President Petro Poroshenko congratulated Ukrainians on the creation of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church during a speech on St. Sophia’s Square, following the results of the All-Ukrainian Orthodox Unity Council.
The President noted: “So, it's done! Today is December 15. I ask everyone who is watching us now: in Ukraine, all over the world - remember very well. This day will enter or has already entered the history of Ukraine as a sacred day, the day of the creation of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The day of the final gaining of Ukrainian independence from Russia. And Ukraine will no longer drink, as Taras Shevchenko said, "Moscow’s poison from the Moscow’s bowl".
“Dear friends, you are not witnesses. You are the creators of history, which is now happening. You are the direct participants of this great sacrament, which has just happened inside the St. Sophia’s Cathedral. The Cathedral that Yaroslav the Wise, the son of the Equal-to-apostles Prince Volodymyr the Baptist, built a thousand years ago in honor of the victory over the eastern horde. That is why your presence here, your mass support was extremely important for all the members of the Council,” the Head of State noted.
“This is the day of the creation of the Church recognized by the world Orthodoxy as an independent structure - just as in the vast majority of countries belonging to the Orthodox Christian tradition,” the President stressed.
“This miracle came true due to the steadfast position of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, our Constantinople Mother Church. It took advantage of the unconditional canonical right to heal the wounds inflicted on the Ukrainian Orthodoxy by several centuries of Moscow’ domination,” the Head of State emphasized.
According to him, the talks were long-lasting. But over this year His All-Holiness and the Synod decided step by step to provide autocephaly. “Second, they approved the draft of the Tomos, certificate of independence. Third, they lifted all the unjust Moscow penalties from Ukrainian bishops, which got out of control of the Russian Orthodox Church at the dawn of independence and began to build structures of an independent church. And fourth, they confirmed the illegality of the annexation of the Kyivan Metropolitanate by Moscow, which was carried out in the XVII century. They, like us, do not recognize any claims of the ROC to Ukraine,” the President noted.