Photo from UNIAN

Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) Epifaniy (Epiphanius) says the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece has decided to recognize the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

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In particular, the Council of Bishops of the Church of Greece at an extraordinary meeting on October 12 supported the relevant decision by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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"I am grateful to my Brother in Christ, His Beatitude Ieronymos, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, President of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, and Brother Hierarchs of the Council of Hierarchs, for today determining to support and follow the canonical and historical decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, opening the possibility of full interaction between our two Local Autocephalous Churches in all spheres," Epifaniy wrote on Facebook on October 12.

He added that the histories of our two ancient nations, Greece and Ukraine, include many shared pages of friendship and cooperation.

"The establishment of full Eucharistic unity and official relations between the Local Churches of Greece and Ukraine is a new page that will forever be bound in our history and in our hearts," he said.

"I hope that in the near future I will have the pleasure of visiting Athens, close to my heart, and personally conveying our feelings of love and respect to His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos, Brother Hierarchs, and the entire Church of Greece," Epifaniy added.

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 from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul the tomos of autocephaly (independence) of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy was inaugurated as Primate of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine at Kyiv's Saint Sophia Cathedral on February 3.