His All-Holiness will be considered a co-founder of a new Ukraine - President on the role of Patriarch Bartholomew in the establishment of the independent UOC
President Petro Poroshenko recognizes the historic role of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the establishment of the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine and strengthening the independence of the Ukrainian state. The President said this in the interview to the Greek newspaper TaNea.
"Ukraine will always be grateful to Patriarch Bartholomew and the Synod of the Mother Church for these historic decisions. He made this great dream of Ukrainians come true. This miracle would not have been possible without the firm stand of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, our Constantinople Mother Church. It took advantage of the unconditional canonical right to heal the wounds inflicted on Ukrainian Orthodoxy by several centuries of Moscow domination," the Head of State said.
He reminded that in November 2018 an agreement on cooperation and coordination was signed, which helped support the newly-born independent church of Ukraine and fruitfully work together in the future.
"His All-Holiness made a historic decision, although he was under intense pressure from Moscow. This was a significant decision, which confirmed the illegality of Moscow annexation of the Kyivan Metropolitanate in the XVII century. Patriarch Bartholomew believes that this is a turning point in the history of the world Orthodoxy and opens its new era, a new era of Orthodoxy. With an independent Ukrainian church, the whole Orthodox world will be stronger," Petro Poroshenko said.
The President especially emphasized: "His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew already has a special place in the history of Ukraine. With all that he did, due to his wisdom and leadership, his devotion to Ukraine and Orthodoxy, I would say that His All-Holiness will be considered a co-founder of a new Ukraine. This is a very special and historic mission".
At the same time, the President criticized Moscow's statements about alleged financial benefits that the Ecumenical Patriarchate received from the entire procedure. "In such statements there is nothing sound. They are evil as such. But honestly, after years of Russian aggression and our struggle to restore sovereignty and territorial integrity, we did not expect anything else from Moscow. One who recalls Russian stories about "green men" in Crimea, "vacationers" in Donbas, MH17 and Salisbury should not get into the Kremlin's trap once again," Petro Poroshenko said.
"The Russian leadership is notorious for lies, deception and fake news. Many times they were caught red-handed, spreading lies, but they continue. The very nature of the war that Putin and his regime wage against the democratic world involves discrediting, labeling and counterfeiting," he added.
At the same time, the President noted that this fake, created by the Kremlin, is quite demonstrative, since it shows how Moscow perceives the world. "They believe that without a financial reward nothing is possible. I believe that when it comes to confidence and belief in God, especially the restoration of historical truth, there is no place for financial gain. Those who think differently or advocate such fake are servants of the Kremlin in its aspirations against Ukraine's independence and the free world as such," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
"There is no money in the world that could buy such people as His All-Holiness Bartholomew. I think people in the Kremlin know this - and, thus, try to falsify his motives. However, God and history know the truth. And those who spread lies, ultimately, will fail. If there is anything from which His All-Holiness gained benefits, it is from the true devotion of Ukraine to the power of faith and the power of God. The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine will enrich the world Orthodoxy," the President said.
According to him, such a reaction of Moscow also shows that it is weaker than many consider in the West. "This is a great lesson. The Kremlin invests all efforts in its image, as if it is impeccable, invincible and omnipotent. This is just another fake. Therefore, Moscow is very angry at Constantinople, because it rejected any claims of Russia regarding Ukraine as its canonical territory," the President noted.
He added that the Kremlin does not even conceal the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church is considered one of the key instruments of keeping Ukraine in orbit and within the "Russian world". "Moscow, the Kremlin got too used to making the church one of the tools in its hybrid aggression. Creating an independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine deprives them of these opportunities or severely restricts them," the President said.
"All Moscow's claims concern the authorities and control over the territory, not faith and love," Petro Poroshenko remarked, reminding that the situation in the Ukrainian Orthodoxy was discussed at the Russian Security Council under the chairmanship of the Russian president.
"When the Russian President says that the collapse of the USSR became for Russia the main geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century, the independent Ukrainian church would become the second," he added.