President delivers a speech about Tomos praying with Greek-Catholics
President Petro Poroshenko urged to pray for autocephaly to be granted to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as this is one of the pillars of the country's security.
The head of state noted that "he firmly stands on the idea that the Church in Ukraine should be independent from the state." This was stated by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko at the UGCC event in Zarvanitsa on July 15, as informed by the President’s press-service.
"Autocephaly is one of the pillars of the Ukrainian state, the Ukrainian nation, Ukrainian national security, and, eventually, the entire world geopolitics," he said.
According to Poroshenko, "one cannot stop the idea, whose time has come”: "The idea of autocephaly in Ukraine is namely such an idea. The logic of the historical process, the logic of the development of the Ukrainian nation, the logic of the development of the Ukrainian state brings us to a tomos."
"The situation is not easy ... There is no reason to believe that Tomos is in our pocket," the President said.
Petro Poroshenko added, "The other day the Secretary of State of the Vatican told me that Pope Francis states with great satisfaction that the government in Ukraine guarantees observance of religious freedom for believers of all faiths."
Earlier, at the meeting of the head of the UGCC with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, Sviatoslav Shevchuk noted that the creation of a Single Orthodox Church is only the first step to achieve unity of the Churches: "The next step is an ecumenical dialogue between the UGCC and the united Ukrainian Orthodoxy towards the restoration of the original unity of this Church."
In mid-April, Poroshenko addressed Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople with a petition to grant theTomos on autocephaly to the Church in Ukraine and announced the creation of a Single Local Church. The Verkhovna Rada supported the appeal of the President. The Kyiv Patriarchate has already stated that they see their leader Filaret, anathematized by the canonical Church, as a head of the SLC.