Metropolitan Epifaniy explains status of Moscow Patriarchate's Onufriy after unification council
Newly elected head of the new Ukrainian national Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Epifaniy has said head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) Onufriy will be only the metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine after the unification council of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches took place.
"The Ecumenical Patriarch has personally sent a letter to Metropolitan Onufriy, in which it was clearly stated that after the unification council, the election of the head of this united church, the Metropolitan of Kyiv, he will automatically become canonical Metropolitan of Kyiv. There cannot be two Metropolitans of Kyiv simultaneously. Accordingly, Metropolitan Onufriy will only be the metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine," Epifaniy said in an interview to 1+1 TV Channel on December 16.
He added the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate "are inside the fold of the Russian Orthodox Church, having Ukrainian registration."
As UNIAN reported earlier, the unification council of representatives of Ukrainian Orthodox churches on December 15 elected Epifaniy (Serhiy Dumenko) head of the united local Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
It will be Epifaniy who will on January 6, 2019, receive from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Constantinople (Istanbul) a tomos (a decree), granting autocephaly (independence) to the newly created church.