The hieromonk who wrote the Tomos text shares how Bartholomew I made the decision on autocephaly of the OCU
In August 2021, father Luke visited Kyiv and took part in celebrations on the occasion of the visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to Ukraine and met with the Primate of the OCU. On August 25, as part of a delegation of monks of Mount Athos at the invitation of Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnytsia and Bar, father Luke visited Vinnytsia and took part in the Divine Liturgy together with bishops and local clergy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
During his stay in Vinnytsia, hieromonk Luke shared his impressions of his visit to our country and thoughts on the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
"We followed the life of Ukraine and Ukrainians in times of trials, and when Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew decided to grant autocephaly to the Church in Ukraine, we rejoiced. And I felt particularly happy that the Ukrainian people will have their own independent church. His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew blessed me to write the Tomos. The provision of this Tomos was a historic event not only for Ukraine and its people but also important for me personally. I tried (when working on the Tomos – ed.) to do everything as it was done in other Tomos, which His Holiness The Ecumenical Patriarch granted to other local churches," said hieromonk Luke.
"The Tomos is the only document that indicates the independence of the Church. The Ecumenical Patriarch and members of the Synod, who signed the text of the Tomos, testified that the Ukrainian Church is independent. And this Tomos will go down in history as one of the most important documents that the Ukrainian Church has received," he said.
He also stressed that before making the decision to grant the Tomos to the OCU, Patriarch Bartholomew prayed for a long time and reflected: "it should be understood that the decision made by the Ecumenical Patriarch regarding Ukraine was not easy for him. It was very responsible, and therefore the patriarch prayed for a very long time and thought a lot about this decision so that it would bear good fruit and be for the glory of God."
"He consolidated his decision, which the patriarch made, by his arrival in Ukraine. With this visit, he showed other brothers and other local churches that Ukraine now has a single Primate of the Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy, who should be respected and supported as a brother in Christ," said hieromonk Luke of Mount Athos.
"With God's help, we received this Tomos. But I appeal to the faithful and remind them that this is just the beginning and we still need to work hard to stay together in love for each other and for all our other brothers," said hieromonk Luke.