Metropolitan Epifaniy says Russian church to keep operating in Ukraine
Leader of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy has said a certain number of parishes will remain in Ukraine, subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church.
"According to our estimates, there will be a certain number of parishes in Ukraine, which will be subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church. This is logical, and we have no objections to this," he said in an interview with the Greek edition TaNea, according to a posting on his Facebook page.
Epifaniy says the Russian Orthodox Church will further be able to serve its believers in Ukraine. "Those who decide to stay with the Russian church should not feel any kind of pressure. These parishes should have equal rights with those belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church," he said.
Epifaniy believes that gradually, "our relations will be normalized, our peoples will restore friendship, good and peaceful relations."
As UNIAN reported earlier, the Unification Council of members of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches in Kyiv on December 15 elected Metropolitan of Pereyaslavsky and Bila Tserkva from the then Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate Epifaniy (also known as Epiphanius I) as head of the new local Orthodox church in Ukraine. On January 6 in Istanbul, he, as Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, is to receive the tomos of autocephaly from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.