2019-01-05 21:57:00

New church of Ukraine may not appoint bishops or establish parishes outside of Ukraine

Kiev, January 5, Interfax - The tomos on the delivery of autocephaly to the recently founded church of Ukraine issued by the Ecumenical Patriarch and Synod stipulates that the cathedra of this church will be in Kiev and the church will not appoint bishops or establish parishes outside of the country.

"On signing this patriarchal and synodal tomos, we recognize and proclaim the autocephalous church established within the territory of Ukraine as our spiritual daughter and urge all Orthodox churches in the world to recognize it as their sister [...] and the one that has its cathedra in the historic city of Kiev and may not appoint any bishops or establish any parishes outside of the country," according to the tomos' Ukrainian translation which Ukrainian ambassador to Turkey Andrew Sibiga published on Twitter.

From now onwards, the existing parishes of the new church are subordinate to the Ecumenical Patriarchate that has canonical powers in the Diaspora, whereas "the jurisdiction of this Church is limited to the territory of the Ukrainian state," the text said.

The new church becomes entitled to privileges and all sovereign rights associated with autocephalous church power, it said. Anything concerning internal church governance will be assessed, judged and determined solely by the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, and by the Holy Synod, according to the text.

"The Autocephalous Church of Ukraine recognizes the Holy Apostolic and Patriarchal Ecumenical Thrown [...] the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia and all bishops of the Holy Church of Ukraine are from now onwards elected in conformity with divine and holy canons and in accordance with the relevant provisions of its Statute, which must not be in any conflict with the provisions of this patriarchal and synodal Tomos," according to the document.

The Tomos also stipulates that when seeking to solve "any significant issues of a church, dogmatic or canonical nature," the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine will, on behalf of the OCU Holy Synod, appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch.

"Our Holy Great Church of Christ blesses and declares the Orthodox Church of Ukraine autocephalous," it says.

As reported earlier, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed the Tomos of Autocephaly for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine at St. George's Cathedral in Istanbul on Saturday, January 5.