Prospects for Ukrainian visit by ecumenical patriarch still uncertain


RISU, 25 June 2021


The fifth president of Ukraine and leader of the "European Solidarity" [E.S.] party, Petro Poroshenko, urged guaranteeing a worthy welcome for Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who is planning to make a visit to Ukraine this year, during a meeting of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations. The E.S. leader emphasized that Patriarch Bartholomew's visit this year has very great significance for Ukraine, a report on the "European Solidarity" website says, according to Channel 5.


Poroshenko stressed: "His visit to Ukraine this year has very great significance."


The politician also described a meeting the other day with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: "I have just returned from Constantinople and I had a warm meeting with His Holiness. I thanked him for providing the tomos and I thanked him for his great love for Ukraine,:


Poroshenko noted that the dialogue of the Council of Churches with society is extremely productive and it for this reason that the level of the authority of the church in the state is unquestioned.


The E.S. leader stressed: "I want to emphasize that this result was not assured beforehand. It is the result of your wisdom and your work. And many should learn this important result from the Council of Churches. Twenty years ago, thanks in part to this dialogue and the general position of the Council of Churches, Ukraine welcomed in a worthy way the visit by Roman Pope John Paul II. I hope that with your support and participation Ukraine will welcome His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch with the same dignity and inspiration."


Poroshenko also thanked the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations for its humanitarian activity: "I know from personal experience the firm position of the All-Ukrainian Council of Church in resisting the Russian aggression. I recall our meeting in 2016 in Kramatorsk, where we discussed a whole range of questions on the agenda. Beginning with the humanitarian missions of churches for aid to Ukrainians who are in the occupied territories, and culminating in the joint initiatives for release of hostages from captivity. The help that Ukrainians receive, including in overcoming the severe humanitarian consequences of the occupation and persecution of believers, which they experienced in 2014, is extremely important."


He concluded that in accomplishing its important mission of social peace, the Council of Churches has been transformed into one of the most authoritative institutions. (tr. by PDS, posted 28 June 2021)



RISU, 25 June 2021


A spokesman for the PTsU [Orthodox Church of Ukraine], Archbishop Evstraty, reported in an interview with Saken Aimurzaev on YouTube channel DetectorUA that there are no signs that the visit by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine will not happen, either on the part of the ecumenical patriarch himself or on the part of the Ukrainian church or Ukrainian government.


"Really only something completely unpredictable could interfere. We are now living in the kind of time when a pandemic hit suddenly and what seemed impossible becomes part of daily life," the archbishop summed up. (tr. by PDS, posted 28 June 2021)

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