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President Poroshenko issued the address to to the Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
29 January 2016, 13:51 | Church-state relations | 3 | | Code for Blog | |
Poroshenko reminds UOC (MP) hierarchs they unanimously sought canonical autocephaly in 1992
On January 29 President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko issued an appeal to the Council of Bishops of the UOC (MP) and its Primate Metropolitan Onufriy (Berezovskyy). The head of state greeted the high assembly and stressed that the war in Donbas is not the choice of Ukraine but the bloodshed imposed by Russia. Poroshenko also reminded the bishops that in 1992 they unanimously supported the striving of the faithful to full canonical autocephaly.
“For two years at a run Ukrainian people have opposed Russian aggression, due to which Crimea and some territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions were temporarily occupied, thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands were forced to flee from violence and hunger to other regions of Ukraine.
The war is not our choice, we want to end the bloodshed forced upon us. Ukraine seeks ways to peace, worthy life of her people, strives to eliminate violations of international law, threatening war and disaster throughout the European continent,” goes the document.
He expresses hope that the UOC (MP) hierarchs respond to the aspirations of the people, and intensify interchurch dialogue and consolidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, strengthening of state-church partnership in the assistance to soldiers, rehabilitation of those who returned from the frontline, social protection of the aggression victims.
“The patriotism of an Orthodox Christian should be effective,” he said.
Poroshenko also said that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church since its establishment in the legal field of independent Ukraine has declared its commitment to dialogue, church unity and canonical status:
“Thus, on May 27, 1992, members of the Kharkiv Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church wrote in their appeal to then President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk: “Not only do we unanimously endorse and support the aspirations of the Ukrainian Orthodox flock to full independence, i.e. the canonical autocephaly, but take all steps to get this vital issue of our Church legally resolved.” Similar ideas were outlined in other appeals that testified a hope that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church “in the near future will occupy its rightful place among the oldest autocephalous local Orthodox Churches in the world.”
“I take this opportunity to express the hope that the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will worthily represent Ukraine at the Pan-Orthodox council, which will be convened in 2016. I am confident that the work of this authoritative Orthodox Forum will not only help consolidate and strengthen the position of Universal Orthodoxy, but also contribute to the process of unification of Ukrainian Orthodoxy and the Ukrainian society,” the President of Ukraine said.
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