A member of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Metropolitan Elpidophoros said this in an interview with the Russian news site "Orthodoxy and Peace," which Ukrinform translated from the Greek language.
"In the case of the Ukrainian church, the assertion of anyone that the church in Moscow is the mother of the Ukrainian church is at least paradoxical and distorted. On the contrary, the Moscow church is a daughter of the Ukrainian church, which - the Ukrainian church is a daughter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Christianization (baptism) of the Rus, not of the Russians, since it is known that the Kyivan Rus is another thing, that is of today's Ukrainians, was held under Volodymyr. Thus, the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate – this is Ukraine, this is Kyiv, and therefore the mother church," he said.
He also commented on the clarification of a journalist that there was no Ukraine in those days: "It was. Territory could be called differently, but the land is the same. We are not interested in the name, territory, we are interested in canonical issues. Perhaps it was called differently, but we are talking about the same land, at least about the same geographical area. Thus, the mother of the Ukrainian church is the church in Constantinople, and the mother of the Moscow church is the church in Kyiv."
He said that this had been acknowledged earlier by Moscow Patriarch Kirill himself, who, while on an official visit to Constantinople, stated that "for us Kyiv is our fatherland and our mother." "As you see, things were stated from another perspective, and today nobody can argue that the Moscow church is the mother church for Ukraine. It's historically and canonically, and it is paradoxical to say something like this in all respects," Metropolitan Elpidophoros said.
According to him, it is also natural that as soon as an independent state emerges, "the natural consequence for it is the creation of an independent church."
Earlier, on July 4, the Russian news site "Orthodoxy and Peace" published an interview with an influential Greek hierarch, a persistent advocate of Ukrainian autocephaly, a member of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Elpidophoros.
Meanwhile, the Russian version of the interview was not presented in the standard form of question-answer, but in the form of quotations and indirect speech, and the questions of journalists sounded as comments. At the same time, the site provided more of its comments than the speaker's answers.
Since the text contained a link to the original conversation in Greek, Ukrinform decided to translate the interview into Ukrainian.