The most precious thing that has been achieved thanks to the tomos is overcoming the split in Ukrainian Orthodoxy, which had been cutting the church body of Ukraine for 30 years. This opinion was voiced by the Bishop of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Oleksandr (Drabynko) in an interview with Ukrainian Radio on January 5.
“On January 5, 2019, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed the tomos of autocephaly of the United Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Today there is no split, there are only certain religious groups of different ecclesiastical jurisdictions. The Ukrainian Church is actually recognized by a third of the Orthodox world, as out of 15 Orthodox churches, five recognize the Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” the Ukrainian bishop said.
According to the hierarch, the importance of the tomos lies in the fact that amid the war and confrontation with the aggressor power, which is the center of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine (the so-called UOC-MP), such situation was not supposed to prevail.
“We do not blame our brothers from the Moscow Patriarchate, but we ask that things be called by their names. We have the Local Church, the Moscow Patriarchate is a set of the diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine and it is necessary for the law to come into force on renaming churches by their actual names,” said Metropolitan Oleksandr (Drabynko).
It should be recalled that three years ago, on January 5, 2019, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I signed the tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
The signing ceremony took place following a joint prayer service co-led by Patriarch Bartholomew and the Primate of the OCU, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, in the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Church of St. George in Istanbul.
The procedure for granting autocephaly to the OCU was completed on January 6, 2019, when the Patriarchal Church of St. George hosted the presentation of the tomos of autocephaly and the Divine Liturgy, which was jointly celebrated by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine.