Epiphany Dumenko’s recent interviews are more reminiscent of an advertising campaign than a conversation of a religious leader about spiritual things. Obviously, the “OCU” makes a significant stake on the media promotion of its structure, including personally Dumenko himself. The goal of the OCU PR specialists is to create an image of a “people’s church” and “so close to us” leader, who can be asked scabrous questions like “how do you look without a cassock” (this is a real question from Yanina Sokolova).
These interviews paint a picture of a poor religious structure, which, according to Dumenko, “has no oligarchs` help,” but is donated exclusively by parishioners.
The question immediately arises: what about Poroshenko? No help any more?
We don’t care about the OCU’s accounting (and there is nothing wrong with helping rich people), but why deny the obvious? For example, everyone already knows that one of the sponsors of various projects of the OCU is the Lviv businessman Andriy Matsola – he is their main “money wallet” (and not the donations of believers, which the OCU actually has few).
The Ukrainian Wikipedia directly says about Matsola that “every year, with the support of a philanthropist, students of the Kyiv and Volyn Orthodox Theological Academies go to study at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki.” Moreover, this is not the only form of support for the OCU on its part. At the same time, the “patriotism” of the schismatics does not prevent them from taking this money, even knowing that Matsola is successfully doing (well, or at least had been doing) business with Russia and pays considerable taxes to the RF budget.
Why is Dumenko lying? (The question is rhetorical, of course, but still).
As we have already said, this is done with the aim of creating an artificial image of the “poor” and thus close to the people “church”. On the other hand, in this way, Dumenko hints to Poroshenko, Narik and Matsola that they could donate more funds and not be greedy.