One of parts of The Holy Catholic Apostolic Church has a name Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Let's go into detailed explanation of these four words.
Ukrainian . Hopefully you have heard of existence of a state in very center of Europe named Ukraine, that traces back to the Dark ages. Our country got and lost independence in different periods of its history then and again. It had different names: Kievan Russia or Kyivs'ka Rus', Ukraine, the URSR in communist times and, at last, Ukraine again. The country during its long history was annexed several times to "allied states", such as: Golden Horde /Tartary/, Great Lithuanian Principality, Rzecz Pospolity, Muscovy, Russian Empire, USSR... But considerable part of Ukrainian ethnos always longed for independent Ukraine, an independent European state. So, according to the Canon №34 "Regulations of Saint Apostles" Ukrainian Orthodox Christians may practise their faith in Ukrainian National Orthodox Church. Canon №34: "Bishops of any people should recognize the first among them and acknowledge him as head of them, and do nothing beyound their authority without his directions; but each of them must do only things regarding his diocese and localities belonging to it. But the first one will do nothing having not asked opinions of all of them, for then harmony will be in thoughts and God will be gloried by Lord in Holy Spirit, both Father and Son and Holy Spirit will be."
Autocephalous. People, who had neither chance nor, to their cost, wish to get any elementary spiritual education, that is duty of every Orthodoxal Christian, but are suggestible to massed pro-empirial propaganda, take the theological term “Autocephalia” as a sort of crime against Church. But really this term means status of a self-governing National (Local) Orthodox Church of some or another people. Etymology of the word goes from Greek words AUTOS (itself) and KEPHALE (head). By the way, Russian Orthodox Church or Moscow Patriarchate is Autocephalous too and got it (was recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate) in 1589/1593 (by different sources), with location of its canonical territory within the confines of Muscovy. But Ukraine was a part of Rzecz Polpolity those times, so Ukrainian Orthodox Christians stayed in jurisdiction of Kyivan Metropolise of the Constantinople Patriarchate. Actually, after Ukrainian people splitted off from the Rzecz Pospolity in result of civil war 1648 - 1654 and accepted protectorship of Muscovy, then Moscow Patriarchate in 1686 year quite uncanonically occupated the Kyivan Metropolise by political pressure via Turkish officials to the Dionisiy IV Constantinople Patriarche in spite of it was itself an object of missionary activity of the last just quite recently by historic measures. But the union was not spiritual, but political affair only, for Moscow Patriarchate always was and is only an ideological department of the Moscow state, serving under colour of Christianity not Lord of Heaven but absolutely earthly Moscow tsars with their maniacal empire "Russian idea". So, quite naturally, Ukrainian Orthodoxal Christians always longed to Autocephalous status for their National Church on parity with political independence from the Russian Empire, throwing away with indignation the Moscow Patriarchate’s claim to play a role of a part of “Pan-Slavic” Church community.
Orthodox. Unfortunately even in this country, in spite of majority of population here think they are Orthodox people, traditionally, though, but they do, it is quite not superfluous to remind, what, in fact, this verbal symbol means. Both in Ukrainian and Greek word Orthodoxy consists from two words “ort” (right, correct) and “dox” (thought, conception). So, Orthodoxy by meaning of Christian religion is a correct, right faith. Unfortunately, in eyes of some people the word has some negative hue and, by our opinion there were two reasons to this. At first, in liberal environment it associates niggling obstinacy, unflexibility, ritual only belief, caesarepopism, and, second, then and again, causeless boasting. And really, people saying of themselves often something well show themselves at a disadvantage. Indeed, the less, for example, freedom has people of any country, the more different variants of the word “people” their rulinig regime uses in name of the country, see “Democratic People's Republic of Korea”...
And it is never superfluous to remind that conceit and pride are deepest sins to any Christian. Nevertheless we dare to call themselves Orthodox, showing this way our kind will to keep pure Christian belief with God’s help, that was given us in heritage by Holy Apostoles. It is not a secret for very many educated people the fact, that Roman Catholic Church constitutes itself as Orthodox, too: "Orthodox Catholic Church". Eastern part of the Whole once Christian Church with centre in Constantinople (Istanbul), which we have honour to belong to, calls it just the same. And how it might be otherwise? Word “unorthodox " is synonym for word "heretic", greatest offence for any believer. But Western part of the Church has accented on second word of the name, “Catholic”, and ours, Eastern has on first, “Orthodox”. See: Catholic-Ecumenic-Global and Orthodox- Establishmentarian- Conservative.
So, our, East part of the Whole once Church accents on its steadfast desire to stand to correct faith, not renouncing its catholic character, and Western part of the Church emphasizes its catholic line and names itself Catholic meaning that since Apostols’ times Rome was center of oecumene (civilized world), just there First Apostles Peter and Pavel found their glorious rest by God; and, they think Holy Apostle Peter, whom Lord Himself told: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” /Mt 16: 18-19/. But herein catholics, certainly, estime themselves orthodox, too, and not heretics. So, names: Orthodox Church and Catholic Church have conditionally-confessional meaning, for both parts of The Holy Apostolic Church of Christ think they are Catholic Orthodox Church, and it may not be otherwise.
Church. The word goes from Late Greek kuriakon (doma), the Lord's (house), Greek kurios means lord. And cemantic meaning is Greek Ecclesia from ekkalein, to summon forth : ek-, out; see ECTO- + kalein, to call; i.e. assembling people in God’s name, mystical unity of separate members-Christian into Chirst’s body. “… Christ…is the head of the church, His Himself being the Savior of the body.” /Eph 5:23/. Church has developed from small community of Holy Apostles, who were taught by Christ Himself, witnesses of His sacrificial death and resurrection, got faculty of Holy Spirit. Church unites its members through the Holy Sacrament, i.e. consuming with belief as spirittual communion flesh and blood of Christ, what he sacrificed Himself for on the cross, Christians make themselves parts-members of the Whole Body of Christ – Church. The Sacrament is actually possible in the Apostolic Church only, because in its bosom Apostles’ consecration of bishops and priests keeps via inheritance faculty of Holy Spirit, come to Holy Apostles down in Pentecost. So, members of Church are united between each other and with their Head – Christ with both spiritual connection and proximity of blood.
Finally we say that we are Orthodox Christian of Eastern Church of Byzantine-Ukrainian rite, for our Mother-Church is the Ecumenical Constantinople Patriarchate. We long for making autonomic/autocephalous/ local Church of Orthodox Ukrainian Christian. To differ from part of ROC acting in Ukraine blessed by their Moscow superiors under name “UOC” we have in official name of our Church word “Autocephalous”. When in Ukraine, like other countries where Orthodoxy goes well, local Orthodox Church is established finally and confessed by Ecumenical Orthodoxy, we believe the word “Autocephalous” will be redundant in official name of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, for then everybody will know its state.
Please, don't confound us with so-called Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church - Sobornopravna both in USA and in Ukraine! We have nothing in common with them and condemn their separatism. We are close to UOC of USA and its Metropolitain Blessed Constantine is nominal Head of our Church Whom we are connected by to The Ecumenical Patriarchate.
And, at last, dear brothers and sisters, if you want to take part in very actual discussion "Estimate of Our Chances to Obtain Salvation", welcome!
Contact authors of the Web-site:
Dean of the church Father Ihor (Lytvyn) tel. 00380 (532) 586025 (Ukrainian, Russian)
Web-master, co-author of the site, translator Volodymyr tel 00380 (532) 586777