December 19, 2018

or Will the Step from the Sobor to Unity Be Taken

On December 15, 2018, during the Council (Sobor) of Unification in St. Sophia's Cathedral in Kyiv, Orthodox bishops announced the unification of Ukrainian churches into a single local Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The Ukrainian clergy adopted the Charter of the new local Orthodox Church, and also elected by secret ballot Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine Epiphanius (secular name — Dumenko Serhiy Petrovych) as the Primate of the new Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

What's happening is much more powerful than a PR of a private individual, election or intrigue for positions within the church. The completion of the formalities on January 6, 2019, with the final getting the Tomos, should open a new page of Ukrainian existence and set a certain trend for years to come. Building the church will have a profound impact on the society as a whole, and not just on the religious community.

The single Ukrainian church in unity with the world is a powerful symbol of Ukraine's civilizational choice. This is a moment of truth that draws the border between the Ukrainian world and the “Russian world”. This is a powerful support for the formation of Ukrainian civic identity through the effective, conscious realizing by every citizen of the unifying “community” as a value. Which is most accurately described by the Ukrainian notion of “sobornist”, which simultaneously means unity and mutual spiritual enrichment within a single community, as well as the unification of Ukrainian lands, their independence and territorial integrity. This is a phenomenon of the same scale and nature of “dignity” as a unifying value that was experienced by many Ukrainians during the Maidan.

For final conclusions, a more accurate understanding of the processes, directions of their development and trends, it is worth waiting for the formal completion of the process of getting Tomos on January 6, 2019.