‘We never had and will never have an established church. And no one will forcibly invite anyone to the Orthodox church blessed by Tomos. I emphasize again - this is a matter of free choice for every believer. I ensure that the government will respect the choice of those who decide to stay in that church structure that maintains unity with the Russian Orthodox Church,’ Poroshenko noted.
The President also noted that the state will protect the rights of priests and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the Moscow Patriarchate who will create together with other Orthodox unified Ukrainian local church.
Poroshenko hopes that the Bishops' Council will be held without any conflicts, contrary to the Ukrainian national proverb that along with two Ukrainians, there are three hetmans.
As we reported on April 17, Petro Poroshenko signed an appeal to Bartholomew, the Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch with a plea to provide Tomos towards the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and urges the Verkhovna Rada to support it.
On April 18, Poroshenko held the meeting with the primates of the Orthodox churches and accepted the appeal to Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch, on the provision of Tomos on the autocephaly for the Ukrainian church with the signs of all bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
Since 90-s there are a few jurisdictions in Ukraine that call themselves Orthodox local and autocephaly Churches.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate and Metropolis of Bessarabia of the Romanian Orthodox Church have the canonical status. Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate is canonically not recognized.
Also, there is unrecognized Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.