Saturday, January 5, 2019

Tomos of Autocephaly of Orthodox Church of Ukraine signed

(President of Ukraine) - President Petro Poroshenko took part in the ceremony of signing the Tomos of Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul. The solemn ceremony took place in the Patriarchal Church of St. George.

After the ceremony, the Head of State appealed to the attendees: "Your All-Holiness, Your Beatitude, Your Eminence, Ladies and Gentlemen. Dear Ukrainians who are watching us today in Ukraine and around the world, who have been waiting for this event for thousands of years. Thank God! For without God's will this event would have been impossible".

"I am grateful to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for his faith. Your All-Holiness, these applause are heard all over the world," Petro Poroshenko said.

The President thanked Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for his faith and love for Ukraine, for his prayer for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, for the courage that His All-Holiness has demonstrated throughout his life, but especially after the Great Monday - the first day after Easter in 2018, when the public process of granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine started.

"I want to thank the Holy Synod, the Ecumenical Patriarchate Council. I want to thank every hierarch who signed the appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch to provide autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine," the President said.

The Head of State expressed gratitude to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and Chairman of the Parliament Andriy Parubiy, to every deputy who voted for the support of the President's appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch on the provision of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

"And most importantly - I want to thank millions of Ukrainians around the world who responded to the call to pray - pray for the Church to come true. Due to your prayers it became possible," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
He also noted that he was grateful to the generations of Ukrainians who had dreamed about that for either 1030 years, or 332 years, or 100 years. "At last, God has bestowed the Orthodox Church of Ukraine upon us," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.

The President joined the words of gratitude to the patriarchal exarchs, noting that their efforts in this matter cannot be overestimated.

Upon completion of the ceremony of signing the Tomos, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew appealed to Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy: “Your Beatitude, it was Your right to request and demand Your autocephaly. It was the right and privilege of Your Mother Church of Constantinople to bestow upon You this status of autocephaly. We wholeheartedly pray that you will prove worthy of this gift and emerge as a precious fellow-traveler of the other sister Churches in Pan-Orthodox unity and cooperation, as well as in our common witness to the contemporary world, which thirsts for the inexhaustible spiritual treasures of Orthodoxy”.

“Today, by the Lord’s grace, we are realizing the restoration to communion of millions of faithful in Your land, who abruptly found themselves outside of canonicity and communion, through no fault of their own,” he noted.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew emphasized that Constantinople “gathered and embraced them as their genuine mother—the same Church that once led them to Christian baptism—rather than as their stepmother”. He added that Constantinople had always “served the wishes and interests of its children”.

“Your Beatitude, dear brother, on this magnificent and historical day, at the Sacred Center of Orthodoxy, standing and celebrating with us are Prince Vladimir and Saint Olga, along with all the saintly descendants of the illustrious Ukrainian land, as well as all the advocates and supporters of Your self-evident rights, of the Ukrainian people, and of justice in general, but also of human rights and particularly religious freedom for all people and nations. All of these are present in spirit and prayer, sharing our joy and pleasure,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stressed.

In turn, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy thanked Patriarch Bartholomew for signing the Tomos, noting that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was waiting for its granting with impatience and excitement.

"I would also like to express our gratitude to the President of Ukraine and all those who worked with him and under his leadership to help us accomplish the dream of generations of Ukrainian Orthodox hierarchs and believers to have an Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Your name, Mr. President, will remain forever in the history of the Ukrainian people and the church next to the names of our princes Volodymyr the Great, Yaroslav the Wise, Kostiantyn Ostrozky and Hetman Ivan Mazepa," he said.


  1. This body has bound itself very tightly to Poroshenko. I wonder if they've considered what that might mean when/if the Ukrainian political winds blow in another direction?

  2. abba,
    i pray that peace will be the more precious gift to ukrainian people.

  3. You didn't complete the sentence. He also included Bandera.

  4. Well EPB has officially joined himself with schismatics, which the Church has declared makes you a schismatic, so now we wait for a council to depose him or cut off Constantinople if he refuses to yield.

    Lord have Mercy.

    1. The other Churches remained in Communion with Bulgaria when Constantinople broke Communion and denounced them. Nobody was deposed.

      I pray this break in Communion/crisis doesn’t last as long as that one did.

    2. It's one thing to break communion temporarily over a disagreement, it's another thing to break some of the most important spiritual laws set forth by the Church.

      No other church has supported EPB's decision because it is a clear cut violation of Canon law, and again, if I have communion and serve with schismatics, I make myself a schismatic. Its very clear. So EPB needs to be deposed, politics aside the Church has sacred canons to preserve us from folly.

      This is a very serious situation, because if EPB isn't held accountable for this, the unity of the greater Church will be endangered.

      Thankfully it's all above my paygrade, but this isnt something you can just ignore until it's okay because time has passed. If there isnt a council, division will spread, and any hope of healing the schism will become nearly impossible.

    3. Honestly, when has autocephaly ever been “canonical” and not riddled with worldly politics?

      The EP may have very well made a mistake here, but the MP’s canonical concern would be laudable if it wasn’t so inconsistent (Nobody can tell me how their acts in Indonesia can be justified “canonically”) and self serving (preserving the “Russky Mir” at all costs)

    4. I would also not characterize the Bulgarian Schism as a mere “disagreement.” Receiving a “tomos” from the Sultan isn’t exactly “Canonical” now is it?

      Let’s just drop all the pretenses here, with power politics masquerading as “canonical concern.” HAH may be wrong here, but when was it ever “right?” The pearl clutching is abit much. At any rate, it is out to the other Churches. They can accept or reject, with a pan-Orthodox council to sort it out. This kind of ugliness is par for the course.

    5. Politics inspired this power move, if you ignore politics, and ignore Moscow Vs. Const. drama, a hierarch of the Orthodox Church has begun serving with schismatics. Do you want that to be acceptable? Should we start serving with Uniates, Catholics, Coptics and others? If not, then yes, a council needs to be convened, and the situation needs to be resolved.

      This only looks confusing or questionable if you look at it from a worldly political context. Russia vs. NATO, EPB vs PK, West Vs. East. None of that should matter to the Church. Frankly if a hierarch concelebrating with false clergy who were “ordained” outside the grace of the Church doesn’t matter, then what is the point of having a Church? You can downplay anything, no matter how serious, and say its pearl clutching, but this is a major turning point in modern Church history. We stand to lose a lot if this is not handled properly. I’m not saying all is lost or anything silly like that, but schism is not a joke, St. John Chrysostom warned that even the blood of martyrdom would not cover the sin of causing a schism.

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  5. Remember: it is Christ's Holy Church and its future rests with Him in spite of what unworthy servants may do to unsettle The Body of Christ and its unity with Him.

  6. Romanians have a saying "faci haz de necaz," which roughly translates as "poking fun at trouble/sorrow."

    In this context, all I can think of is that the US may not be very good at exporting democracy (leaving aside whether that is a good idea in the first place), but it seems to have exported the US model of Orthodoxy to the old world...

  7. I think we'll have to see what happens in 2019.

    Merry Christmas for those on the old Calendar, and Blessed Theophany for those on the new.

    With that, I take my leave of these conversations. I would encourage others do the same. What positive fruit can come of this? Something I am beginning to ponder for 2019.