Two years ago, the OCU was formed, and its Primate was elected at the Unification Council

15.12.2020, 10:56
Two years ago, the OCU was formed, and its Primate was elected at the Unification Council - фото 1
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.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in the square in front of the church to pray for the successful development of the Council.

The meeting was held behind closed doors. In addition to the Ukrainian hierarchs, the Council was attended by four representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople: one of the most influential hierarchs, an informal curator of the Ukrainian issue, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, exarchs of the patriarch - ethnic Ukrainians, Metropolitan Daniel and Archbishop Hilarion, as well as Metropolitan Amphilochius of Andrianopolis.

Bishops of three Ukrainian churches also were presiding: Metropolitan Simeon of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Makary of the UAOC, and Patriarch Filaret of the Kyiv Patriarchate.

As fifth President Petro Poroshenko later admitted, the Unification Council was running a risk of failure more than once.

"Now I can say that the Council could have been disrupted at least five times. When negotiations during the Council reached an impasse, a way out was found. Including with my participation," the then head of state said, without specifying the reasons.

Poroshenko noted that representatives of Churches made a compromise and therefore the work of the council was a success.

"For the past week, I've been sleeping three hours a day. The consultations were very intense, but each time they found a way out in an absolutely democratic way when the parties made concessions to each other and in the end it happened," Petro Poroshenko said. He confirmed that the Unification Council started its work late due to the inconsistency of the positions of its participants.

"The Council was postponed for more than 3 hours," Petro Poroshenko admitted.

Subsequently, on January 6, 2019, the Ecumenical Patriarch solemnly presented the Primate of the Local Orthodox Church of Ukraine with a Tomos of autocephaly. The historic event took place in the walls of the Patriarchal Church of St. George on Phanar.

On February 3, the enthronement of the head of the OCU, Epifaniy (Dumenko), took place in the Hagia Sophia in Kyiv.

The official representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, as well as representatives of the monasteries of Mount Athos, came to Ukraine for this solemn event. Bishops of the UOC-USA, UOC-Canada and Exarch of Patriarch Bartholomew in Kyiv took part in the enthronement.

The OCU became the 15th Church in the diptych of Orthodox Churches.