Metropolitan Hilarion of Rivne and Ostroh, head of the OCU Chaplaincy Mission, paid an official visit to meet with Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden and All Scandinavia his metropolis in Stockholm.
The Bishop was accompanied by People’s Deputy of Ukraine Oleksandr Kovalchuk, reports the website of the OCU Rivne Diocese.
The bishop’s official visit was devoted to the presentation of the exhibition of 12 art objects of the ArtArmor project, which emphasize the fight of the Ukrainian people in the war for their Homeland.
There was also an official reception of the delegation from Ukraine at St. George’s Cathedral in Stockholm, where Metropolitan Cleopas introduced the guests to the history of the cathedral and the recent large-scale restoration works conducted in it.
The meeting took place at the Museum of Hellenic Christian Heritage, during which Metropolitan Hilarion spoke about the current situation in Ukraine, and Metropolitan Cleopas assured that both the Local Church and he personally will continue to support the Orthodox faithful from Ukraine who have found refuge in Scandinavia.
Metropolitan Cleopas also delivered a greeting at the Army Museum, conveying the fatherly wishes and blessings from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as led a tour of the museum’s exhibition and galleries.
In his speech, Metropolitan Cleopas said: “Our Church will continue to provide pastoral support for the benefit of our Ukrainian brothers in need throughout Scandinavia. I invited His Eminence to visit Stockholm again and concelebrate with me in St. George’s Cathedral, where, in addition to Greek and Swedish languages, the Lord’s Prayer and the Nicene Creed are read in Ukrainian every Sunday. I reiterate my promise to our Ukrainian brothers that all the parishes of the Holy Metropolis of Sweden are at their disposal for religious and cultural gatherings. We gathered tonight at the Swedish Army Museum to visit an exhibition of 12 original artworks painted on body armor and tank armor that saved soldiers’ lives. I salute the organizers of this unique exhibition, which sends a message of hope and optimism in all directions, as they remind us of the Triune God’s reason for creating the world and perpetuating the human race in times of peace, not war. The words of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew continue to ring true: “a war waged in the name of religion is a war against religion.” We pray for an immediate end to hostilities in the wider region, a ceasefire and justice for the people who are fighting with courage and self-sacrifice to defend their territorial integrity.”
At the end of the meeting, Metropolitan Cleopas and Metropolitan Hilarion exchanged commemorative gifts.
The official visit was a testimony of unity and support between the OCU and the Scandinavian Orthodox Church, especially at the times Ukraine is going through.
It should be recalled that the head of the OCU earlier visited Ternopil region where he honored the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred.