Metropolitan Epifaniy: The future of the world Orthodoxy depends on our Church
The solemn service was led by the Primate of the OCU Epifaniy. Bishops, priests of the OCU, and Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, took part in the prayer service.
The church was also attended by the fifth President Petro Poroshenko, who contributed to the formation of the new church and its recognition.
Primate of the OCU Epiphanius said that congratulations to the Ukrainian clergy on the occasion of the second anniversary of the OCU were sent in a video message by the Primates of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Church of Greece, the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and the Church of Cyprus.
Recalling the events of December 2018, Metropolitan Epifaniy called them historical and thanked the Ecumenical Patriarch and Synod for recognizing the OCU.
"The recognition of the Ukrainian Church has changed not only the course of the history of Ukrainian orthodoxy," he said. "I am sure that in the future it will determine the course of the history of the whole of Orthodoxy. The future of entire Orthodoxy depends on our Church: if there will be peace or no peace in the Orthodox Church," the first hierarch stressed.
Metropolitan Emmanuel of France also delivered his congratulations to the Ukrainian clergy.
On December 15, 2018, the Unification Council was held in Kyiv, where its participants created the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and elected its Primate Epifaniy (Dumenko).
The meeting was attended by 40 bishops of the UOC-KP, 12 from the UAOC and two bishops of the UOC-MP: Metropolitan Oleksandr (Drabinko) of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi and Metropolitan Simeon (Shostatsky) of Vinnytsia.
The meeting was held behind closed doors. The unification Council was repeatedly threatened with failure, and representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate did not believe until recently that the council would be successful and the newly formed Church would adopt a Tomos on autocephaly.
The OCU became the 15th Church in the diptych of Orthodox Churches. Now it has been recognized by four local Orthodox Churches.