Synod Drafts Ukrainian Church’s Constitutional Charter
The date of the Unification Council has not yet been announced
Constantinople has approved the text of the tomos granting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church its autocephaly on the third day of the meeting of Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Synod in Istanbul.
The Synod was limited in time as Patriarch Bartholomew had to end the meeting early for the St.Andrew’s Day church service. This saint is considered to be the heavenly patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
At 4:30 p.m. yesterday Istanbul time, the members of the Synod started the service. After the consecration of new ministers to the priesthood, Bartholomew arrived to the Cathedral of St. George. The service lasted about an hour.
After it was over, journalists received a communique, just half a page long.
It confirms that the Synod drafted the Ukrainian church’s constitutional charter.
Rostislav Pavlenko, adviser to President Petro Poroshenko, explained the meaning of the communique:
“In fact, the independence of the Ukrainian church has been declared. The documents were adopted and will be unveiled to the public in appropriate time. The Synod approved the text of the tomos, but the tomos itself will be granted after the Unification Council is held. The newly elected Primate of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church will receive it,” Pavlenko said.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyivan Partiarchate commented right after the issuance of communique:
“The Kyivan Partiarchate expresses hope that due to the joint efforts of all concerned sides, all necessary preparations will be finished soon, and the Unification Council will gather to approve all necessary decisions, to elect the head of the church and will approve its charter.”
The Unification Council will take place in December. Bartholomew will announce the exact date in the near future.
According to Pavlenko, the Ukrainian church will be completely independent. No external statements will be required for it to carry out its own decisions.
A three-day meeting of the Synod of The Ecumenical Patriarchate started on Nov. 27 in Istanbul, Turkey. The issue of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was one of the main topics for discussion.
President Petro Poroshenko signed a cooperation agreement with Bartholomew on the creation of an independent Ukrainian church on Nov. 3.