Patriarch Bartholomew awards Uniate Parubiy with St. Andrew cross
Andrei Parubiy received the church award on January 6 when he came to Istanbul as a member of the Ukrainian delegation to receive the Tomos on autocephaly for the OCU.
The fact that Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople honored the spokesman of the Verkhovna Rada with a high church award – the cross of St. Andrew the First-Called – was said by the head of the Ukrainian parliament on his Facebook page.
“Recently I recalled our entire path of struggle for the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” wrote Parubiy, who is a Greek Catholic. “We began to spread slogans that the Orthodox Church in Ukraine should be independent of Moscow back in the early 90s, while still gaining, fighting for state independence. (...) In April 2016, when I became the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, immediately together with like-minded people we began to discuss the strategy of uniting Orthodoxy in Ukraine and receiving Autocephaly for the Single Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine.”
The politician recalled how in June 2016 the Verkhovna Rada adopted an appeal to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople on granting the Tomos on autocephaly, in which the MPs "described the entire path and strategy to achieve this goal."
“In November 2016, I had the honor to meet for the first time with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Phanar and discuss with him the strategy of receiving Autocephaly for the Single Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Today we have witnessed the birth of the Autocephalous Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine! I sincerely thank the Ecumenical Patriarch for the high decoration. It is a great honor for me that Patriarch Bartholomew honored me with a church award – the cross of St. Andrew the First-Called on this great day in a holy place. Christ is born! Glorify Him!” Andrei Parubiy, parishioner of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, shared his joy.