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    Constantinople Patriarch to Give Tomos on Ukraine's 'New Church' Autocephaly

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    ATHENS (Sputnik) - Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople invited the elected head of Ukraine's "new church" to visit Istanbul to receive tomos of autocephaly on the feast day of the Epiphany Day on January 6, the patriarchate’s press service told Sputnik on Saturday.

    Earlier on Saturday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that a tomos of autocephaly was expected to be received from the Patriarch of Constantinople in early January.

    "The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew invited the Most Blessed Epiphany [Dumenko] to serve the great Epiphany holiday and to give him the tomos of the new sister autocephalous church," a spokesman said.

    The spokesman reiterated that the new church structure would be called "the new Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Ukraine," with "Metropolitan" Epiphany as its primate.

    The Eastern Orthodox Church widely celebrates the feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Epiphany) on January 6.

    Earlier in the day, a "unification council" was held in Kiev, at which the "metropolitan" of the non-canonical church structure, Epiphany Dumenko, was elected head of the "new church." According to Ukrainian media, only two bishops of the canonical UOC-MP participated in the council. The UOC-MP refused to participate in this event.

    READ MORE: Russian Patriarch: Constantinople Seizes Right to Convene Ecumenical Council

    The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) said the canonical meaning of the "council" in Kiev was insignificant, and the possibility of recognizing Epiphany in the Orthodox world was a task "hardly possible to fulfil."

    The Moscow Patriarchate calls the situation around the autocephaly the "legalization of schism," saying that it would have catastrophic consequences and would affect millions of Christians in Ukraine and other countries, and has already broken the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

    Related:

    Patriarch of Constantinople Pledges to Grant Autocephaly to Ukraine Church Soon
    Putin Discusses Orthodox Church Crisis in Ukraine with Russian Security Council
    Canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church Says Not Taking Part in Autocephaly
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    autocephaly, Kiev, Ukraine
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