POROSHENKO ANOUNCES DATE AND PLACE FOR CONDUCTING UNIFICATION COUNCIL OF UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
RISU, 5 December 2018
The unification council for Ukrainian autocephaly will be held on 15 December.
This was declared by President Petro Poroshenko, speaking at a forum on local administration in Kiev, Ukrainskaia Pravda reports.
"I am happy to make public the date of the unification council which should proclaim the creation of the autocephalous local Orthodox church in Ukraine. This council will confirm its charter—of our new church. This council will select a primate," he said.
"The council will be held on 15 December 2018 in Holy Wisdom [cathedral], which over the course of centuries has been the center of Orthodox Ukrainian religious life," Poroshenko reported.
"His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew informed me that he has signed the corresponding letters with invitations to the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and to the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, with an invitation to participate in this extraordinarily important historic event," the president added.
He also said that "1300 years ago [sic] we were baptized. . . . , 332 years ago Moscow annexed the Kiev metropolia, 100 years ago the government of the Ukrainian People's Republic for the first time placed on the agenda the question of autocephaly, but at that time they did not retain statehood," and 27 years ago the struggle of Ukrainians for the church was revived.
"4.5 years ago we intensified the dialogue with the ecumenical patriarch and now we have three fundamental decisions," Poroshenko said.
"First, the ecumenical patriarch and the Synod rejected the claim of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine as the supposed canonical territory of the RPTs. Second, they made and confirmed the decision to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. And third, they prepared a tomos," he specified.
"Now colossal responsibility lies on the hierarchs of the Ukrainian church, so that in peace and harmony, in a spirit of Christian love, and in a spirit of patriotism the council will be conducted to select a primate who will travel to Constantinople and receive the tomos," Poroshenko also said. (tr. by PDS, posted 5 December 2018)
REACTION IN MOSCOW TO POROSHENKO STATEMENT ABOUT DATE OF UNIFICATION COUNCIL
RISU, 5 December 2018
The patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church is upset because of the fact that the date of the unification council was announced by President Petro Poroshenko and not by one of the heads of Ukrainian churches.
This was stated by the chairman of the synodal Department for Relations of Church with Society and News Media of the Moscow patriarchate, Vladimir Legoida, Ukrainskaia Pravda writes with a reference to TASS.
"Here's an interesting thing: the date of the so-called unification council in Ukraine was announced not by Patriarch Bartholomew or Mikhail Antonovich Denisenko (Metropolitan Filaret—ed.). Or some other head of the uncanonical formations. But the president of Ukraine. This is pure Emperor Constantine!," he wrote on Telegram.
Legoida also stated that "the times now are completely different."
"And after this can one seriously say that what is happening is not a political project?" he added.
Speaking at a forum on local administration in Kiev, Poroshenko declared that on 15 December the unification council pertaining to Ukrainian autocephaly will be held. (tr. by PDS, posted 5 December 2018)
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