Nationalist leaders assure Epiphany of their support
At the meeting, Epiphaniy assured the nationalists that the autocephalous OCU is no worse than other Churches and is not subject to foreign centers.
On June 13, 2019, “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine” Epiphany met with the leaders of the Ukrainian national-patriotic forces, with whom he discussed issues of state-church relations and the situation with the recognition of the OCU by the Local Churches. This is reported on the official website of the OCU.
The meeting was attended by Oleg Tiagnibok (All-Ukrainian Association Svoboda (“Freedom”)), Ruslan Koshulinsky (Vice-Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the VII convocation), Andrey Biletsky (National Corps) and Denis Popov (Chernigov regional organization of All-Ukrainian Association Svoboda). Also present at the meeting were "Archbishop" Eustraty Zoria and Tiagnibok’s press secretary Christina Ravliuk.
From Dmitry Yarosh – a member of the UGCC, a leader of the Ukrainian right-wing nationalist organization Trizub (“Trident”), a chief of the Right Sector and the Ukrainian Volunteer Army – Tiagnibok sent a personal greeting to Epiphany.
During the conversation, the parties discussed issues of church-state relations and the topic of military chaplaincy.
Raising the topic of recognition of the OCU by other Local Churches, Dumenko assured the nationalists that the autocephaly of the newly formed church structure is full-fledged and "does not differ from the independence that other Churches in the Diptych have". At the same time, he stressed: the administrative subordination of the OCU to a foreign center is out of the question.
“For their part, the distinguished guests showed their full support to the Ukrainian Church and expressed hope for further fruitful cooperation for the benefit of Ukraine,” the press service of the OCU noted.
As the UOJ reported, earlier Dmitry Yarosh called on the “patriarch of Kiev and all Rus-Ukraine” Filaret Denisenko to come to his senses and “not to play up to the Kremlin”.