Ukraine ends the religious guardianship of Russia by making the Ukrainian church independent

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, signed a deal on Saturday in Istanbul on the recognition of an independent to the Ukrainian church, which once again sparked the wrath of Moscow.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople decided in mid-October to recognize an independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine, in a resolution ending 332 years of Russian religious guardianship.

The furious Russian Church of this decision had earlier decided to sever all its relations with Constantinople.

During his visit to Turkey, during which he is scheduled to hold talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Petro Poroshenko signed an agreement outlining the stages of official recognition of the independence of the Ukrainian church.

Petro Poroshenko expressed his gratitude “in the name of the Ukrainian people ” to the Patriarch Bartholomew, and wrote on Twitter “This historic day”.

The issue is expected to play a key role in the presidential elections in March 2019 in Ukraine.

The signing of the agreement falls within the framework of a series of decisions taken by Bartholomew, and “Beyond the scope of the canon and exclusively related to the political sphere,” said Bishop Hilarion, a foreign relations official of the Russian Church, on Saturday.

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