'Our Church truly is the soul of the Ukrainian people,' - Metropolitan Epifaniy said at the OCU anniversary celebration
Today, on December 15, Metropolitan Epifaniy celebrated a solemn service on the occasion of the anniversary of the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The Liturgy was held in St. Michael's Cathedral. Metropolitan Epifaniy was concelebrated by the hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the OCU, who last year took part in the Unification Council.
During the sermon, Metropolitan Epifaniy stressed that now we can confidently say that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has been a success. It has already been recognized by the Patriarchate of Alexandria and the Church of Greece. And this process of recognition continues.
The First Hierarch thanked all those who took part in the creation of the Ukrainian Church – the hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, clergy and laity.
"Each of us creates a single Body of Christ - our Local Orthodox Church. We can say that our Church is the soul of the Ukrainian people," he said.
The Metropolitan stressed that the Fifth President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, made a great contribution to the development of the OCU and recalled that text of the Tomos contains his name.
"Our holiday would not be complete if Petro Poroshenko were not among us. You have done a lot when holding the office of President, " said the first Hierarch, turning to Petro Poroshenko.
"It was not interference in Church affairs, you fulfilled the duties that you were entrusted on," the Metropolitan added.
The OCU PRimate also noted that Church and state are now undergoing difficult times, the time of tests. Russia is waging war against Ukraine, our defenders are being killed at the front line. He assured that the Church is constantly praying for them.
Separately, Metropolitan Epifaniy addressed the Orthodox clergymen and laity, reminding that the doors of the OCU are open to all.
"We strive to build our Local Orthodox Church, which will serve God and the Ukrainian people. I believe that soon all Orthodox Ukrainians will unite around the throne of Kyiv," said Metropolitan Epifaniy.