The U.S. government totally supports Ukraine's aspirations to have its own unified local church. Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative on Ukraine's Affairs said this commenting on the decision of the Synodus of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant Ukraine the autocephaly.
'The Ukrainian people should be respected for their religious freedom and it is a shame that other countries would have a view on trying to stop that' he said adding he hoped there would be no 'protests and violence orchestrated as a result of this decision'. 'I think it would be tragic to see that', Volker said.
On October 11, the Synodus of The Ecumenical Patriarchate supported granting Ukraine the autocephaly, officially confirming that Constantinople is now the Mother Church of Ukraine. The Synodus also lifted the anathema off the leaders of Ukrainian Orthodox churches, Filaret and Makariy.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate struggled for the autocephaly since the country gained independence in 1991. For his firm stance in this regard, Patriarch Filaret, the current leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate was stripped of his orders in 1992, as the Russian Orthodox Church imposed the anathema on him. Most recently, the Ecumenical Patriarchate lifted it from him. This decision, and the subsequent decision to grant Ukraine Tomos outraged the Russian Orthodox Church, which already promised 'a tough and decisive response'.