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Poroshenko, Patriarch Bartholomew sign agreement on creating Ukrainian church

November 03, 12:30 updated at: November 03, 13:23 UTC+3

The ceremony was held in the patriarch’s residence in Istanbul

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Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko

© Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

ISTANBUL, November 3. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople have signed an agreement on creating the Ukrainian church. The ceremony was held on Saturday in the patriarch’s residence in Istanbul.

"Today is a historic day. We signed an agreement on cooperation between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate," Poroshenko said after the ceremony. Ukrainians prayed to the Lord asking to send them a united Orthodox autocephalous church."

According to the Ukrainian president, all conditions have been created for preparations for the Ecumenical Council so that the Tomos [of Autocephaly] could be granted in accordance with autocephalous church canons.

For his part, Patriarch Bartholomew said he was certain that such actions would help to overcome the schism in Ukraine, which had existed for 30 years.

The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople decided at its meeting held on October 9-11 to proceed with granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church. It revoked the 1686 decision on transferring the Kiev Metropolitanate under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate and announced plans to bring it back under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It also reinstated the heads of two non-canonical churches in Ukraine, Filaret of the Kiev Patriarchate and Makariy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church, to their hierarchical and priestly ranks.

On October 15, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church said in response to that move that full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople was no longer possible.

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