The Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church kicks off at the Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Kyiv, reads the message published on the website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate.
‘The Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy begins in Kyiv on December 15, where church hierarchy, priests and laity are to take part,’ reads the message.
It is specified that the participants of the cathedral represent three Orthodox churches, which now exist in Ukraine: Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate.
‘The first two churches took part in the council on the level of their bishops' councils, and the remaining one (UOC MP) is represented by individual representatives of the episcopate, clergy and laity,’ the message says.
It is also noted that before the beginning of the cathedral, the Divine Liturgy was served in the church of Little Sofia, after which the participants of the Unification Assembly were registered.
‘The Assembly in Kyiv can be a decisive step, which summarizes the years of efforts aimed at creating a local autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine,’ reads the message.
It should be noted that the Unification Assembly should have started yet at 10 a.m. but the registration of participants took longer.
Later, the speech of the Ukrainian President and the beginning of the official part of the event were scheduled. The event will be held in private in the Saint Sophia's Cathedral.
Earlier, it became known that 192 delegates will participate in the Unification Assembly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 64 of whom are active bishops. They should elect the primate of the future Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and approve its charter. Then the elected primate will go to Istanbul to receive Tomos from the hands of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.