Ukrainian church leader settling in


Credo.Press, 4 January 2019


The church in Ukraine is independent from the state and decides many matters itself without communication with the leadership of the state. This was declared on 4 January by the primate of the newly formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PTsU), Metropolitan Epifany Dumenko in an interview with Deutsche Welle.


"If one speaks honestly, hitherto our communication with the president has occurred only at official events or meetings. But direct contact or resolution of any matter does not exist. It is purely technical matters by my aides for travel or some lists of people who will attend during a worship service, because there will be an appropriate increase of security. But I do not have any such immediate contacts or communication," he said.


Metropolitan Epifany emphasized that this is evidence of the absence of interference by the leadership of the government in church matters, although some people think otherwise. "Actually a lot of criticism is voiced, but this criticism is incorrect. Because hitherto we have been traveling almost 30 years on this difficult road, but unfortunately we have not been able to come together and create a united local church. Therefore the role of the state in this process is very important, but we believe that in the future there will exist such good harmony between the state and the church. Cooperation must exist and it will exist. But the church never will be a state church," he emphasized.


As reported earlier, on 6 January in the patriarchate of Constantinople, Metropolitan Epifany will receive from the hand of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew a tomos concerning autocephaly. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 January 2019)



RIA Novosti, 4 January 2019


The head of the "new church" of Ukraine, "Metropolitan" Epifany, stated that on 7 January he will conduct a liturgy in the cathedral of Holy Wisdom in Kiev, after which the tomos of autocephaly will be placed for public observation. The Ukrainian authorities are counting on the ceremony of handing over the tomos being held on 6 January during a visit to Turkey by the president of the country, Petro Poroshenko. After the ceremony, a joint divine liturgy by Bartholomew and the head of the "new Ukrainian church," Epifany, is planned.


"For the feast of the Nativity of Christ in the ancient shrine of the Ukrainian people, Holy Wisdom of Kiev. . . Epifany will conduct a divine liturgy . . . . The long awaited tomos will be in the service. After the liturgy, the tomos will be transferred for public viewing to the refectory church of Kievan Sofia (Little Sofia), where everyone who wishes will be able to see it any day," the Facebook page of the "Orthodox Church of Ukraine" reports.


On 15 December 2018 in Kiev, on the initiative of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, a "unification council" was held in which primarily representatives of noncanonical church structures participated. Only two bishops of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church attended, and as a result the UPTs inhibited them from ministry. The result of the event in Kiev was the election of a head of the new "autocephalous church," Epifany Dumenko. The Russian Orthodox Church called the canonical significance of the "assembly" in Kiev null and void and the possibility of the recognition of Epifany hardly a feasible task. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 January 2019)


RISU, 4 January 2019


The primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PTsU), Epifany, intends to invite Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to visit Ukraine after receiving the tomos.


The first hierarch declared this in an interview with Deutsche Welle.


"As far as I know, even after signing the corresponding agreement on the Phanar, back before the unification council, Patriarch Bartholomew himself stated immediately that he wants to visit Orthodox Ukraine again, for a second time. And after receiving the tomos, on my part an invitation will be made for His Holiness to visit Ukraine in the near future," he reported.


The primate of the PTsU also assured that his invitation to representatives of the RPTs to join the new church remains unchanged.


"My position is clear, which was stated immediately after the unification council, that the doors of our church are open for all Orthodox believers of Ukraine. We invite all representatives who are now in the bosom of the Russian Orthodox Church (RPTs) to join the independent PTsU," Metropolitan Epifany noted.


"If we are talking about a certain strategy, it should be built on evangelical principles of love, peace, harmony, and fraternal mutual respect," the primate of the PTsU added. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 January 2019
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