Patriarch of Constantinople greets Ukrainian church


Ukrainskaia Pravda, 6 January 2019


Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew thinks that after the delivery to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PTsU) of a tomos concerning autocephaly, a new page in the history of Ukraine has begun.


He declared this on Sunday in a speech during the liturgy in the church of St. George in Istanbul, a part of which was quoted by Gromadske.


"Today a new page in the history of Ukraine begins. The Constantinople church, which in this way granted the ecclesiastical status of autocephaly to all newly founded churches, gives it to you today. Today, officially and canonically, you have become the 15th church in the blessed choir of autocephalous churches," Bartholomew said.


He said, "winter has passed" for schism and division, and "the rain has ended and vanished" for ecclesiastical isolation.


"As archival sources and events occurring in the past and present testify, the issue is not only that believers of Kiev once considered themselves part of the church of Moscow. Ever since 1325 (when the metropolitan see was based in Moscow, before which it was in the city of Vladimir—ed.), when the metropolitanate of Kiev was temporarily transferred to Moscow, believers in Kiev have striven for ecclesiastical independence. This desire did not disappear over the course of centuries and it became a mighty and irresistible desire of their soul," the ecumenical patriarch noted.


It was for this reason, he said, that the first constitution of Ukraine of the hetman Pylyp Orlyk, which appeared in 1710, noted that the "Orthodox Church of Ukraine should remain under the holy apostolic see in Constantinople."


"Thus, in light of the indisputable and unshakable historical evidence, we, of course, have paid attention to the continuous requests to grant autocephaly both in terms of the hierarchy and in the matter of status," Bartholomew emphasized. (tr. by PDS, posted 6 January 2019)

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