Ukrainian Orthodox promote European cooperation


by Mikhail Omelian

Press Service of Chernigov diocese of UPTsKP, 10 March 2017


On 6-9 March 2017, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Filaret, Archbishop of Chernigov Evstraty, the representative of the Kiev patriarchate to European institutions, made a regular working visit to Brussels.


The vladyka arrived in the Belgian capital on 6 March.


On 7-8 March he held a number of meetings in the European Commission, European Parliament, and nongovernmental organizations.


In particular, the archbishop visited the European bureau of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which is a years-long partner of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations in various educational, social, and informational projects.


In the European Parliament the hierarch met with a number of lawmakers representing various parties and parliamentary fractions (European National Party, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, Greens). Among others, he met with a deputy from Lithuania, Petras Aushtriavichus, who heads the inter-fractional group "Friends of Ukraine."


Vladyka Evstraty also held a meeting with advisors of several officials of the European Parliament.


During the meetings he talked about the current inter-confessional and social situation in Ukraine, the violation of freedom of religious confession and rights of Ukrainian parishes in the territories temporarily occupied by Russia of Crimea and the Donbass, prospects of cooperation with European institutions by both the Kiev patriarchate and the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, and other matters of mutual interest.


In addition the archbishop met with the representative of Ukraine to the European Union, Mr. Nikolai Tochitsky and the rector of the pastorate of Brussels (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church), Fr Oleg Zimak.


On 9 March the hierarch departed for the motherland.


The representation of the Kiev patriarchate to European institutions was created by order of His Holiness Patriarch of Kiev and all-Rus-Ukraine Filaret in October 2014 for cooperation with international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and religious and interconfessional structures, whose centers are in Europe, in particular with the institutions of the European Union and Council of Europe. Archbishop of Chernigov and Nezhin Evstraty was appointed the representative of the UPTsKP.


In April 2015, the representative, in cooperation with partners, organized and successfully conducted a patriarchal visit to Brussels, where the primate of the UPTsKP met with high officials of the EU, in particular with the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk; president of the Europarliament, Martin Shultz; the high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini; and Eurocommissioners Johannes Hahn and Christos Stylianidis. (tr. by PDS, posted 10 March 2017)

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