Ukrainian church leader imagines pope’s visit in Ukraine when patriarch may be there


RISU, 8 July 2021


The clergy of the PTsU [Orthodox Church of Ukraine] will not protest against the possible visit to Ukraine by Pope Francis. The primate of the PTsU, Epifany, stated this while visiting in Ivano-Frankovsk oblast.


“We are positively disposed, because why would we be opposed when Christians should, on the contrary, be united in love, meet together, converse with each other, and not be hostile,” the first hierarch declared.


The PTsU primate also recalled that when Pope John Paul II visited Ukraine, his visit was opposed by only the Moscow patriarchate, while the Ukrainian church welcomed it.


“Now we also are living in the realities that the enemy resists; after all, we are in a state of hybrid war and this is not only a war in the east of Ukraine but also within an information struggle, when the enemy tries to counteract everything that is beneficial for Ukraine,” Metropolitan Epifany noted.


We recall that in 2020, President Vladimir Zelensky visited the Vatican for the first time and in an audience he invited the Roman pope to visit Ukraine.


Subsequently, on 25 March, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, during a visit to the Vatican, delivered to Pope Francis Zelensky’s invitation to visit Ukraine on the occasion of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of independence. (tr. by PDS, posted 8 July 2021)



Religiina Pravda, 8 July 2021


The schedule of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit will be very eventful and provide for events of both a church and a governmental character.


The primate of the PTsU, Metropolitan Epifany, related this to journalists during his visit to Ivano-Frankovsk, RISU reports.


“This year we anticipate the arrival of His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew within the context of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the restoration of our independence. Upon the invitation of the government and the Ukrainian church, there will be a governmental-church visit over the course of several days of the celebration of the proclamation of the independence of Ukraine,” he noted.


Epifany said that Patriarch Bartholomew will participate in both governmental events and church events.


“We will serve a joint liturgy and he will meet with the leaders of the government and also with representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, the public, and youth. It is well known that the patriarch is called the ‘Green Patriarch,’ and therefore he will participate in events devoted to preservation of the environment. We are now preparing a more detailed schedule of his visit. Of course, conversation with journalists is also being proposed,” the primate of the PTsU reported. (tr. by PDS, posted 8 July 2021)


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