For the first time after the Tomos was granted, you have arrived at an Autocephalous Church equal to others, - Head of the OCU to Patriarch Bartholomew
Metropolitan Epifaniy´s speech was published on the official website of the OCU.
"You arrived in Ukraine at the invitation of both the church and the Ukrainian state represented by the president to prayerfully share with the Ukrainian people the joy of the holiday – the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Ukraine's Independence.
Exactly thirty years ago, when you were still Metropolitan of Chalcedon, you arrived in Ukraine just before the dramatic events that resulted in the proclamation of the act of independence by our parliament on August 24, 1991. Thirty years ago, on this place where we now stand, there were ruins – mute witnesses to the persecution of the Church by the godless communist state. But just as this St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral, whose history dates back to more than nine centuries, was rebuilt, so both Ukraine and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church were revived," Metropolitan Epifaniy said.
"The Ecumenical Patriarch visits us as an autocephalous church, recognized and established as equal with other sister churches. May your visit be rich in good fruits, and spiritually joyful for Your Holiness! Welcome to Ukraine, to Kyiv, Your All Holiness", the head of the OCU addressed Patriarch Bartholomew.