Moscow goodbye: Tomos of autocephaly promised to Ukraine’s Orthodox Church

The Ecumenical Patriarchate continues the procedure of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

On October 11, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to issue a tomos of autocephaly to it.

The church may be given Tomos at the Holy Synod session in mid-late November, the Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church hopes.

The Synod recognized as illegal the annexation of the Metropolitan of Kyiv by Moscow in 1686 by cancelling the corresponding decree on obedience.

“…To revoke the legal binding of the Synodal Letter of the year 1686, issued for the circumstances of that time, which granted the right through oikonomia to the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kyiv, elected by the Clergy-Laity Assembly of his eparchy, who would commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch as the First hierarch at any celebration, proclaiming and affirming his canonical dependence to the Mother Church of Constantinople, ” the statement reads.

Moreover, the Ecumenical Patriarchate restored Ukraine’s schismatic Patriarch Filaret (Denisenko) and schismatic Archbishop Makariy (Maletych) to canonical status. In accordance with the statement, the two clerics, who found themselves in schism not for dogmatic reasons, were canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank.

In April, Ukraine’s parliament approved Petro Poroshenko‘s address to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to grant Ukraine a tomos of autocephaly. This idea was also supported by the leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC).

According to the Ukrainian leader, as Tomos is actually ‘another Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine’, Russia is losing one of the last levers of influence on its former colony.

“Ukrainian independence without the existence of the autocephalous church, when the church is the fifth column of a neighboring state, is not complete independence. This is the remnant of colonial status. And only the fact that Ukraine today, just today, on October 11, received autocephaly means the completion of the formation of the independence of a very large state of Ukraine,” Poroshenko said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, metropolitan Hilarion, who is responsible for foreign affairs in the Russian Orthodox Church, has already warned that the recognition of both the Ukrainian churches by Constantinople may have ‘serious consequences and result in bloodshed’.