P.Ts.U. HEAD DISCUSSES INTERCONFESSIONAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE WITH GERMAN AMBASSADOR
Religiia v Ukraine, 20 September 2019
Metropolitan Epifany, the head of the PTsU [Orthodox Church of Ukraine] on 18 September met with the ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ukraine, Anka Feldhusen. The parties discussed a wide range of pressing issues. They talked in particular about the interconfessional situation in Ukraine, the path that the church has taken to get the patriarchal and synodal tomos concerning autocephaly from the Constantinople church, the importance of this event for the whole Ukrainian nation, and the process of the recognition of the PTsU on the part of other local churches, Religiia v Ukraine reports, with reference to Pomisna.info.
Also present in the meeting was the deputy head of the Department of External Church Relations, Archbishop of Chernigov and Nezhin Evstraty.
The head of the PTsU noted that Moscow brings substantial resources for counteracting the PTsU and the process of its formation. "Russia allocates great resources for resisting us, but the main factor in victory is the truth, and that is on our side," said Metropolitan Epifany.
Responding to the guest's question about the transfer of parishes into the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the primate emphasized that he is an absolute supporter of an exclusively voluntary process, which would correspond to the laws of Ukraine. "We are not interested in drawing in anybody by force; this contradicts both Christian values and common sense. After all, it is understandable that you cannot gobble up anybody by compulsion and such a process will not have any result," the vladyka noted.
"In this time, about 600 parishes have joined us and it is clear that this cannot be done by force. Those minor conflicts about which certain news media sometimes report obviously are the result of deliberate provocation aimed at creating corresponding pictures of 'persecution,' in which our opponents are extremely interested," Metropolitan Epifany added.
In addition the parties touched on the issue of the transfer of premises on Lutheran Street to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. In its time, the German Lutheran congregation of Kiev tried to get this building. The metropolitan noted that the PTsU is open to dialogue and ready to find a compromise resolution that will satisfy everybody.
At the conclusion of the conversation, the primate of the PTsU presented commemorative publications to the ambassador and thanked her for the meeting. (tr. by PDS, posted 21 September 2019)
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