Patriarch Of Constantinople Pledges To Grant Autocephaly To Ukraine Church Soon

ATHENS, Greece -- Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said Sunday that he would soon grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine just as it had been granted to the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia in 1998, adding that he was not afraid of threats.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

"Now it is the turn of Ukraine, which will be accorded the autocephalous status soon despite the existing opposition, and it will happen because it is [Ukraine's] right… We are not afraid of threats," the Ecumenical Patriarch said without specifying what threats he was talking about.

He stressed that just as Ukraine had the right to get autocephaly, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople had the right to grant autocephaly to it.

Apart from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, there are also other orthodox churches operating in the country. 

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is trying to achieve recognition of non-canonical institutions and to create a single local autocephalous church based on them in Ukraine.

In April, Poroshenko said that Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople was launching the procedures required to establish the Autocephalous Church in Ukraine.

The Russian Orthodox Church condemned the move, saying that the anti-canonical measures in Ukraine threatened to split the Orthodoxy.

Source: Sputnik International