Autocephaly of Ukrainian church, Tomos are part of strategy for final decolonization of Ukraine – president

Autocephaly of Ukrainian church, Tomos are part of strategy for final decolonization of Ukraine – president

The project of autocephaly and the acquisition of the Tomos have not been spontaneous. It is an integral part of our meaningful and deliberate strategy for the final and irrevocable decolonization of Ukraine from the Russian Empire.

President Poroshenko said this at a press conference held at the Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kyiv on Sunday, December 16, the press service of the head of state reported.

According to him, this strategy has been steadily implemented for five years - from the Revolution of Dignity and the 2014 presidential elections to the present time.

"It was demonstrated in the Association Agreement with the EU, which I signed immediately after the presidential election, in the ratification of this agreement, despite the fierce opposition of Moscow, in the free trade area with the European Union. In the visa-free regime, which many people did not believe in, and today perceive it as granted. In overcoming the dependence on Russian gas and building our Ukrainian energy independence, which caused our victory in the Stockholm Arbitration for the sum of 4.6 billion dollars. In the development of a strong army and its transition to the NATO standards, in the adoption of the law on national security, which builds the model, the road map for restructuring the army," the president stressed.

According to the head of state, this strategy was shown in strengthening the position of the Ukrainian language on the radio, television and in the cinema. This strategy was shown in our policy of remembrance, recognition and glorification of Ukrainian heroes, in the return to our own history. And in the end it was shown in decommunization.

"It was precisely shown in the creation of an international coalition in support of Ukraine. In the regime of sanctions against Russia, in strengthening our subjectivity on the world stage, when no question about Ukraine can be decided without Ukraine," the president said.

The head of state separately emphasized the important decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Synod, which united the 21st century with the 17th. "This is a confirmation of the illegality of the annexation of the Kyiv Metropolitanate by Moscow," the president said.

"An independent state must have its independent church, this is the order of things in the Orthodox world. And Ukraine returns to the normal order, leaving in the past the pathology in the form of a dominant position of the church, whose control center is located in the very lair of our enemy," he added.

According to him, the opposition from the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) was anticipated. "However, we have underestimated its influence on the subsidiary structure in Ukraine. Here the state is arbitrarily accused of the pressure, but from more than ten hierarchs of the UOC-MP, who signed the appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch, or firmly promised to come to the Council, only two came to St. Sophia. It is a result of the pressure, but it is definitely not the pressure of our state. And we have to draw conclusions from that. This is a topic for a separate conversation," the president said.

Poroshenko guarantees that the authorities will respect the choice of those who decide to remain in the church structure, which will maintain unity with the ROC. "But just as I guarantee, I repeat once more what I said on St. Sophia’s Square that the state will protect the rights of those priests and believers of the UOC-MP who will voluntarily decide to leave Moscow in order to create a single church, together with other Orthodox people," Poroshenko added.

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