19-06-2019

Filaret makes controversial statements against OCU, its head, and hierarchs

Patriarch Emeritus Filaret has made a new controversial statement against the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Metropolitan Epifaniy and all the hierarchs of the OCU. He states that he has been the Patriarch throughout the years of existence of the Kyiv Patriarchate and remains so now. Filaret has said this in an interview with Ukrajinske Radio, reports Today.

“It's good that the Ecumenical Patriarch lifted my anathema in 2018," Filaret believes. "But had I been under anathema before 2018, or had I not? If I had been under anathema, it means that all these hierarchs (of the OCU, - ed.) are invalid. It means that Epifaniy is not a Metropolitan, and moreover, he is not even a priest,” Filaret said.

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He has noted that he never recognized his anathema from the very beginning, and, as he is sure, it was never recognized by the entire Ukrainian people. It was this confidence that helped him ordain numerous bishops for the UOC-KP. However, in his opinion, the reasoning about lifting his anathema in 2018 undermines the confidence that these ordinations were legitimate.

Filaret has also said that the OCU is not a canonical Church because it is not recognized by any of the local Churches, except the Phanar.

“Do not call the OCU the canonical Church, do not affirm the untrue statements," said Filaret to Ukrajinske radio. "It is not recognized by other churches as canonical, but recognized only by one Ecumenical Patriarch. Despite a formal Tomos. In essence, it is not autocephalous. The OCU is not recognized as canonical by 13 local Churches,” said Filaret.

As reported, Patriarch Emeritus Filaret announced the decision to convene a 'Local Orthodox Council of the Kyiv Patriarchate' on June 20, although the Charter of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine does not grant him such a right. On behalf of Epifaniy, the OCU discouraged Filaret from holding the Council and warned that participation therein would mean a split from the Church.

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