Kiev, January 15, Interfax - Pyotr Poroshenko says that as president of Ukraine, he guarantees protection both to those who join the new church and those who remain faithful to "the church of the Moscow Patriarchate."
"As president, I guarantee that those who decide to remain with the church that maintains unity with the Russian Church - it's their choice, like it or not, and their choice will be protected. But I also guarantee protection [...] to each parish that decides to join the new church," Poroshenko said following a thanksgiving prayer service to mark the granting of the tomos of autocephaly and the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Lutsk on Tuesday.
"Eight parishes in the Volyn Region have come under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine," he said.
"Don't look for the absence of autocephaly in the tomos," Poroshenko said.
"Now some are unhappy that we have the tomos, and some don't like our thanksgiving prayers. [...] Some look for the absence of autocephaly in this tomos. They won't find it. And don't listen to your instructions from Moscow. They won't do any good, for sure," he said.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) has more than 12,000 parishes.