President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko announced the creation of the Ukrainian local Autocephalous Orthodox church. He said this after the Unification Assembly at Sofiyska Square in Kyiv, 112 Ukraine TV channel reports.
"The representatives of the UOC Kyiv Patriarchate, the UAOC and a group of bishops of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate have just established a united church. The miracle became possible thanks to the unshakable position of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and our Mother Church of Constantinople", he noted.
At the same time, the head of state stressed that this is a united and independent Ukrainian Orthodox church. "This is a church without Putin. This is a church without Kirill (leader of Russian Orthodox Church, - 112 International). This is a church without a prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army that kills Ukrainians. But this is the church with God and Ukraine!", he said.
The Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church was held in the Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Kyiv, said the message published on the website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate.
‘The Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy takes place in Kyiv on December 15, where church hierarchy, priests and laity to take part,’ reads the message.
It is specified that the participants of the assembly represent three Orthodox churches, which now exist in Ukraine: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of 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 at the level of their bishops' councils, the last (UOC MP) is represented by individual representatives of the episcopate, clergy and laity,’ stated in the message.
It is also noted that before the beginning of the Assemby, 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.
The Unification Assembly should have started yet at 10 a.m. but the registration of participants took longer.