Recalling in his speech the latest cases of autocephaly granted to the Czech and Slovak Orthodox churches, the patriarch noted that "now it is time for Ukraine to get autocephaly." "This will happen, because this is its [the Ukrainian church's] right," Greek newspaper Ekathimerini quoted Patriarch Bartholomew as saying Deutsche Welle reports.
The patriarch also noted that it is the exclusive right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant autocephaly to all new Orthodox churches, starting with Russia in the 16th century.
Regarding Russia's criticism of Ukrainian autocephaly, Patriarch Bartholomew said: "We are not afraid of any threats."
Hierarchs on Sept. 2 held meetings (Synaxis) of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) to confirm that the Church of Constantinople is authorized, without the consent of other churches, to grant autonomy, or autocephaly, to a church that has requested it. This paves the way for autocephality of Ukraine's church. Further measures, such as the adoption of documents at the Synod, are expected to be taken in October.
On April 17, 2018, President Poroshenko said Ukraine was closer than ever before to creating an autocephalous united local church.
Pursuant to the instruction of Poroshenko, on April 20, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Rostyslav Pavlenko visited Istanbul and handed over to His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the Appeal of the President of Ukraine on granting the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
He also handed over the Verkhovna Rada’s resolution on the support for the President’s Appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also received the appeals of the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches on granting the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
The Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople has already begun the procedure needed to grant autocephaly to the new Ukrainian church. The meeting of the Synod, which will address this issue, is scheduled for October.
Recently, as part of preparations for the provision of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate appointed Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon from the United States and Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton from Canada as its exarchs in Kyiv.