The patriarch said during a liturgy in Istanbul that Ukraine would receive autocephaly, because this is the country's right. Recalling in his speech the latest cases of autocephaly granted to the Czech and Slovak Orthodox churches, the patriarch noted that "now it is time for Ukraine to get autocephaly." "This will happen, because this is its [the Ukrainian church's] right," Patriarch Bartholomew said.
The patriarch also noted that it is the exclusive right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant autocephaly to all new Orthodox churches, starting with Russia in the 16th century.
Regarding Russia's criticism of Ukrainian autocephaly, Patriarch Bartholomew said: "We are not afraid of any threats."
As reported, on April 19, Ukrainian MPs supported President Petro Poroshenko's address to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the provision of a tomos (ordinance) of autocephaly. This idea has long been supported by the leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC).
The Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople has already begun the procedure needed to grant autocephaly to the new Ukrainian church. The meeting of the Synod, which will address this issue, is scheduled for October.
Recently, as part of preparations for the provision of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate appointed Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon from the United States and Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton from Canada as its exarchs in Kyiv.
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