Delegation of Ukrainian politicians attends church ceremony in Istanbul


Credo.Press, 5 January 2019


Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew signed on 5 January a tomos concerning autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PTsU); a direct broadcast of this historic event was carried by Ukrainian and Greek television channels.


RIA Novosti reports that before the ceremony a prayer service was held in the patriarchal cathedral of St. George in Istanbul, which was led by the primate of the new autocephalous church, Metropolitan Epifany.


After the ceremony of signing, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine Epifany, and Ukrainian Petro Poroshenko delivered speeches.


The ceremonies in the patriarchate of Constantinople also were attended by the speaker of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, Andrei Paruby; the minister of economic development of Ukraine, Stepan Kubiv; the Ukrainian minister of defense, Stepan Poltorak; the Ukrainian minister of culture, Evgeny Nishchuk; former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushenko; and other officials.


It is expected that the ceremonial delivery of the tomos to Metropolitan Epifany will occur on 6 January at 8:30 a.m. Immediately after this a festival [Epiphany—tr.] prayer service will be held.


On 7 January, on the feast of the Nativity of Christ, Metropolitan Epifany will lead the liturgy in the cathedral of Holy Wisdom, during which the tomos will be in the cathedral, Levyi Bereg reports. (tr. by PDS, posted 5 January 2019)



Ukrainskaia Pravda, 5 January 2019


The ecumenical patriarchate proclaimed that the entire Orthodox church located within the borders of independent Ukraine henceforth is canonically autocephalous, independent, and self-administering.


This is stated in the text of the tomos, a translation of which was provided to Ukrainskaia Pravda by the administration of the president.


According to the document, the affairs of the church in Ukraine are administered "freely and in the Holy Spirit, without hindrance, and without any other external impetus."


As regards internal ecclesiastical administration, it is secured that it "is considered, judged, and determined solely" by the primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PTsU) and the Holy Synod.


The ecumenical patriarchate urges all Orthodox churches of the world to recognize and commemorate the Ukrainian church under the name "Most Holy Church of Ukraine."


It is also indicated that the autocephalous church of Ukraine recognizes as its head the Most Holy Apostolic and Patriarchal Ecumenical See.


According to the tomos, the metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine, as hierarch of the see of the church of Ukraine, is elected in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the divine and holy canons and in accordance with the provisions of the charter of the church, which must in all matters comport with the provisions of the tomos.


According to the text of the tomos, the Most Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine "comprises annually the bishops who are invited on a rotating basis in accordance with their seniority from among the existing dioceses within the geographical borders of Ukraine."


It is also indicated that the PTsU, through its primary or canonical locum tenens of the Kievan see, is required to participate in inter-Orthodox assemblies which are held from time to time.


It is also noted that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine "may not appoint bishops or establish parishes outside the boundaries of the state," and those already existing are henceforth subject to the ecumenical see.


"For the resolution of important matters of ecclesiastical, dogmatic, and canonical character, His Beatitude, the metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine, in the name of the Holy Synod of his church, must refer to our Most Holy Patriarchal and Ecumenical See, desiring from it an authoritative opinion and firm mutual understanding, with the right of the ecumenical see to an exarchate within Ukraine and the holy stavropegia are maintained undiminished," the text also says.


It is noted there that the tomos "was delivered in an exact and identical copy" to the primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifany, and the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, "for eternal proof and continuous representation." (tr. by PDS, posted 5 January 2019)

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