US Secretary of State supports the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s pursuit of autocephaly
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that Washington supports “Ukrainians’ rights to pray the way they want to” and called on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and government officials to actively promote these values of “tolerance, restraint, and understanding,” according to his statement published on the State Department’s website on October 19.
"The United States reiterates its strong support for religious freedom and the freedom of members of religious groups, including Ukraine’s Orthodox community, to govern their religion according to their beliefs, free of outside interference,” Pompeo said. “The USA supports Ukrainians’ ability to worship as they choose, and we hope this will be respected by all.”
"Tolerance, restraint, and understanding are key to ensuring that people with different religious affiliations can live and prosper together in peace. We urge church and government officials to actively promote these values in connection with the move towards the establishment of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” the statement reads.
On October 11, the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate lifted the anathema against the leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate, Patriarch Filaret and Archbishop Makarii. The synod also decided to terminate the decree from 1686 requiring the Moscow Patriarchate’s permission for ordination of the Metropolitan of Kyiv, which is considered in Russia as transferring of the canonical territory of Ukraine.
The decision of the Synod opens the road for granting the Tomos of Autocephaly after the convocation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate, Ukrainian autocephaly orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.