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    “We pray for victory and peace in Ukraine”: Bartholomew, Epifaniy discuss situation in church, country

    On August 31, 2023, in the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Phanar, Istanbul, Turkey), a meeting between His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, and His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew took place. Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon and Metropolitan Yevstratiy of Bila Tserkva also took part in the meeting.

    This was reported by the press service of OCU.

    In front of the gates of the Patriarchate, the Primate of the OCU was met by Protosyncle Archimandrite Theodore and the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod, Archimandrite Gregory. His Beatitude Bishop performed a short prayer in the Patriarchal Church of the Holy Great Martyr George the Victorious, and then held a meeting at the residence.

    On behalf of the OCU, the Primate warmly congratulated His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, expressing gratitude for his spiritual support, for condemning the unjust Russian aggression against Ukraine, and for various assistance for the Church and Ukraine. In memory of the visit, Metropolitan Epifaniy presented a collection of documents of the Local Unification Council of 2018, the Church Calendar of the OCU for 2023-2024 (new style) and a panagea with the image of the Intercession of the Mother of God. The bishop also talked about the latest events in the life of the Ukrainian Church, in particular, the outcome of the Local Council, and handed the Patriarch a letter to His Holiness approved by the Council.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch expressed great joy at the arrival of the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. “We are happy for your visit, Your Holiness, we pray for you, for the Church, for the people of Ukraine, who are suffering from unjust, diabolical aggression. And we pray for victory and peace, so that this war, the diabolical war, ends. We support your work and your efforts. May God help you!” emphasized His Holiness Bartholomew.

    Later, in a bilateral conversation, the Prelates touched on a wide range of issues related to Ukraine.

    In honor of the visit of His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy, His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew gave an official dinner at his residence, which was also attended by hierarchs, staff of the Patriarchate, and guests who arrived from Greece – diplomats and government officials.

    The meeting concluded with communication in the Throne Hall of the Patriarchate, during which the Prelates delivered their greeting speeches.

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