Source: President of Ukraine
“People say one cannot stop the idea the time for which has come. The idea of autocephaly in Ukraine is exactly of that kind. The very logic of historic process, of Ukrainian nation’s development, Ukrainian state’s development leads us to the Tomos,” President Petro Poroshenko emphasized during the participation in the Nationwide pilgrimage dedicated to the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’ in the course of the working trip to Ternopil region.
The Head of State especially emphasized that it is not about creating a state church: “The churches were and will be independent, as stipulated by the Constitution”.
“I stand firmly on the position that the church in Ukraine must be independent from the state. But especially from the foreign state. This is what I say to you. I wrote about it to the Pope. Recently, the Cardinal Secretary of State informed me that Pope Francis stated with great pleasure that the authorities in Ukraine guaranteed full respect for religious freedom for the believers of all denominations,” Petro Poroshenko said.
“From the very first days of my presidency, I set the goal of obtaining from the Constantinople Mother Church the provision of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Since then, this theme has constantly been in the center of my attention,” he said.
The Head of State stressed that over the years, an intense work was held and was invisible to the outside world: “Meetings and correspondence with the Ecumenical Patriarch, discussion of the topic with the leaders of the Orthodox countries and leaders of the churches of these countries”.
According to Petro Poroshenko, autocephaly is not only an issue of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians. “This is an issue of our Ukrainian independence. This is one of the pillars of the Ukrainian state, Ukrainian nation, Ukrainian national security. And, in the end, of the whole world geopolitics,” the President stressed.
According to the Head of State, that is why such a fierce resistance is being made by Moscow and its fifth column inside Ukraine. “And even some politicians, who are considered to be pro-Ukrainian, allow themselves to transmit signals to the outside that one should not hurry with the provision of autocephaly,” he added.
“The situation is complicated. Counteraction is large-scale and systemic. There is no reason to believe that the Tomos is in our pocket. But we are left with the following things to get it – pray, believe and fight,” the President said and reminded Lubomyr Husar’s words: “When praying, do not stop working. Because without our work there will be nothing”.