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Canonical anomalies (on the issue of recognition of consecrations in the OCU)

Now there is more and more talk about the need to unite with the so-called “OCU”, moreover, they sound not only from the lips of people who are far from church life, but also from the lips of some hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who directly declare their readiness to start a dialogue with representatives of the OCU, who are already called “lords” and “metropolitans” without any hesitation. But for the recognition of a religious community by the Church, there are some criteria, one of the main ones is the legality, the canonicity of the hierarchy.

I often write about this, because I personally see this issue as a cornerstone, because if the hierarchy and priesthood are illegal, then they are ungrateful, which means that the sacraments are not performed, which means that all sacred rites turn into a costumed farce, and people who come to such false priests , do not receive the grace-filled help of God and are deprived of the opportunity to begin the saving fruits of the redemptive feat of Christ the Savior, which are given to believers only in the Church.

Now excuses are heard more and more often – the “consecrations” of the “OCU” were recognized by the Patriarch of Constantinople. But let’s try to trace and ask ourselves the question: what ordinations did p. Bartholomew recognize?

There is one very interesting citizen in the episcopate of the OCU, “Metropolitan of Chernivtsi and Bukovina Danilo (Kovalchuk)”, whose biography is very indicative in the context of understanding the attitude of members of the “OCU” to their “consecrations”. So, this citizen, who, after working on a collective farm, managed to graduate from the Moscow Theological Seminary in two years, was ordained to the priesthood in the Moscow Patriarchate and in Soviet times served as parish priest in the churches of the Ivano-Frankivsk diocese. In 1989, he joined the resurgent “UAOC” of Ioann Bodnarchuk and was “ordained” in 1990 as the “Bishop of Chernivtsi and Bukovina.” It is important to note that he was consecrated by: John Bodnarchuk, his brother Vasily Bodnarchuk and Andrei Abramchuk. John Bodnarchuk by that time had already been deprived of his bishopric. Vasily Bodnarchuk and Andrei Abramchuk were ordained by the defrocked John, together with the rogue Vikentiy Chekalin, who had never been a bishop and whose episcopal rank was never recognized by anyone.

Precisely due to the fact that such ordination cannot and never could be recognized as legitimate, correct and grace-filled, the former Metropolitan Filaret Denisenko, when Daniil Kovalchuk joined the “Kyiv Patriarchate” being created in 1992, accepted him as a priest and “ordained” again to the rank of bishop. The “second consecration” was performed by the former Metropolitan Filaret himself, as well as Anthony Masendich, who had also been re-ordained by Filaret a few days before, and Sofroniy Vlasov. And Daniel Kovalchuk again became a bishop, and soon the archbishop of Chernivtsi.

But then, in 2018, Patriarch Bartholomew decided to recognize as wholesale all the ordinations performed in the UAOC and UOC-KP.

And here is the most important question: which of the two consecrations of Daniil Kovalchuk was recognized by p. Bartholomew – the first or the second one?

If the first, one then Filaret and “all those with him” should be quickly banned for re-consecration of someone who has the correct and legal ordination. If the latter, then it was impossible to recognize the consecrations of Andrei Abramchuk, Makariy Maletich and all those belonging to the “Vikentian” branch of the consecrations of the “UAOC”. But at the same time to recognize both the “re-ordained” Daniil and the “non-ordained” Andrei is nonsense. And there are many such “nonsense”.

In any case, the described “canonical nonsense” vividly testifies to how the OCU and Constantinople treat the most important, the most basic pillar of the grace-filled organization of the Church – apostolic succession. It is very important to remember this both for the hierarchs of the Church at the time of the interview and for ordinary parishioners who are looking not for a pseudo-religious surrogate advertised in the false media, but for the genuine and grace-filled Church of Christ.

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