Ukraine church celebrating third anniversary of autocephaly

Ukraine church celebrating third anniversary of autocephaly

Ukrinform
On January 6 three years ago, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew granted a tomos of autocephaly to the newly established Orthodox Church of Ukraine, thus making it effectively independent of Russia.

The ceremony took place in the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Phanar, the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s premises in Istanbul, Ukrinform reports.

On January 4, 2019, a tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, drafted on ancient-style parchment, was brought to Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey). A tomos is a church canonical document, a decree.

Read also: His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch

On January 5, 2019, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed the historic document. "The pious Ukrainian people have been waiting for this blessed day for seven centuries," he said after the signing.

On January 6, 2019, the Ecumenical Patriarch officially handed to the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy, the tomos of autocephaly of the OCU.

On Christmas Eve, the tomos was brought to Kyiv and presented at a Christmas service at St. Sophia Cathedral.

On January 8, the document was returned to Istanbul to be signed by members of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Synod.

"On January 9, 2019, all 12 members of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate signed the tomos, which formally completed the process of drawing up a document on the acquisition of autocephaly by the local Orthodox Church of Ukraine," the statement said.

As reported earlier, on April 19, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada endorsed the appeal to the Archbishop of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with a request to issue a tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

On October 11, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to grant a tomos of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

On December 15, 2018, the Unification Council took place in St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv. The clergy of the UOC-Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and representatives of the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate created a single local Orthodox Church of Ukraine, approved its charter, and elected Primate - Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine.

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