Honorary Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Filaret believes that the Ukrainian Church will be recognized as patriarchy and there will be no split in the world Orthodoxy. He stated this in an interview with ‘Pryamy’ TV channel.
"So far, we have been recognized as a archeparchy, and we agree with that. Although we were patriarchy for 25 years, we now agreed that we are a archeparchy, but a for all the Orthodoxy. We can claim the patriarchy because we are a big church. We have hope that, over time, the Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch will recognize the Ukrainian Church as patriarchy. This is the future, but it will be so," Filaret said.
According to him, after receiving Tomos about the autocephaly by the Ukrainian church, a significant part of the Orthodox churches will start communicating with it.
"Part of the local churches, as well as the Russian church, Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, and some others will not start communion with the Ukrainian church, but this is temporary. Gradually, everything will go into prayer unity with the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Ukrainian Church, including the Russian one, because there is no other way. Since we are Orthodoxy, we must stay united, ” the Patriarch emphasized.
He noted that one who does not hold on to unity may find himself in a split.
"It may happen that the Russian church, which accused us of a split, may itself turn out to be split for some time ... But it’s not going to be big anymore, because the Ukrainian church will separate from it. It has already separated, and therefore the Russian church isn’t as big as it was. And if it is small, it will not have any influence, it will be forced under the pressure of bishops, and believers, and the clergy to seek unity with all Orthodoxy, " Filaret said.
As it was reported earlier, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew passed the Tomos of autocephaly and bishops’ crosier to primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epifaniy.
On January 7, the Christmas day, a divine liturgy will take place at Saint Sophia's Cathedral, where Tomos will be demonstrated on the granting of autocephaly to the newly established Orthodox Church of Ukraine.