The Constantinople Patriarchy and its US backers continue fierce efforts to rescue and legitimize the still-born project of the ‘independent’ Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). The non-canonic entity has entered into ‘hard times’ immidiately after its creation. So, it constantly needs support of its foreign backers.
According to orthodoxie.com, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, together with Archon National Commander Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, will present the Athenagoras Human Rights Award to the OCU head, Metropolitan Epiphanios, at the New York Hilton Midtown on October 19, 2019.
The official version claims that the award is set to be grated to Metropolitan Epiphanios because he “has been a strong advocate for religious freedom and a key defender of the ecclesiastical and canonical prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
From 2009 to 2018 Metropolitan Epiphanius, then virtually unknown outside of Ukraine, was a bishop in the uncanonical Ukrainain Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate. He has been a bishop only since October 2018, and the head of the OCU only since January 2019. It is entirely unclear when and how he has distinguished himself with a personal record as “a strong advocate for religious freedom and a key defender of the ecclesiastical and canonical prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
Furthermore, the OCU, and especially his head, is now engaged in a deep conflict with the Kyiv Patriarchate over the political power and money flows within uncanonical religious entities in Ukraine. Ironically, the Kyiv Patriarchate was the key founding organization of the OCU.
The decision to provide this ‘human rights’ award to Epiphanios is just another public confirmation of the fact that the OCU is a solely political entity created with clear purposes. So, its backers are ready to do all what is needed to provide own agenda.