The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople can provide the Tomos on autocephaly to Ukrainian Orthodox Church at Synod that will take place in the second half of November 2018. Eustraty Zoria, the Archbishop Chernihivsky and Nizhynsky and the spokesperson of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate claimed this as Hromadske TV reported.
“The nearest date that is possible is the next session of Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which should take place in the second half of November. We will do all we can to make it happen as soon as possible,” Zoria said.
He also said that it is time to move to the next step when it is necessary to gather the council for the uniting of the local Orthodox churches in Ukraine.
“So far we did not have a possibility to gather a council as the representative of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate could not participate in it as they needed the assurance,” Zoria explained.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate will nominate a candidature of Patriarch Filaret for the head of the unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church as the Synod lifted the anathema from him.
“But there will a possibility to nominate other candidatures; however, any other was called as they cannot be competitive. After the voting, election, this head should get the Tomos from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as the physical document, as a letter. And we will finish this stage,” the archbishop reported.
Then the process of the uniting of the orthodoxy around the unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church will begin in Ukraine. It may be delayed for five years.
In his turn, Patriarch Filaret claimed that Tomos on autocephaly to Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be received from the Ecumenical Patriarch. The Bishops’ Council of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople received the order in which stated that Ukraine is the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
“The creation of the unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church does not mean that any other Church, or Russian Church, cannot act at the Ukrainian territory. The Ukrainian dioceses that will not join unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church will not be called Ukrainian but will possess a right to act as well as the Ukrainian one, but they will be called the Russian church,” Filaret claimed.
As is known, the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to grant the autocephaly for Ukraine's Orthodox Church. The respective document appeared on the official website of the Patriarchate. This outraged the Russian Orthodox Church, which already promised 'a tough and decisive response.'
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.'