ONLY FOUR BISHOPS RESPOND TO VLADYKA FILARET'S INVITATION
RISU, 14 May 2019
Only four bishops arrived at the invitation of Honorary Patriarch Filaret for the celebration in honor of the holy martyr Makary and for "friendly conversation." This was reported by the BBC.
Of the more than 40 hierarchs of the former Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate (UPTsKP), journalists noted Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea Kliment at the divine liturgy, and also a group of hierarchs of the Kiev patriarchate who come from Russia: Metropolitan of Belgorod and Oboiansk Ioasaf, his vicar bishop Petr, and Bishop Adrian.
Archbishop Kliment, the publication notes, arrived for the celebration out of respect for Filaret.
Not appearing was one of the most influential hierarchs of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PTsU), who at the unification council was the main competitor to Metropolitan Epifany for the primacy in the new church, Metropolitan of Lutsk and Volyn Mikhail, whom sources have called one of the possible allies of Honorary Patriarch Filaret.
Metropolitan Epifany also did not appear at the St. Vladimir's cathedral. On this day he has a planned visit in Mariupol.
During the liturgy, Vladyka Filaret commemorated Metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine Epifany in the diptych of primates of the local Orthodox churches.
Yesterday, 13 May, the same bishops of the former UPTsKP prayed in the St. Vladimir's cathedral in an all-night vigil, which preceded the liturgy. As noted on her Facebook page by the journalist Yaroslava Mishchenko, who attended the divine liturgy, schism in the PTsU has not occurred.
"I once again congratulate Patriarch Filaret. He was able to make a freedom-loving church, for which we will be yet be thankful to him in the future. Although it will not be as it was in the past. There cannot be dual-power any longer. In the final analysis, it is dangerous," Mishchenko wrote.
As RISU has already reported, Honorary Patriarch Filaret summoned to the St. Vladimir's cathedral the former clergy of the UPTsKP for commemorating the holy martyr Makary and for friendly conversation. Vladyka Filaret sent the invitation to the prayer on the letterhead of the Kiev patriarchate to all bishops except Metropolitan Epifany. After publicity in the news media, he also invited the primate of the PTsU, Epifany.
Honorary Patriarch Filaret previously criticized the current charter of the PTsU and declared that the Kiev patriarchate still exists. A number of observers called today's "friendly conversation" with the hierarchs in the Vladimir cathedral an attempt by Vladyka Filaret to revive and to head the UPTsKP and thereby split the PTsU. (tr. by PDS, posted 14 May 2019)
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