President Petro Poroshenko has said that the Unification Council on the creation of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be held in St Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv on 15 December 2018. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has sent respective letters with the invitation to take part in this Council to the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev and Moscow Patriarachates and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
"I want to begin my statement with the announcement of an important news that is allegedly far from the topic of local self-government, but it is important for the whole country. And it is long awaited. We are glad to announce the date of the Unification Council proclaiming the creation of the independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine. This Council will approve its charter. This Council will choose the Primate. Consequently, the Council will be held on 15 December 2018 in St. Sophia’s Cathedral, which has been the centre of Ukrainian religious life for centuries," Poroshenko said at the local self-government forum.
"Now, colossal responsibility lies with the hierarchs of the Ukrainian churches - to hold the Council in peace, harmony, in the spirit of Christian love and patriotism, to elect the Primate who will go to Constantinople - Istanbul and receive the Tomos," he said.
Poroshenko compared the Tomos to the Declaration of Ukraine's Independence: "And this is a completely fair comparison. Getting autocephaly is an issue of state-building, which goes far beyond the church life."