Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy (Epiphanius) has been inaugurated as Primate of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
The official event took place in Kyiv's Saint Sophia Cathedral during a religious service on February 3, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
In particular, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France from the Ecumenical Patriarch, Metropolitan Makariy (former head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church) and Metropolitan Simeon (former representative of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate) alternately enthroned Epifaniy, exclaiming "Axios!" ("worthy of," "deserving of" in Greek).
After this, Epifaniy was given symbols of the primacy. In particular, the cross was presented by Metropolitan of Cherkasy and Chyhyryn John. Panagia, a small image of Mary, the mother of Jesus, was presented by Metropolitan Yurij (Kalistchuk), who heads the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Metropolitan Antony (Scharba), the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States under the omophorion of Constantinople, handed over the second Panagia to Epifaniy. The right to wear the second Panagia is a privilege of the primates of local churches.
After putting these church symbols on, the enthronement of Metropolitan Epifaniy is complete and he is now a full-fledged primate of the local Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
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, Epifaniy, as Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, received the tomos of autocephaly (independence) of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul, Turkey.