OCU celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Unification Council

15.12.2023, 11:47
OCU celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Unification Council - фото 1
The OCU marked five years since the Unification Council, which led to the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

"Our Church, though formally a result of the 2018 Unification Council, has its deep roots and historical and canonical significance. It traces back to the apostolic times, evolved through the periods of Ukrainian principalities and Cossack states, existed during imperial and communist rule, ultimately achieving its recognition as the single autocephalous Church in newly independent Ukraine," the OCU stated.

From a canonical perspective, the division within Ukrainian Orthodoxy concluded in 2018 due to the decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Unification Council, culminating in the granting of the Tomos of autocephaly.

"Since then, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine stands as the singular canonically formed Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine."

The Unification Council, held on December 15, 2018, in Kyiv, resulted in the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the election of Epifaniy (Dumenko) as its primate.

The Council had 200 delegates from the UOC KP, UAOC, UOC MP, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including 64 bishops (UOC KP – 43; UAOC – 15; Ecumenical Patriarchate – 4; UOC MP – 2, two bishops from UOC MP: Metropolitan Oleksandr (Drabynko) of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi and Metropolitan Symeon (Shostatskyi) of Vinnytsia).

Tens of thousands of people gathered in front of the church for prayers during the closed-door proceedings of the Council.

Apart from Ukrainian hierarchs, the Council was attended by four representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate: one of the most influential hierarchs and unofficial supervisor of Ukrainian matters, Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul, the ethnic Ukrainian exarchs of the Patriarch - Metropolitan Daniel and Archbishop Ilarion, and Metropolitan Amphilochius of Adrianople.

In the presidium, there were also bishops from three Ukrainian Churches: from UOC MP - Metropolitan Simeon, from UAOC - its head Metropolitan Makariy, and from the Kyiv Patriarchate - its primate Patriarch Filaret.