January 6, 2019. OTTAWA
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) warmly welcomes the long-awaited Tomos of Autocephaly for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, received by His Beatitude Epiphaniy, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine.
His Beatitude Epiphaniy received the Tomos of Autocephaly from His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholemew I, Archbishop of Constantinople, in Istanbul today.
His Eminence Metropolitan Yurij, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, stated, “The Tomos of Autocephaly for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is a declaration both of independence and unity. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine becomes the fifteenth administrative jurisdiction within the One Orthodox Church, equal to all the others. As a historical event, its reception is second in importance only to the Baptism of Rus’-Ukraine itself. It is a symbol of spiritual independence within an independent state.”
“This is an epochal day for all Ukrainians, no matter what their faith or confession is,” stated Alexandra Chyczij, President of the UCC. “With the granting of the Tomos of Autocephaly, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine takes its rightful place among the world’s Orthodox Churches. The recognition by the world of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as an independent, Autocephalous Church has been awaited for many decades by the Ukrainian people. Today,on the eve of Christmas in Ukraine, a new chapter in the history of Ukraine begins.”
Patriarch Bartholemew signs the Tomos of Autocephaly, January 5.
Photo – Orthodox Church of Ukraine
With today’s granting of the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, a historical injustice has been corrected. Centuries of foreign colonialism saw the Ukrainian nation’s language, culture, faith and identity attacked and suppressed. In 1991, exercising their inviolable right to self-determination, the Ukrainian people declared independence – and an indivisible, sovereign, democratic State – Ukraine – was formed.
But the vestiges of hundreds of years of foreign tyranny endured. One such vestige was the dubious claim by Russia of control over the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The Ukrainian people were thus denied the basic right to their own faith, traditions and identity. Today, the Russian church’s oppressive dominance over Ukraine has once and for all been rejected by the world’s Orthodox community.