Kravchuk, Kuchma and Yuschenko sign joint appeal on autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Presidents of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yuschenko have signed a joint appeal, in which they supported the initiative to appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch regarding the provision of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"After the discussions in our circle, we have signed a joint appeal," Kravchuk said at a joint press conference with Kuchma and Yuschenko in Kyiv on Tuesday.
"We believe that the granting of autocephaly by the Constantinople mother - the church will play an important role in strengthening Ukraine's independence, spiritual and national unity of our people, the development of religious freedom in Ukraine, will contribute to a fruitful interdenominational dialogue in our country," Kravchuk read the text of the appeal.
The presidents called on all to unite to create an autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine. "We are convinced that the unity of the Ukrainian people, whose great strength will be the autocephalous Orthodox local church, will become an insurmountable spiritual fortress in the fight against Russian aggression against Ukraine. Therefore, we support the efforts of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in this extremely important issue for Ukraine and appeal to all citizens, all responsible politicians, public figures to unite around this great goal and actively work together to create an autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine," the document says.