Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) informed President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko about “unprecedented pressure of Moscow” on the bishops who are ready to join United Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine as presidential spokesperson Sviatoslav Tseholko reported on Facebook.
“The Russian scenario was disrupted. The representatives of the group of the bishops of the UOC-MP who support the appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch on the provision of the autocephaly met at the Ukrainian House with the president of Ukraine. Petro Poroshenko informed the bishops on his negotiations with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on the agreement between Ukraine and Constantinople Patriarchate and on the readiness of Ecumenical Holy See to promote the holding of the consolidation council,” Tseholko wrote.
According to him, “the Lords told the president about the unprecedented pressure of Moscow on the bishops of the UOC-MP who are ready to join the creation of the unifed church”.
“President Poroshenko assured that the Ukrainian state will defend the right of the clergy and lay people for the free choice of the church jurisdiction. He also told that the Ecumenical Patriarch, for his part, guarantees the full canonical protection of the supporters of the autocephaly in Ukraine,” Tseholko noted.
On October 11, the Synod lifted the anathema from Filaret, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate, and Makariy, the Primate of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Filaret stated that a united Jubilee Bishops' Council would take place soon to create a unified Ukrainian local church.