Autocephaly is a matter of Ukraine’s independence, - President at St Volodymyr’s Hill

28 July 2018, 09:10 | National religious question | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

The celebrations on the occasion of the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine  are held on St Volodymyr’s Hill with the participation of the President of Ukraine and the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Churches, members of the All-Russian Orthodox Church, representatives of the Constantinople Patriarchate.


President Poroshenko delivered a speech. He explained why today the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church is essentially a matter of independence and security of our state.

"Over a thousand years ago, the Holy and Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Volodymyr made a momentous choice - he adopted Christianity himself and then baptized the country. Since then, our people have been consolidating around the spiritual ideals of justice, charity, love of neighbor, goodness and truth.

Christian choice was simultaneously a European choice.

We, Ukrainians, remember well how the light of Christ's doctrine and the hope of salvation came to us. “The Church of Tsarigrad” as "the Mother of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had passed on to us the Christian teaching during the time of Prince Volodymyr the Great of Kyiv and Ukraine,” the President said.

“Ukraine, its secular and ecclesiastical authorities, appealed to the Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to issue the Tomos of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

We are sincerely grateful to His Holiness for constant attention to Ukraine, and especially for the recent reminder of the fact that Ukraine is not a canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church; of the fact that the transition of the Kyiv Metropolis under Moscow's jurisdiction in the seventeenth century proceeded in a non-canonical way; and for that message, which he gave us yesterday, in which such a long-awaited goal was declared. This goal is “the bestowal of autocephaly on the Ukrainian Church,” the President continued.

Millions of Ukrainians strive for and expect the earliest possible recognition of the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine – a large church by the number of faithful, but equal to other local Orthodox churches.

The Tomos of autocephaly will complete the establishment of independence of our state, strengthen religious freedom, interdenominational peace. It will strengthen the rights and freedoms of citizens ... Especially those who are now out of communion with universal Orthodoxy.

I guarantee that the authorities will not interfere in purely internal church affairs. But I emphasize, however, that other states will not be allowed to do so. For this, and I consider it absolutely necessary to cut off all the tentacles, by means of which the aggressor country operates inside our country.

In that country, the Orthodox Church is separated from the state only on paper, and in fact has called itself the “staple” of the regime. It fully and unconditionally supports the revanchist imperial policy of the Kremlin. Moreover, the doctrine of the “Russian world” itself was born in the luxury cells of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church.

And this situation is a direct threat to the national security of Ukraine, which simply obliges us to act. From the first days of my presidency, I have set myself the goal of seeking the establishment of the One Local Orthodox Church and the recognition of this Church by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Autocephaly is a matter of our independence. This is a matter of our national security. This is a matter of the entire world geopolitics.

Our army protects our land. Our language protects our hearts. Our faith protects our souls.

We stopped the aggressor and saved the state. We have built a capable army for you. We are establishing the Ukrainian language as a component of the strength and success of our people. I am convinced that it will become a liturgical language in the One Local Church!

We return to the Orthodox Church its Ukrainian identity and equal place among the Orthodox churches of the world,” said the President and added:

“Society is looking forward to this decision, society is ready for it. But the opponents in powerless malice apply the entire arsenal of propaganda and manipulation ... starting from the spread of myths and outright lies, including about His Holiness, and ending with frank threats and intimidation. Hear them, almost the end of the world is coming. But nobody could turn back the wheel of history yet. The time for autocephaly of the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church has just come.”

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