Constantinople, June 27, 2018
Signatures of Ukrainian faithful in support of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church have been pouring in to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople after Ukrainian politicians and schismatics appealed to the patriarchate for autocephaly for their envisioned united Church.
The appeal was not supported by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
60,000 signatures were delivered in two batches in May, and now another 300,000 signatures from the Rivne Diocese alone have been delivered to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Clergy from the Rivne Diocese handed over the mass of signatures to the office of the patriarchate in Constantinople on Friday, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists.
The faithful have addressed His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew with a request to protect the canonical Church and prevent the legalization of schismatic bodies in Ukraine, Archpriest Viktor Zemlyanoi told the Union of Orthodox Journalists correspondent.
The signatures were handed over on the eve of the meeting between Pat. Bartholomew and representatives of the Holy Synod of Constantinople and a delegation from the Ukrainian Holy Synod that took place on Saturday. The delegation has since stated that the Church of Constantinople has no plans to unilaterally grant autocephaly to any Ukrainian Church or to place a stamp of approval on Ukrainian schismatics.
The Rivne priests were assured that the patriarchate is always ready to accept any documentary evidence that expresses the position of believers in Ukraine.
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