"We need to complete a full-fledged unification. We receive a tomos, form all the relevant governing bodies of this church. This is, in fact, a new entity. There is a lot of work on the formation, but we will do it calmly, wisely and carefully, because we need to work so that it unites, rather than splits," Metropolitan Epifaniy said in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, when asked about his further steps as metropolitan.
Regarding the change of the religious calendar, in particular, the introduction of the celebration of the Christmas Day on December 25 instead of January 7, in his opinion, people are unlikely to immediately accept this step, and they must first be explained that it is just about the date.
"It is necessary to explain, prove. When people understand that this is not a dogma, that this is just a date, then it's possible to act and make decisions," His Beatitude said.
He also said that representatives of the unified Orthodox Church of Ukraine, after they get the tomos (decree), will begin to invite to further unification the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate, who at the beginning did not join the new church.
The unification council of the autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church took place at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv on December 15. The clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church set up the unified local Orthodox Church of Ukraine, approved its charter and elected Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy as its head.
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