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On December 15, 2018, a church council was held in Kiev chaired by Emmanuel, the Metropolitan of France (Ecumenical Patriarchate), which brought together bishops from three church jurisdictions – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP), the Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). All bishops from the first two jurisdictions (churches) joined the council, while the third one was presented only by two bishops – Vinnytsky Metropolitan Simeon and Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky and Vishnevsky Metropolitan Alexander (Drabinko), although 11 bishops from around hundred bishops from Moscow Patriarchate declared participation. The Council elected Metropolitan Epiphanius (Domenko) as the chief of the new Orthodox Church in Ukraine and Metropolitan of Kiev, who was before the Metropolitan bishop of Pereyaslav-Khmellnutsky. He is 39 years old, born in the
Over the last two months there have been some remarkable developments in the Orthodox world. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, which has a leading role among the Orthodox local churches, undertook the task of unifying the Orthodox population in Ukraine and granting them the status of an autocephalous church, independent from the Russian Orthodox Church. For this purpose, the Ecumenical Patriarchate referred to two of its ancient rights – the first is the right of arbitration among the Orthodoxy, coming from an ancient rule (canon) from the 5th century; the second one is the historical truth reflected in the Patriarchy’s preserved documentation – namely that the Ukrainian lands were in its canonical territory and were taken away after the war in the late 17th century. The main argument of the congregation
When, not so long ago, I was invited to comment on the political dimensions of ecclesiastical affairs, I was not inclined to think of such relationships as particularly important. It has been my belief, until recently, that the Church has no place in politics and vice versa. However it has turned out that with the latest developments in the Orthodox world, this relationship cannot be so easily overlooked. A week ago, it was announced that the Russian Patriarch, His Holiness Cyril, had asked His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for an audience on August 31st, 2018. The visit was arranged right before the start of the meetings of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the beginning of the church year (1 September) and before the probable