His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Friday, February 1 announced that a Delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate will enthrone Metropolitan Epiphanios as the new Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the historic Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev, on Sunday, February 3.
His All-Holiness described his pastoral decision to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as the most important ecclesiastical event that took place at the beginning of this year. He expressed the hope that the new Autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church in Ukraine would grow and unite all believers.
In his remarks, His All-Holiness said: “The day after tomorrow, on Sunday, her new Head will be formally enthroned at the historic Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. We sent a four-member Delegation of our Ecumenical Patriarchate, two hierarchs, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France and Metropolitan Amphilochios of Adrianople, and two Abbots of Mount Athos, Efraim, Abbot of the Vatopaidi Monastery, and Alexios, Abbot of the Xenophontos Monastery. This four-member Delegation will enthrone the new Primate, and tomorrow, Saturday, we will enthrone the new Exarch, whom we have appointed there. For Ukraine gave us the historic Church of Saint Andrew in the center of Kiev, and there we have appointed Archimandrite Michael, who for seven years labored as the priestly head of our Slavonic Community in Antalya, to be the Stavropygion of the Ecumenical Patriarch. He did a very good job among the Slavs who are settled there, but we needed someone of Ukrainian origin for Ukraine, and appointed him there.
“We hope that this Church will take root and grow, and gather within it the scattered sheep of Christ in Ukraine, unite the disaffected, and always be a source of pride for the Mother Church of Constantinople, in which it should also take pride, as we gave our Ukrainian brethren baptism, the Christian faith and also Christian culture.”