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    OCU head, deputy foreign minister discuss preparations for Ecumenical Patriarch’s visit

    On June 11, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine met with Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Vasyl Bodnar, and discussed a number of topical issues, including the preparations for a Ukraine visit of the Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

    That’s according to the press service of the OCU.

    As reported earlier, the visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is to take place late August as Ukraine will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of its independence restoration.

    On June 11, the book entitled BARTHOLOMEW: Apostle and Visionary was presented in Kyiv. The clergy of the OCU also congratulated Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on his name day.

    On October 16, 2020, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine invited the Ecumenical Patriarch to Ukraine for the 30th anniversary of independence.

    Immediately after that, the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine started spinning claims the visit would cause “problems” in the country. The ROCinU doesn’t want Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to pay a visit, and intimidates the public with possible religious confrontation. Such fears of the Moscow church are due to a new wave of conversions to the Ukrainian church, which Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit may cause. That’s according to Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanych) of the ROC.

    A spokesman for the OCU explained that it was not within the competence of the Moscow Patriarchate to tell Ukrainians whether to invite Patriarch Bartholomew. The infamous “Orthodox Communist” with the ROCinU, Valentin Lukiyanyk, held several rallies against Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit to Ukraine. However, Onufriy distanced himself from him and said he never gave his blessings for such actions. ROCinU’s experts predict that other primates will come along with Patriarch Bartholomew.

    Political expert Viktor Taran believes that Bartholomew’s visit will testify to the fiasco of the ROCinU in its efforts to become a center of Orthodoxy.

    According to the head of the OCU, Metropolitan Epifaniy, the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch to Ukraine “will lead to a greater awareness of Ukrainians of where the real Ukrainian Orthodox Church stands and where the Russian Orthodox Church is.”

    It shall be recalled that the Ecumenical Patriarch assured pilgrims from Ukraine of his upcoming visit to Kyiv. Also, late May, the Head of the Presidential Office discussed with Metropolitan Emanuel the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch to Ukraine on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.

    On May 26, the hierarch of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, visited His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine and announced the details of the visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine.

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