"Yes, there is very tangible support from the United States in this regard, I believe, we will maintain contact in the future to ensure the [autocephalous] Ukrainian church will have support in the future", Epiphanius said, when asked by the prankster about his recent conversation with US State Secretary Mike Pompeo.
The statement comes after the non-canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church's press service said on 22 December that Metropolitan Epiphanius had been tricked by Russian pranksters. According to the press service, the prankster talked to Metropolitan Epiphanius on behalf of David McAllister, the chair of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, with Metropolitan Epiphanius having had to stop the conversation since it became suspicious.
The US State Department earlier this week said that Pompeo had spoken on the phone with Epiphanius and stressed the US support for religious freedom in Ukraine.
The Moscow Patriarchate has commented on the matter and described the situation as the "legalization of schism", stressing that it would have catastrophic consequences and affect millions of Christians in Ukraine and other countries.