U.S.A SUPPORTED AND CONTRIBUTED TO AUTOCEPHALY OF THE UKRAINIAN CHURCH—CHALYI
7 May 2021
The U.S.A. supported and aided Ukraine in getting the tomos regarding the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine [PTsU]. This was declared on a broadcast on "Priamii" by the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S.A. in 2015-2019, Valeriy Chaly.
"The American side . . . incidentally, the office of the president may not know this. In the past period a key foreign policy theme was the freedom of religion. And the issue of an autonomous church was promoted by Ukraine with the support of our partners. The U.S.A. did—I can say this now—very much so that this matter would become reality for Ukraine. This is an enormous achievement, which they consider to be theirs as well. Maybe it is an exaggeration, but there are such notions," he emphasized.
We recall that on 6 May 2021, Metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine Epifany held a meeting with the secretary of state of the United States of America, Antony Blinken, on the territory of the Saint Michael's Golden-Domed monastery.
It was reported that the head of the office of the president of Ukraine, Andrei Ermak, tried to prevent the meeting of the PTsU primate, Metropolitan Epifany, and American Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (tr. by PDS, posted 8 May 2021)
ANDREI ERMAK TRIED TO BREAK UP MEETING OF EPIFANY AND AMERICAN SECRETARY OF STATE—SOURCES
Religiina Pravda, 6 May 2021
The director of the office of the Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and member of the state security service, Andrei Ermak, tried to block the meeting of the primate of the PTsU, Metropolitan Epifany, and American Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who arrived on an official visit to Kiev on Thursday, 6 May. This information was confirmed for Religiina Pravda was confirmed unanimously by three independent sources who were involved in the preparation for and the visit itself to Ukraine of the American secretary of state.
Metropolitan Epifany's meeting with American Secretary of State Antony Blinken was held on the territory of the Saint Michael's Golden-Domed monastery.
As news media reported earlier, Ermak has ties with Russia. In particular, according to the program "Skhema," he is a Russian business partner who owns the bank where the main shareholder is a member of the United Russia party and was on the board of directors with Russian President Vladimir Putin. . . . (tr. by PDS, posted 8 May 2021)
METROPOLITAN EPIFANY AND BLINKEN DISCUSS ABUSE OF BELIEVERS IN TERRITORIES OCCUPIED BY RUSSIA
RISU, 7 May 2021
The primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Epifany, during a meeting with American Secretary of State Antony Blinken, stressed the importance of international attention to the problem of the crude violation of the freedom of religious confession in territories occupied by Russia.
This was stated on the metropolitan's page on Facebook.
"I am grateful to the secretary of state for the thoughtful conversation. The principle of freedom of religious confession was placed at the foundation of the development of the U.S.A. and its defense remains one of its priorities. In territories occupied by Russia, the freedom of religious confession is constantly violated crudely and therefore international attention to this problem is important. Issues of the establishment and development of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine also were discussed in the conversation with the secretary of state," the message says.
Epifany expressed special thanks to the United States of America for its firm support of Ukraine in resisting external challenges and consolidating the international community in the struggle for restoring the territorial integrity of our state.
"The reverence by the American secretary of state at the Wall of Memory of the new heroes, defenders of Ukraine, testifies to the respect of our ally for the struggle of the Ukrainian people for a better future and for their own democratic, sovereign, European state," the message says. (tr. by PDS, posted 8 May 2021)
PUTIN DECLARES THAT RUSSIA WILL PROTECT ITS CHURCH IN UKRAINE AND EFFECTIVELY ADMITS THAT R.P.Ts.U IS ADMINISTERED FROM MOSCOW—HEAD OF P.Ts.U.
RISU, 7 May 2021
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Russia will defend its church in Ukraine, where there is an attempt to destroy it, after the PTsU urged Russia to cease aggression against Ukraine. On the program "Week's Results" on channel 5, the primate of the PTsU, Metropolitan Epifany, described how he assessed such a statement from the leader of the Kremlin.
"He clearly emphasized there: there is supposedly an attempt to destroy or diminish the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. And here it is clear that there is no Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. There is the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. And if the president of the aggressor country notes that this church is being persecuted, then that means that its administrative center is the capital of the aggressor country," Epifany said.
"And now they are denying this and collecting signatures so that it not be renamed. And I am amazed why you want to be a part of the Russian Orthodox Church, but at the same time you are afraid to be called this name in Ukraine and you deceive your flock. There are many Ukrainians who do not understand this. They see the sign and they hear that they supposedly are a Ukrainian church, but then they find out that it is the Russian Orthodox Church," the head of the PTsU said, and added: "Therefore I think that this message for Ukraine from Putin's lips is useful, to the effect that he will defend his Russian Orthodox Church, which really is not persecuted in Ukraine." (tr. by PDS, posted 8 May 2021)
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