Constantinople “canonically restored” the head of the “Kiev Patriarchate” – what’s going on

The Patriarchate of Constantinople “canonically restored” the head of the unrecognized “Kiev Patriarchate” Filaret (Mikhail Denisenko), head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) Macarius of Miletich, and the clergy and parishioners of both structures.

  • Archbishop of Tulchin and Bratslav Jonathan: the self-Proclaimed “Kiev Patriarchate”, refusing repentance, made a bid for the betrayal of Orthodoxy
  • Archpriest Igor Prekup: Mikhail Denisenko I don’t believe
  • “Kiev Patriarchate”: Anathema on Filaret uncanonical, repentance is not needed autocephaly
  • Former Metropolitan Filaret denies reconciliation and requires autocephaly

This is stated in paragraph 3 of the decision of the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople:

“To receive and consider petitions for appeal of Filaret Denisenko, Macarius of Miletich and their followers caught in the split is not for dogmatic reasons, in accordance with the canonical prerogatives of the Patriarch of Constantinople to receive petitions from the bishops and other clergy from all Autocephalous Churches. Thus, the above-mentioned canonically restored to their hierarchical or priestly titles, and their followers were restored to communion with the Church.”

He Filaret (Denysenko) said at a briefing that the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople took his anathema.

“To accept the bishops that were ordained me after the imposition of an anathema is valid, it was necessary to invalidate the political anathema that you have imposed on me,” said Filaret.

“This decision on the invalidity of all these restrictions gives us the opportunity now to unite with the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate, who want to unite, and to unite with the Autocephalous Church,” said Filaret.

Why was this done?

The question of “canonical recovery” Filaret (Denisenko) is dictated by the desire to create a “Unified Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church” (EPOC) that should receive the Tomos of autocephaly from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. EPPUS does not exist in the “Kiev Patriarchate” I think that it should be proclaimed at the unity Cathedral, bishops – the supporters of the autocephaly of the KP, the UOC and the UAOC. Such a Council is impossible, while Filaret under anathema, and “KP” is not canonical.

What will happen now?

The logic of the supporters of the autocephaly, after the current decisions of Constantinople in Kiev to be held in the Cathedral with the bishops of the ‘Patriarchate of Kiev’, the UAOC and the part of the clergy of the UOC, which supported the request for Tomos. The task of the Cathedral – to create EPOC and elect its first Hierarch. After that Patriarch Bartholomew can give him the Tomos of autocephaly. To do this, Ukraine can continue to work the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which organize the Church. Now the most probable applicant for a post of the future head EPUC called Filaret (Denysenko).

The reaction of the Russian and Ukrainian Churches

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“Constantinople actually says that he entered into canonical communion with schismatics and with a person excommunicated from the Church. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church at its next meeting, which will take place on October 15 in Minsk, will provide an appropriate assessment of these actions,” — said the Chairman of the Synodal Department for Church and society and the media Vladimir Legoyda.

The head of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk has called the adopted on Thursday the decision of the Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate on the Ukrainian question “lawless act” that violates the inter-Orthodox unity and violate Church canons.

“Constantinople their actions crosses the red line and dramatically breaks the unity of the world Orthodoxy,” – said the press Secretary of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Cyril Alexander Volkov.

According to Volkov, the Russian Church “will be forced to break off the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople” after his decision to remove the anathema from Filaret.

The Chairman of the Synodal information Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Archbishop Kliment (Vecherya) called the decision of the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine is non-canonical and interference in the Affairs of the local Church, stated

“This solution is completely non-canonical, because this territory does not belong to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, how he can remove anathema? He has no Canon law. I think that such actions of Patriarch Bartholomew must impose an anathema,” said Archbishop Clement.

What is the “Kiev Patriarchate” and who is Filaret?

“The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate” Church structure that emerged in 1992 with the support of the then leadership of the independent Ukraine. It was headed by the former Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, Patriarch Filaret (Denysenko).

UOC-KP is building his story to the Kyiv metropolis, which was under the jurisdiction of Constantinople, denying the legitimacy of its transition to the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Moscow in 1686. Currently, however, it is not recognized by any of the canonical Orthodox churches.

June 11, 1992 the Council of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to excommunicate the monk Philaret (Denisenko) from the Church because he “did not heed the request to him from the face of the Mother Church the call to repentance and continued in the period between the councils of their schismatic activities, which he stretched beyond the Russian Orthodox Church, contributing to the deepening of the schism in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and taking communion schismatics from other local Orthodox Churches; criminally neglecting a reasonable prohibition on the part of the legitimate ecclesiastical authority — by deprivation of dignity, he continued to perform sacrilegious “divine services”, including blasphemous luchistoye; not having the priesthood, the monk Philaret, the temptation of many, dared to name himself “Patriarch of Kiev and all Rus-Ukraine”, while the ancient Kyiv cathedra is lawfully canonical Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the rank of Metropolitan; the monk Filaret has not ceased to build hula on the episcopate, clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, abiding in canonical communion with the Russian Orthodox Church and via it with the whole of the universal Orthodox Church, continuing to inflict their criminal acts damage to Orthodoxy in Ukraine”.

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Have there already been attempts to return Philaret to the Church?

In November 2017, the head of the breakaway Ukrainian Church-Kyiv Patriarchate, Patriarch Filaret (Mikhail Denisenko) has sent a letter to the address held in Moscow bishops ‘ Council of Russian Orthodox Church. In the letter he voiced the request for the restoration of Eucharistic and prayerful communion with the Christians, consisting of the Ukrainian Church split, and the abolition of “all decisions, including the banning and the separation… for the sake of God commanded the world, among fellow Orthodox Christians and reconciliation between peoples.”

The letter contained a request for the restoration of Eucharistic and prayerful communion with the Christians, consisting of the Ukrainian Church split, and the abolition of “all decisions, including the banning and the separation… for the sake of God commanded the world, among fellow Orthodox Christians and reconciliation between peoples.”

“I apologize to all that have sinned in word, deed, and all my senses, and from the heart sincerely forgive all” — several a letter to the Patriarch.

The Council of bishops welcomed the appeal as a step toward overcoming the division and set up a Commission for negotiations with representatives of self-proclaimed “Kiev Patriarchate”.

The next day the head of the unrecognized “Kiev Patriarchate” has confirmed that he wrote an appeal to the Russian Orthodox Church, but told reporters that it misread:

“We are constantly talking about the fact that Ukraine needs a single local Orthodox Church. For this purpose we went to conciliation. But, as you know, reconciliation did not take place because the Council (held in Moscow bishops ‘ Council. — Pravmir), using my address, sent not on reconciliation and not on addressing the issue of autocephaly, and the fact that we supposedly want to return to the bosom of the Russian Church”.

Former Metropolitan Filaret also said he did not intend to repent:

“I declare firmly: no repentance that chose the path of Ukrainian autocephaly — there was and never will be. God gave us the state and there should be an independent Orthodox Church. It is an axiom”.

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