BRAMA, Oct 14, 2004, 1:00 pm ET|
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church unites under Metropolitan Moisei
Press conference at Unian (Kyiv news service). Seated left to right are Bishop Wasilyj, Metropolitan Kallistos, Metropolitan Moisei, Archbishop Nicolas and Bishop Isaac.
On October 8, 2004, the Hierarchs of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Diaspora gathered in Kyiv to be formally incardinated under the Omofor of the Primate of the UAOC, Metropolitan Moisei, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Rus'-Ukraine.
The delegation consisted of Metropolitan Kallistos (Metropolitan of France), Archbishop Nicolas (Bishop of Paris) and Archimandrite Paul, Secretary to Metropolitan Kallistos.
On October 9, the Hierarchs visited the holy places of Kyiv where the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church is historically rooted and where it was born. In 1924 a Tomos was issued by His All-Holiness Gregorios VII Haddad, Ecumenical Patriarch, re-establishing the historic Kyivan-Rus' Metropolinate as an Autocephalous Church, placing the responsibility of establishing a new Synod of Bishops upon His Beatitude, Dionisij, Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw of the Polish Orthodox Church, and this Tomos forms the basis, raison d'etre and continuity of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine and throughout the world.
On October 10, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated and the first Hierarchical Sobor was held. During the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Wasilyj was consecrated as Bishop of the Lutzko-Volynska Eparchy, and Chor-Bishop Isaac was consecrated sub conditione and elevated as Bishop of the Cherkasko-Odesky Eparchy of the UAOC.
The UAOC Churches in the diaspora are highly developed with a hierarchy of their own. With the canonical incardination of Metropolitan Kallistos and his jurisdiction, the unification of the Church in the diaspora with the Mother Church under the Omofor of Metropolitan Moisei has been finalized -- Metropolitan Kallistos becoming Exarch of Western Europe, South America, Africa and Archbishop of Limoges. There are also missions of the UAOC in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Cuba, and these missions are also under the Omofor of Metropolitan Moisei.
In front of the Church of St. Andrew are the Hierarchs. It was at the Church of St. Andrew that in 1942 Patriarch Mstyslav and Metropolitan Hryhorij Ohichuk were ordained bishops.
During the Sobor, the Hierarchs made an appeal for recognition to the President, Prime Minister, Head of Parliament and Head of the Supreme Court of Ukraine.
A press conference was held on October 11 during which Metropolitan Kallistos appealed to all Churches in Ukraine for unity, noting that the canonical UAOC is being discriminated against by powerful state structures. He also noted his hope that in the future the Ukrainian government will respect the freedom of conscience of its people and grant legal status to the UAOC which has been persecuted since the time of Stalin.
Website of the UAOC Metropolia in Kyiv: www.soborna.org