President of Ukraine

Head of State: The authorities will not interfere in purely internal affairs of the Ukrainian Church and will not allow other states to do so

28 July 2018 - 10:10

Head of State: The authorities will not interfere in purely internal affairs of the Ukrainian Church and will not allow other states to do so

President Petro Poroshenko notes that the Ukrainian society is waiting for the decision to grant the Tomos of Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the society is ready for it. "But opponents in helpless malice use the whole arsenal of propaganda and manipulation... From the spread of myths and outright lies, including about His All Holiness (Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew - ed.), to open threats and intimidation. If you listen to them, it may seem that the end of the world is coming. But nobody has been able to turn back the wheel of history," the Head of State noted at the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’.

The President stressed in particular: "I guarantee that the authorities will not interfere in purely internal church affairs. But I emphasize, however, that other states will not be allowed to do so. For this I consider it absolutely necessary to cut off all the tentacles used by the country-aggressor within our state body".

According to Petro Poroshenko, in Russia, the Orthodox Church is separated from the state only on paper, and in fact, it called itself a "bond" of the regime. “It completely and unconditionally supports the revanchist imperial policy of the Kremlin. Moreover, the doctrine of the "Russian world" itself was born in the luxury cells of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church. And this situation is a direct threat to the national security of Ukraine, which simply obliges us to act,” the President said.

The Head of State remarked that in the preface to the book of Patriarch Bartholomew "Encountering the Mystery", there is one of the favorite aphorisms of His All Holiness: "War in the name of religion is war against religion". "I unequivocally share this opinion. The joint creation of an independent church cannot be a basis for discord, basis for confrontation, violence. On the contrary, this is a road to peace and understanding," he added.

The President emphasized that believers and church communities would decide themselves whether to join the Autocephalous Church.

"Tomos, may God send it to us, does not mean that a state church will appear in Ukraine. The authorities, as before and now, will respect all denominations adhering to the spirit and the letter of the Basic Law - the Constitution of Ukraine," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.

He stressed that the constitutional principles of state-church relations are unbreakable. "Ukraine is a multiconfessional state, for which the religious world is of great value," the President said and called for continued efforts to achieve peace in Ukraine and establish cooperation between religious communities for the future.

"We are all proud that in Ukraine the most complicated issues of coexistence of religions and cultures have always been resolved peacefully, without violence, in the legal field. Unfortunately, our inner peace has been grossly violated by the Russian aggression. I am sure that only God has given us strength to stop one of the largest armies in the world. Only faith has given us such a huge love for the Homeland," the Head of State said.

Petro Poroshenko stressed that now, all our people need the Word of God, need unity, need peace.

The President thanked His All Holiness for his constant attention to Ukraine and especially for the recent reminder that Ukraine is not a canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church: "That the transition of the Kyiv metropolis under the control of Moscow in the seventeenth century took place in a non-canonical way". "And for the address he delivered us yesterday, in which the long-awaited purpose has been clearly stated. This purpose is granting the autocephaly to the Ukrainian church,” Petro Poroshenko stressed.

"And we are glad that His All Holiness, as the spiritual leader of hundreds of millions of Orthodox people, as a political figure of a global scale, hears our voice and our requests," he said.

The President congratulated every Ukrainian in Ukraine and abroad on the Day of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’.