Kiev, October 15, Interfax - Ukraine never was and never will be a canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said on Sunday.
"The Ecumenical Patriarchate has definitively outlawed the annexation of the Kiev metropolitanate by Moscow that took place in late 17th century. It said clearly and unequivocally that the Russian Orthodox Church has no canonic title to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, [...] that our Orthodox Church is not subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church. And Ukraine never was and never will be a canonic territory of the Russian Church," Poroshenko said when speaking on Kiev's Sophiyskaya Square, where the leader of the "Kiev Patriarchate" Filaret Denisenko performed a thanksgiving prayer.
Ukraine having a united local church is a question of its national security, Poroshenko said.
"The issue of tomos and autocephaly goes far beyond the boundaries of church life," he went on to say. "It is a question of our independence, a question of our national security, a question of our statehood. This is a question of the world's geopolitics. And if it isn't, why on earth the decision that the Ecumenical Patriarch [Bartholomew of Constantinople] issued the day before yesterday was discussed by the Security Council of the Russian Federation at a meeting presided by Putin?" Poroshenko said.