The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate released a communiqué from its Thursday-Friday regular session, stating that, as Ukraine’s “true Mother Church,” it has decided to begin a dialogue and coordination with its sister autocephalous Orthodox Churches on the matter of creating an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The statement comes in response to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s personal appeal to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for a united, autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The appeal was sent with the backing of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, and the hierarchs of Ukraine’s two schismatic Orthodox confessions, the “Kiev Patriarchate” and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.”
The Ecumenical Patriarchate’s statement reads:
In accordance with the Divine and Sacred Canons, as well as century-old ecclesiastical order and Holy Tradition, the Ecumenical Patriarchate concerns itself with the preservation of Pan-Orthodox unity and the care for the Orthodox Churches throughout the world—especially of the Ukrainian Orthodox Nation that has received the salvific Christian faith and holy baptism from Constantinople. Thus, as its true Mother Church, it examined matters pertaining to the ecclesiastical situation in Ukraine, as done in previous synodal sessions, and having received from ecclesiastical and civil authorities—representing millions of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians—a petition that requests the bestowal of autocephaly, decided to closely communicate and coordinate with its sister Orthodox Churches concerning this matter.
President Poroshenko has stated that ideally, all Orthodox Churches, including the Russian Orthodox Church would unite in agreement to grant an autocephalous Church to Ukraine.
“This is the only way to clean itself at least somehow from the anger and sins committed by Russian military, propagandists and sometimes, unfortunately, Russian priests on the territory of Ukraine,” Poroshenko emphasized, and adding that no one, including His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has the right to veto a decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch, UKRInform reports.
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