Ukrainian World Congress welcomes historic Tomos of Autocephaly granted for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine
On 6 January 2019, in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey, following the celebration of a joint Divine Liturgy Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew ceremoniously presented the Tomos to His Beatitude Epifaniy, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, thus concluding the historic process of granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
“The Tomos, received from the Mother Church of Constantinople, returns Ukrainian Orthodoxy to its historic roots, restores historical justice and strengthens the dignity of all faithful in Ukraine,” stated UWC President Paul Grod. “We join the appeal of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to all leaders of autocephalous Orthodox Churches to recognize the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
The completion on 15 December 2018 of the Unifying Synod, which established the single native autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine and elected its Primate, and the presentation of the Tomos by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is a solid foundation for restoring the unity of Orthodoxy in Ukraine.
The Orthodox Church of Ukraine now becomes part of the global religious landscape, consolidating and expanding its authority not only in the world of Orthodoxy, but also among all Christian Churches and international religious organizations.
On 5 January 2019, members of an official delegation from Ukraine and the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) participated in a solemn ceremony of signing the Tomos by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and a joint prayer service in the Patriarchal Church of St. George. The ceremony during which the Tomos was symbolically presented was held on 6 January 2019 – the eve of the celebration in Ukraine of the Birth of Christ.
Among those attending the ceremony of the presentation of the Tomos were President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy, and hierarchs of the Ecumienical Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The UWC was represented at this solemn event by UWC President Paul Grod and Director of the UWC Mission in Ukraine Serhiy Kasyanchuk.