On September 9, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy, received members of the U.S. House of Representatives who arrived in Kyiv to participate in the IX Prayer Breakfast.
That’s according to the OCU press service.
Epifaniy met with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman from the State of Pennsylvania (Republican Party) Brian Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), Congressman Juan Carlos Varga (D., Ca.), , and Bob McEwan (R., Oh.) and his spouse Elizabeth. The meeting was also attended by OCU’s Deputy Head of the External Church Relations Department, Archbishop Yevstratiy and advisers to the Kyiv Metropolis.
During the meeting, Metropolitan Epifaniy thanked U.S. legislators for their consistent support of Ukraine in its struggle for independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, as well as in carrying out the necessary reforms.
“As Ukraine’s largest religious organization, as a Church, we feel our special responsibility before Ukrainian society to help build a better state – democratic, European, and free from sin,” said Metropolitan Epifaniy.
“A lot has already been done, a number of important state institutions have been created to ensure that Ukraine develops as a truly democratic state, but much remains to be done – because untruths, violations of law, and corruption are deeply ingrained in our state and society, and changing the situation is a task that’s difficult but achievable, especially when there’s friendly support coming from our partners,” the head of the OCU emphasized.
The U.S. Congressmen stressed that the will of the Ukrainian people to have an independent, sovereign, and modern democratic state enjoys constant bipartisan support in the United States. Congressman Fitzpatrick said the legislators realize the fact that some of the things built in America over many decades need to be accomplished in Ukraine a much shorter period of time, therefor they are ready to share their experiences and help Ukraine.
The participants in the meeting discussed a number of issues related to vital reforms aimed at strengthening the rule of law. “The Church is called to bear witness to the truth and defend it, so we support judicial reform, anti-graft measures, and other important shifts, without which Ukraine won’t be able to prosper,” said Metropolitan Epifaniy.
The parties agreed to continue cooperation, in particular through the opportunities for expert interaction provided by the Mazepa Foundation established by the Kyiv Metropolis.