American prayer breakfast figure feted by Ukrainian churchmen


Religiina Pravda, 26 May 2021


Metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine Epifany met on 26 May in his residence with an American politician, the honorary president of the Association of American Congressmen, Jim Slattery. This was reported by the press service of the metropolitan of Kiev of the PTsU (Orthodox Church of Ukraine). Also participating in the meeting was the Ukrainian politician and public figure Pavel Ungurian [coordinator of the prayer breakfast movement in Ukraine—tr.]. During the conversation the topics included, among others, the establishment of the local Ukrainian Orthodox church and interconfessional relations.


On this occasion the primate said: "The Russian state and church try together all manner of ways to oppose us and it is difficult to tell them apart because they act effectively as a single whole. Because they understand well the significance of an autocephalous Ukrainian church and they strive by any means to prevent its development. But I am sure that their attempts are in vain because God's truth is not defeated."


He noted that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has long been open to constructive dialogue, but representatives of the Moscow patriarchate in Ukraine are not ready for it since they cannot go against the will of Moscow. Instead of that they choose a tactic of provoking artificial conflicts in localities with a goal of preventing the free choice by parishes of their jurisdiction and portraying themselves as supposed victims of "persecution" and "enthusiasms" of church buildings.


Metropolitan Epifany expressed the firm conviction that the choice of each parish should proceed peacefully, voluntarily, and on legal grounds, and such a choice must surely be respected.


The sides also discussed the situation in the temporarily occupied territories—Crimea and the Donbass—in the context of attempts by occupational authorities to drive representatives of the PTsU away from there, and they discussed the activity of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations and the conduct of the next prayer breakfast. (tr. by PDS, posted 27 May 2021)

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