2018-07-16 17:33:00

Autocephaly is pillar of Ukrainian state - Poroshenko

Kiev, July 16, Interfax - Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has called on people to fight and pray for autocephaly to be given to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, calling it one of the foundations of Ukraine's national security.

"Autocephaly is one of the pillars of the Ukrainian state, the Ukrainian nation, Ukrainian national security, and finally, the whole of global geopolitics," Poroshenko said in the Ternopol Region on Sunday.

He said the situation surrounding the potential provision of a tomos (decree) to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not easy.

"The opposition is large-scale and systemic. There is no reason to believe that a tomos is in our pocket. We have two things left to do to get it: to pray and to fight," Poroshenko said.

The process for issuing a tomos is meeting "crazy resistance from Moscow and its fifth column inside of Ukraine, where some politicians who are usually considered pro-Ukrainian allow themselves to give signals to the outside world that the provision of autocephaly shouldn't be rushed."

He also mentioned some positive reports on the process of granting autocephaly, "that the joining of the Kiev metropolitan to the Moscow Church, which happened in the 17th century, took place in violation of the canons, that the right to grant autocephaly belongs solely to the Ecumenical patriarch and the Synod, that the Church of Constantinople is the mother church of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians, and that Moscow, which claims to be the mother, is in reality a daughter Church of the Church in Kiev."

It is natural and important that the creation of an independent state be accompanied by the creation "of its own independent Orthodox church," Poroshenko said.

He said he remains convinced that the church should be independent.

"It's not about establishing a state church. The churches were and will be independent of the state, as stipulated by the Constitution. I firmly believe that the church in Ukraine is independent of the state, but especially of a foreign state," the president said.