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Constantinople hierarch outlines the scheme whereby autocephaly can be granted to Ukrainian Church

02.08.2016, 12:53

Archbishop Job (Hetcha) of the Patriarchate of Constantinople believes that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church can be granted autocephaly on the same model, which was once applied for the Polish Orthodox Church.

This hierarch said in an interview to RISU.

“Constantinople has always believed that the territory of Ukraine is the canonical territory of the Church of Constantinople. It should be kept in mind it was on the basis of the Kyiv Metropolis that Polish Church was granted autocephaly in 1924,” he said.

In the 20 -ies the Polish state became independent and requested to Constantinople to recognize the Orthodox Church.

“For Poland it was not the matter of Orthodox faith, Orthodox doctrine or Orthodox worship – it was a religious issue and not the state concern. But the Polish state had a political problem: it did not want that the Orthodox Church in Poland served the interests of alien country,” said Bishop Job.

In 1924, Constantinople issued the Tomos of 1924 to the Polish Orthodox Church."Constantinople considered the Polish Church as a former part of the Kyiv Metropolis. As we know, under Metropolitan Cyprian Tsamblak’s tenure, Kyiv Metropolis was within the Polish-Lithuanian state, whose borders extended to the territory of Poland, and contemporary Lithuania. The same was about the times of Petro Mohyla, who was then Metropolitan of Kyiv. Kyiv Metropolis was then subject to Constantinople. Since Poland was once under the Kyiv Metropolis and Kyiv Metropolis was in direct canonical subordination of Constantinople, Constantinople granted autocephaly to the Polish Church in 1924,” said the hierarch.

"If in 1924 Constantinople granted autocephaly to Polsih Church based on the Kyiv Metropolis why would not Constantinople alone have a right top grant autocephalous status to the Kyiv Metropolis? If it was possible in 1924 - it is possible today,”  Archbishop Job (Hetcha) said.