Ukrainian Orthodox Church inaugurates first leader

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By Euronews
Ukrainian Orthodox Church inaugurates first leader
Copyright  رويترز

In a move underlining its new found independence, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has inaugurated its first Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine.

The ceremony enthroning Metropolitan Epiphany took place at St Sophia Cathedral in Ukraine's capital Kiev. Representatives of Eastern Orthodoxy from around the world were in attendance.

For Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the inauguration is another affirmation of his country's independence from Russia.

"The enthronement of the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine symbolizes that with God's Providence we have solved this great issue of our state development," Poroshenko said. "Once again, I would like to stress that the newly registered Orthodox Church of Ukraine, in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, is and will be independent of the state."

In December, Ukraine formally broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church to which it had been tied for more than 400 years. The move enraged Russian priests and politicians but was approved by the Orthodox spiritual leader, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul.