The contract Poroshenko Mother Church: significance for Ukraine

 Договор Порошенко с Церковью-Матерью: значение для Украины

There was another element of paramount importance in the history of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, the head of the Constantinople Orthodox Church, and the primacy of hierarchy in the system of World Orthodoxy, signed by President Petro Poroshenko, the Agreement on interaction and cooperation between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ukraine. The signing took place at the residence of Bartholomew I at the Phanar, in Istanbul, 3 November.

The text of the agreement are not yet public. But in General, the Agreement regulates the process of communication between the Church of Constantinople and the government of Ukraine in terms of promoting the unification of the Orthodox denominations in a local Church. Tell the details of the agreement and the value of the document for Ukraine.

What is the essence of the Agreement

All the details regarding this document, and the process of granting of the Tomos of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, says Advisor to the President Rostislav Pavlenko. The signing of the Treaty Pavlenko commented as:

“The agreement to support establishment of one local Orthodox Church in Ukraine, where it is stated directly that an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which granted the Tomos, that is, the instrument of independence, the Ecumenical Patriarch after wishing the Ukrainian bishops will gather at the Cathedral will elect a Primate, and then he will get Tomos”

— Rostyslav Pavlenko,

Advisor to the President

Advisor to the President explained that the signing of the document with Constantinople does not contradict the Ukrainian legislation. In particular, the Law of Ukraine “On freedom of conscience and religious organizations”. Ukraine as a state would contribute to the achievement and protection of the legitimate interests of religious confessions, in this case the process of unification of the Orthodox churches.

“There is a clear fixation that we are talking about independent Church, which will receive its place in the diptych, in the order of mention of the Orthodox churches. Details are discussed in preparation for the Cathedral of the Ukrainian bishops, all issues concerning the procedure of election of the Primate is denominational relations, which the state helps”

— Rostyslav Pavlenko,

Advisor to the President

To this end, and creates a representation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which will be placed in St. Andrew’s Church in Kiev:

“The state of Ukraine in the framework of the legislation, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate and canonical means contribute to the establishment of the single local Ukrainian Church, especially its relations with the Ecumenical Orthodoxy. To create a permanent communication and collaboration creates a representation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Kiev (stavropegic – approx.ed.) provided that the Synod’s decision of October 11, 2018. Another step to getting a Thomas”

— Rostyslav Pavlenko,

Advisor to the President

Prior to the transfer to the use of Constantinople, St. Andrew’s Church was the Cathedral of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. The purpose of stavropigio is observing all the canonical requirements in the process of creating a unified Church in Ukraine and assistance in the recognition of Ukrainian autocephaly of the other local churches.

“I think that the document will be published. It is, in fact, the framework agreement that determines the basis of relationship, because the state is separated from Church and Church from state. We are talking about assisting in the establishment of the Church. The document does not require ratification”

— Rostyslav Pavlenko,

Advisor to the President

After signing the Contract in the Phanar, Petro Poroshenko, explained the significance of this document:

 Договор Порошенко с Церковью-Матерью: значение для Украины

Petro Poroshenko,

the President of Ukraine

“On behalf of the Ukrainian people thanks to His Holiness and the Synod are very important and wise decision. The agreement we signed today creates all the conditions for the preparation process to the Cathedral and the process of granting of the Tomos was conducted completely in accordance with the canons of the Orthodox Church”

Review Of The Ecumenical Patriarchate

Patriarch Bartholomew I believes that signing the document would expedite the process of unification of Ukrainian Orthodoxy and the granting of the Tomos of autocephaly:

 Договор Порошенко с Церковью-Матерью: значение для Украины

His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I,

the head of the Constantinople Orthodox Church

“Have the sole right of the Mother Church to grant autocephaly, when it considers it appropriate and when there are all conditions for such a process. We believe that the decision on autocephaly will lead to unity and unification of all Orthodox communities in Ukraine. And the new Church will be included in the family of Orthodox churches”

His Holiness explained the decision of the Synod to grant independence to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church:

 Договор Порошенко с Церковью-Матерью: значение для Украины

His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I,

the head of the Constantinople Orthodox Church

“It’s right to have an Autocephalous Church, and this desire you have had for many years, is in our days. This right had other peoples of the Balkans and received autocephaly from the Mother Church”

The reaction of the Russian Orthodox Church

In the Russian Orthodox Church commented on the signing of the Contract. The head of the Synodal Department of the ROC Vladimir Legoyda said that the Agreement between Ukraine and Constantinople does not mean the creation of a single local Church.

The Chairman of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk considers the signing of the Agreement a political act:

“The latest steps and decisions Patriarch Bartholomew, including the signing of today’s agreements, lie outside the canonical field and are located exclusively in the political arena. Taking orders from overseas, aimed at weakening and dismemberment of the one Russian Church, Patriarch Bartholomew hurries to fulfill the order, has not changed the political situation and until the authorities in Ukraine is the current President”

— Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

The world

The Ecumenical Patriarchate may revoke the autocephaly of the Russian Orthodox Church



Metropolitan Hilarion expressed the idea that after the lifting of the anathemas of the patriarchs “divisive” UOC-KP and the UAOC Philaret and Macarius, Bartholomew lost touch with canonical Orthodoxy and cannot be the leader of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

As is known, the Russian Orthodox Church has suspended relations with the Constantinople Church. According to the head of the Moscow Patriarchate office for institutions abroad, Archbishop Anthony of Vienna and Budapest, the ROC intends to increase the number of its parishes abroad. According to Bishop, this is especially true where there are parishes of the Church of Constantinople, but no, the Russian Orthodox Church, after the breaking of bonds to ensure the faithful communion in the Russian Church:

“Believers pray that the ROC had the care for our compatriots living in different corners of the Earth, would be sent to priests, organized parish life, so that our members have not been deprived of pastoral care and the opportunity to participate in Church sacraments. We accumulate all these different requests and exploring the possibility of opening more branches in those places where compatriots, we are asked to respond to the wishes of the people”

— Archbishop of Vienna and Budapest Anthony

The value of the document

The agreement on interaction and cooperation between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ukraine –an important document from the point of view of the unification process, which he created. In the subjective view of the author, it’s kind of “agreement of intent”, the Memorandum goals and so on.


Autocephaly for Ukraine: how will the mission of Constantinople in Kiev



The government in Ukraine is separated from the Church and should not interfere in internal Church Affairs. It is fixed by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine. But it is also true that the state contributes to the realization of the rights of Church organizations. In this case, promoting the unification of the Orthodox churches into single local. Talking about the counselor Pavlenko.

Is the Agreement valid? A definite answer to this question is no. On the one hand, a signatory of the Ecumenical Patriarch, which is not a subject of international relations, he represents neither the state nor an international institution. On the other hand, a signatory of the President of Ukraine, which belongs to the subjects of religious relations.

Rostyslav Pavlenko noted that the Agreement is not international and does not require ratification by the Verkhovna Rada. He calls his framework agreement. In fact – it is. Framework agreements are not detailed and do not provide any clear deadlines. simply, it is a statement of purpose.

Therefore, in our understanding, the importance of the Treaty lies in the moral compass and the importance of adherence to all the canonical laws in the process of granting autocephaly. It is obvious that the mother Church, having the right to grant the Tomos, should observe the unification process and strict adherence to Church canons, to the local Church in Ukraine was recognized by other local churches and entered into a single family of World Orthodoxy.