I would like to thank all the priests from the moscow patriarchate which, in spite of threats and cast out curses from Moscow, made a brave decision and come to the cathedral. This was a choice between Ukraine and Russia, writes the president of Ukraine Petro Porosjenko on Twitter.
Ukraine's new patriarch called metropolitan Jepifanij. He will be Ukraine's first own patriarch since 1686, when the patriarchate of Kiev was placed under Moscow. Jepifanij was elected at a council in st. sophia cathedral, one of Ukraine's oldest churches that was founded in the year 1037. Outside the cathedral was thousands of believers with Ukrainian flags in their hands and cheered.
President Petro Porosjenko, which purposefully have pushed the issue, saying that the new church is a security guarantee for Ukraine. It means that Moskvapatriarkatets power - which, according to the Porosjenko synonymous with Russian influence, are diminishing.
Ukraine has three orthodox churches, but only the moscow patriarchate has been approved by the church council, the synod, in Constantinople. The two other orthodox churches (Kievpatriarkatet and the Ukrainian autocephalous church) has been excluded, because they have been considered utbrytare.
In October, the patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomeus, that Ukraine has the right to their own orthodox church. It is Kievpatriarkatet and the autocephalous church which is now jointly has chosen a new patriarch.
" this day will go down in history as a holy day - the day when we finally became independent from Russia, said Petro Porosjenko in his speech to the crowd outside of the st. sophia cathedral.
from the very beginning announced that they do not approve of the decision. Patriarch Kirill in Moscow has broken all the ties with the synod in Constantinople. Kirills spokesperson Aleksandr Volkov call today's choice of "avfällingarnas the choice of a renegade" in the Russian newspaper RBK.
Now take a conflict over the transfer of properties. Moscow patriarchate is the largest church in Ukraine, with over 12,000 congregations, less than 5 000 for Kievpatriarkatet. Ukraine's main orthodox spiritual center, the monastery of Lavra, controlled by the moscow patriarchate. Moscow patriarchate has from the beginning said that they do not have any intention to surrender their churches and monasteries to the new patriarchy.