In the afternoon of September 5, 2022, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine and a delegation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine prayed in the Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle in the town of Kavala (Greece) during the Thanksgiving Prayer (Doxology), led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
This was reported by the OCU press service.
After the prayer, the reigning hierarch, Metropolitan Stephanos of Philippi, Neapolis, and Thassos, addressed the Ecumenical Patriarch, OCU Primate, numerous hierarchs, clergy, representatives of state and local authorities, military personnel of the Hellenic Republic, and all those present. Recalling the eventful previous days of the visit, the Bishop heartily thanked Metropolitan Epifaniy and Patriarch Bartholomew.
Metropolitan Stephanos emphasized the importance of the arrival of the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine to Greece and expressed support for the Church and the people of Ukraine, who are suffering from Russian aggression. “From us, the Church of Ukraine accepts consolation in grief, support, love, prayers, encouragement, and fraternal unity in Christ Jesus,” he said.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his speech thanked Metropolitan Stephanos and all those who participated in the preparation and conduct of the visit. Among other topics, he also touched on Ukraine.
“Last year, at the invitation of President Volodymyr Zelensky, we were present in Kyiv at the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of Independence. Was it then possible to imagine what suffering and sorrow would soon come there? His Beatitude Moscow Patriarch Kirill justifies this war, even calling it sacred. This is not a holy war, this is a diabolical war!” the Patriarch emphasized.
“The Church of Ukraine has a deep and ancient history, and history cannot turn back. Only Jordan turned back, and everything that has been done for the Church of Ukraine will not change! We love and appreciate the Church of Ukraine and its Primate, who in such difficult conditions was able to come to share prayer and the joy of communication with us,” said Patriarch Bartholomew.
After the Doxology, the leaders and guests went to the local archaeological museum, where the visit continued.
It should be recalled that Metropolitan Epifaniy was declared an honorary citizen of Nestos municipality (Greece).