Istanbul Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew has rejected claims that he received money for autocephaly or independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"Although the Russian church accuses me of receiving money to grant this autocephaly, in reality, I did not receive money but many candies and chocolates from [Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko's factory," Bartholomew said during a Christmas event at Istanbul's Fener neighborhood.
Bartholomew said like U.S. President Donald Trump, Poroshenko is also a businessman and he has a chocolate factory.
In a video shared on Facebook Monday, Bartholomew can be seen holding bags of candies and chocolates and distributing them to children.
On Oct. 11, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was made independent of the Russian Orthodox Church during a meeting held at the Fener Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul.