Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnytsia and Bar of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine sent a clear message to the Church of Greece, that the first Church to recognize the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine will be a brotherly gesture that the Orthodox Church will never forget.
“Extend your hand of love and brotherhood to us and become the first, after the Ecumenical Throne, to say to our faithful, ‘Christ is in our midst!’. The first support is the most necessary and the most valuable. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine will never forget.”
Symeon was at that time Metropolitan of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). He was the hierarch who made the decision to attend the unification council, which was held on December 15, 2018. Metropolitan Epiphanius was elected as the head of the unified Church of Ukraine and requested the Ecumenical Patriarchate to officially grant them the Tomos of Autocephaly.
As he stated in an interview with the Greek newspaper “To Proto Thema,” “I was the only who resisted all this.” “People from my diocese, who want to unite with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, are threatened and pressured,” stated the Metropolitan.