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Polish Orthodox Church points to invalidity of&nbs…

Polish Orthodox Church points to invalidity of ordinations performed in the ‘OCU'

DECR Communication Service, 29.08.2022. 

The Polish Orthodox Church has confirmed the position expressed by it earlier on its non-recognition of the validity of episcopal and priestly ‘consecrations’ performed in the ‘OCU’ created by merging several schismatic groups.

The statement published by the official website of the Polish Orthodox Church on August 23, 2022, reiterates that the structure proclaimed in 2019 under the leadership of Dumenko does not conform to the terms of canonicity.

‘What remains as a fundamental doubt is the legitimacy of the priestly and episcopal consecrations - including that of the so-called ‘head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine’- performed in the period from 1992 to 2018 by the former Metropolitan Philaret (Denisenko) of Kiev and All Ukraine. By the decision of the Russian Orthodox Church made in 1992, the former metropolitan Philaret was deprived of his episcopal and priestly consecrations for his apostasy of monastic vows. In 1997, due to his actions violating canonical norms, he was reverted to the state of layman. These decisions have been approved by all the Local Orthodox Churches. Devoid of ordination, a man cannot and has no right to ordain others’, the document states.

As was established in the Polish Orthodox Church, the unsettled canonical status of this structure has far-reaching dogmatic and canonical consequences: ‘The sacraments administered by laymen cannot be regarded as valid! The protracted informal status of the OCU has caused alarm and incomprehension among the faithful as well as in the whole Orthodox Church.

The statement refers to the fact that the Polish Orthodox Church has repeatedly called to convene a meeting of the heads of the Local Orthodox Churches in a spirit of love, humbleness and understanding and has reminded that a decision on autocephaly should be made on the basis of dogmatic and canonical norms existing for the whole Church, not for a group of apostates. ‘Those who deviate from the teaching of the Holy Church cannot represent a healthy ecclesiastical organism. It violates the Eucharistic unity of entire Orthodoxy’, the document stressed.

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