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 Kyiv Patriarchate urges Ukraine's church heads to get ready for special unification council

Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) Filaret has urged the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to prepare for a special unification council to approve the decision on church unity.

"The task of this council is to approve the decision on church unity, elect the Primate of the united local autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who will get on its behalf the Patriarchal and Synodal tomos on the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church," reads a statement of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate , Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.

"We expect that taking into account all the circumstances, such as history, successful activity, a large number of episcopates, clergy and church members, monasteries and theological schools, other factors, heads of the [new] local Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be granted Patriarch status in keeping with the Patriarch and Synodal tomos," UOC-KP said in the statement.

The Kyiv Patriarchate urged the episcopate, clergy and members of the UAOC, as well as those of the Moscow Patriarchate, to support the unification of the Ukrainian Orthodoxy. This process should take place voluntarily, peacefully and without coercion; every member of the church, like every community of laity or clergy, has the right to freely choose the center of ecclesiastical subordination, whether to belong to the Ukrainian Church or the Russian one.

"Those hierarchs, clergy and laity who choose, despite all the circumstances, to stay with the Moscow Patriarchate have the right to do so. The Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine will equally coexist with all other churches and religious organizations as guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of our state and international law," the UOC-KP said.

As reported, hierarchs on Sept. 2 held meetings (Synaxis) of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) to confirm that the Church of Constantinople is authorized, without the consent of other churches, to grant autonomy, or autocephaly, to a church that has requested it. This paves the way for autocephality of Ukraine's church. Further measures, such as the adoption of documents at the Synod, are expected to be taken in October.

Subsequently, on Sept. 7, Ecumenical Patriarchate has appointed two Exarchs in Kyiv as part of preparations for granting autocephaly to Ukraine's Orthodox church. "Within the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has appointed as its Exarchs in Kyiv His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon from the United States, and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton from Canada, both of whom are serving the Ukrainian Orthodox faithful in their respective countries under the Ecumenical Patriarchate," the Ecumenical Patriarchate said in an announcement.

On April 17, 2018, President Poroshenko said Ukraine was closer than ever before to creating an autocephalous united local church.

Pursuant to the instruction of Poroshenko, on April 20, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Rostyslav Pavlenko visited Istanbul and handed over to His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the Appeal of the President of Ukraine on granting the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

He also handed over the Verkhovna Rada’s resolution on the support for the President’s Appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also received the appeals of the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches on granting the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3091033