14:46 GMT14 August 2020
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    KIEV (Sputnik) - The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) maintains direct contact with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, deputy head of the UOC Department for External Church Relations said on Friday.

    "The Patriarchate of Constantinople communicates directly with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Proof of that are multiple letters from Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry [of Kiev and All Ukraine] and vice versa," deputy head of the UOC Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Nikolay Danilevich told Sputnik.

    READ MORE: Vatican Corrects Kiev's Claims of Holy See Support for Autocephaly

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is working to establish a single local autocephalous church in the country based on the non-canonical Ukrainian Orthodox churches.

    In mid-September, two exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople started working in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP), which came as part of Constantinople's preparations to grant autocephaly to the UOC-KP.

    The initiative has been strongly criticized by the Russian Orthodox Church.


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