Head of State: Metropolitan Epifaniy has the honor of receiving the long-awaited Tomos from the Ecumenical Patriarch in early Ja
President Petro Poroshenko presented the newly elected Primate of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy and said that in early January 2019 in Istanbul, the newly elected Primate would receive the Tomos from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The Head of State noted that the newly established Church needs some time for its development, peaceful expansion and strengthening. “Let me now introduce you the newly elected Primate, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy. It will be his honorable mission to go to Constantinople with the Ukrainian President in early January and get the long-awaited Tomos,” the President said.
“Bishop Epifaniy, representative of the younger generation of bishops, was nominated by the UOC-Kyivan Patriarchate and supported by the representatives of other churches. But now there is no such division. That division does not matter anymore, because a united church is being created. The power of our people is in unity. God, give us the unity! There is such a prayer and it is very relevant to today's events. Unity is what will give us victory,” the President emphasized.
“Over this year, we have become even more convinced that the Autocephalous Church is the key to independence. The state language is the key to unity. A strong army is the key to peace. We will certainly win,” Petro Poroshenko stressed.
In turn, the newly elected Primate of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy appealed to the faithful who were waiting for the decision of the Unity Council at St. Sophia’s Square. "Today is a historic event. We managed to unite the three branches of Ukrainian Orthodoxy into a single Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Remembering the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that all should be united," the head of the new church said. "We were able to overcome various temptations, overcome disagreements and unite in one church together with you," Metropolitan Epifaniy added.
He thanked all those present on the St. Sophia’s Square for their joint prayer and support for the process of creating the Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine. "You have become participants of this historic event. You prayed here and we felt this prayer support," the Primate of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church noted.
Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy expressed gratitude to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for his decision to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"But this would not have happened without the determination of our honorable President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko," the head of the new church added. He also thanked the Chairman of the Parliament Andriy Parubiy and all the people's deputies who supported the appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
The Head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church also thanked Patriarch Filaret, noting that he is "our spiritual mentor who will continue to help build our Autocephalous Orthodox Church".