Representative of Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate, deacon Mykhailo Omelyan, gave a talk “Tomos of Ecumenical Patriarchate: Opportunities and Prospects for Autocephalous Church in Ukraine” during meeting on May 23, 2018. 

Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as seminary’s personnel and faculty listened to Mykhailo’s historical excursus of autocephaly. He noted that autocephaly is announced by a church and then other churches extend recognition to the church. He also explained nature and types of tomos.

Deacon Omelyan said, that issue of autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been raised many times since the proclamation of independence of Ukraine in 1991. He explained that President’s appeal to Ecumenical Patriarch for granting autocephaly to Ukrainian Orthodox Church should not be viewed as state’s interference in church’s affairs, because it does not imply interference in church’s life and decisions.

He also provided response to objections raised by Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchy, with parts of this church objecting strongly to idea of the autocephaly. He concluded with answering audience’s questions and stating that Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchy will continue her course of openness to collaboration and interdenominational dialog.

Rector of Kyiv Theological Seminary Ruslan Khmyz thanked deacon Omelyan for his talk and presented him a copy of Foundations of the Christian Faith by James M. Boyce. The meeting was concluded with prayer for Ukraine.