and, probably, as close as possible to the Lutheran one.

How else to explain the fact that on the day when Orthodox Christians celebrated the Resurrection of Christ, he did not serve at all? Rather, Bogodist celebrated the “Great Liturgy” the day before (on Holy Saturday) at 20.00, but on the very day of Easter he limited himself to “the consecration of Easter baskets.” Let's leave aside the fact that the "Easter Liturgy" at eight in the evening contradicts the Gospel, the tradition of the Church and, in general, the slightest understanding about Orthodox worship in general. Such an attitude towards the liturgy on the part of the representative of the OCU is hardly surprising.

It is also not surprising that “priest” Bogodist and his community in 2023 celebrated the Resurrection of Christ according to the “European Easter” together with the Lutherans, on April 9, a week earlier than Orthodox Christians around the world. Apparently, the “priest” of the OCU from Hamburg matured to the point of changing the calendar even earlier than his superiors in Kyiv.

Actually, in relation to other “things”, this advanced representative of the Dumenko structure is working ahead of the curve. For example, in terms of LGBT. It will just suffice to take a look at this photo with one of the Lutheran pastors, who has a scarf around his neck in colors characteristic of homosexuals.

Be that as it may, we are witnessing the process of the rapid creation in Ukraine of a new structure that will include all the religious diversity of Europe – from Catholics to Protestants of various stripes. This structure should become a platform to serve for the final merging of Catholicism with the Phanariots. Perhaps it is for this reason that the Tomos, which Patriarch Bartholomew handed over to Dumenko, does not say that the Church being created in Ukraine will be called "Orthodox". Instead, it enunciates the establishment of the “Holy Church of Ukraine”, since according to its masterminds, it will be devoid of Orthodoxy.

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