Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv stated that “the truth would prevail” and that two more Churches would recognise the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
In an interview with protothema.gr, he stressed that “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has the right to grant autocephaly. Historically speaking, Ukraine is a canonical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has exercised this right, as his predecessors did in the past, by granting autocephaly to the Churches of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Georgia and Russia. The Churches to which autocephaly was granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate are now in denial and, therefore, they deny their own autocephaly that was granted to them for the same reasons and by the same procedure.”
Metropolitan Epifaniy also referred to the way the Moscow Patriarchate is treating the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine and stressed, “The Russian State, through the Russian Church, is doing everything in its power to hinder progress in this process. There are moves afoot to prevent other Churches from recognising our Church. Nevertheless, the truth will prevail in the end.”
On the occasion of the first anniversary since the recognition, Metropolitan Epiphaniy stressed that 600 parishes had already joined the new Church. The main objective of the Church is “to unite all Ukrainians into the recognised autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine. However, we are already in an undeclared war with our eastern neighbour.”
He added that in accordance with the law, Russia is considered as the invader, and, therefore, “the so-called Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate must change its name as well as its legal status because its religious authority is located in Moscow.” He also made clear that they “agree that the Russian Orthodox Church shall remain in the Ukrainian territory, as a Metropolis or an Exarchate, because the Russians living in Ukraine have the right to go to the church.”