Photo from UNIAN

Filaret, who is an Honorary Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, says the receipt of the tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is only launching the process of unification of Ukrainian Orthodoxy.

The cleric's comments came as he spoke at the Holy Protection Cathedral in Ukraine's western city of Rivne, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

According to him, “the process of unification of Ukrainian Orthodoxy has just begun. But as we believed in 1992 that we would one day receive a tomos (when very few people believed in it), we also believe today that we will unite all of Orthodoxy in Ukraine into a single local Ukrainian Orthodox church."

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"God will also create conditions for everyone to be part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but we need to work together with the government,” Filaret stated.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on December 15, the Unification Council of representatives of Ukrainian Orthodox churches elected Epifaniy, Metropolitan of Pereyaslavl and Bila Tserkva a leader of the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

On January 6, in the St. George Cathedral in Istanbul, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew handed to Epifaniy the tomos granting autocephaly to the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine in a move that marked Ukraine's ultimate release from under Russia's religious grip which the Kremlin has systemically exploited in geopolitical games of influence.