The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church decided to dissolve themselves ahead of the Unification Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches, according to Rostyslav Pavlenko, chief of the Institute of Strategic Studies, an advisor to the president of Ukraine, who participated in the preparations for the Council.
Commenting to UNIAN about the fate of the UOC-KP and UAOC as separate structures, he noted that these churches "had decided to dissolve themselves ahead of the Council."
Earlier, press secretary of the UOC Kyiv Patriarchate, Archbishop Yevstratiy Zorya, stated that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, legally formed at the Unification Council, is "the heir to the Autocephalous Church and the Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate."
The Kyiv Patriarchate noted that before the Unification Council, the Kyiv Episcopate with the blessing of Patriarch Filaret had voted to terminate the activities of the UOC-KP.
The bishops of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church had pursued with the similar vote.
“It should be noted that the cessation of the UOC-KP and the UAOC activities was necessary for the launch of the Unification Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches,” the Kyiv Patriarchate noted.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on December 15, the Unification Council of representatives of Ukrainian Orthodox churches elected Metropolitan of Pereyaslav and Bila Tserkva of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate Epifaniy head of the new unified local Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Epifaniy is set to receive from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on January 6, 2019, a tomos of autocephaly [decree on canonical independence).