This brief report appeared under a different title earlier today at Orthodox Times. For additional context see the extensive Ukraine section in our Archives 2017-19 and Archives 2020.
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (L) hands Tomos of Autocephaly to Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kyiv (R). January 2019.
Its spiritual leadership hopes that the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine will be recognized by other autocephalous Churches in 2020, according to statements made by hierarchs. While they seem to realize that this is a process that will last for years, they do not hide their nervousness as they believe that this is directly related to the trust that faithful and local priests will put in the newly created Church. This confidence seems to play a crucial role in the decision of many parishes, which are currently part of the Patriarchate of Moscow, to join the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
According to sources aligned with the newly created Church, optimistic signals are coming from Romania, which, although it has taken a “wait and see” position, has not expressed any objections to the recognition of the new Church.
In a recent interview, Metropolitan Alexander (Drabinko) of Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi stated that it was very likely that Romania would soon recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
“Some are now reticent when it comes to recognition matters. We know that the issue of Russian gas pipeline and its diplomatic corps have made every effort to delay the recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Rest assured that there will be other recognitions. For example, there are no obstacles that hamper the recognition by the Romanian Orthodox Church, which has left no ultimatum and is simply keeping a ‘wait and see’ position,” said the hierarch.
He also said that the Church of Cyprus was one of the churches that—according to him—would soon recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
The Romanian Orthodox Church and the Church of Cyprus were also mentioned by the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy [Epiphanius], as those who may recognize the newly established Church in 2020. In his speech in January, Metropolitan Epifaniy also mentioned the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Kostas Onisenko is a reporter at InsideStory, media coordinator for the Federation of Greek Communities of Ukraine (a member organization of the Federal Union of European Nationalities [FUEN]), and special correspondent for TA NEA (New Things). He resides in Athens, Greece. Follow him on Twitter.