Ecumenical Patriarchate Expresses Support for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine
He handed out the tomos on Jan. 6
Photo Facebook Ecumenical Patriarchate
The Ecumenical Patriarchate Bartholomew gave a speech at the ceremony where he bestowed the tomos of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU).
“Today, with God’s help, we are restoring millions of believers of your land in church unity, who suddenly and not by their own will and reason were out of canonicity and unity… the Church of Constantinople returned them not as a stepmother, but as a mother,” Bartholomew said.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate stressed on the fact that it founded the metropolis of Kyiv, and despite permitting the ordination of Kyiv by the presiding patriarch of Moscow, the Ecumenical Patriarchate never conceded its canonical jurisdiction to the Russian patriarchate.
“However, as witnessed by archival sources and events, both past and more recent, not even the Kyivan people ever accepted that it constitutes part of the church of Moscow, actually on occasion raising vehement objection to this,” Bartholomew said.
He further added that the Ecumenical Patriarchy would always “extend a supportive hand” to the OCU.
With the tomos, the OCU officially became the fifteenth autocephalous Orthodox church.