29 July 2016, 10:18
Only Patriarch Bartholomew can help Orthodox Ukrainians unite - Poroshenko
Kiev, July 29, Interfax - Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko expects Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople to help the establishment of a unified Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"We know His All Holiness has made a lot of efforts to organize the [Pan-Orthodox] Council, and I am very glad that it was held successfully and adopted important decisions and documents," Poroshenko said at a ceremony celebrating Kievan Rus Christianization Day on St. Vladimir Hill in Kiev on Thursday.
Patriarch Bartholomew is praying for Ukraine and thinking how to help it, Poroshenko said.
"He is the only one who can help Orthodox Ukrainians unite and settle the Ukrainian Church's canonical status in the global Orthodoxy's structure," Poroshenko said.
The Holy Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate is setting up a commission to consider the Ukrainian Verkhovnaya Rada's address on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's autocephaly, he said.
"It's clear that we won't calmly observe another state's interference in our clerical affairs and its attempts to use the sentiments of some Ukrainian Orthodox believers in its interests. And this is one of the reasons why the Verkhovnaya Rada reasonably addressed Patriarch of Constantinople concerning the issuance of a tomos on autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine," he said.
Poroshenko said he was inspired by the news that "the Holy Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate is setting up a special commission to consider the Ukrainian parliament's statement."
It was reported earlier that the Ukrainian Verkhovnaya Rada had adopted an address to Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople on June 16, calling on him to issue a tomos granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
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