Monday, October 2, 2023

    Metropolitan Epifaniy visits Ukraine’s Consulate General in Istanbul

    During a visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine visited the Consulate General of Ukraine in Istanbul. His Beatitude was accompanied by the Deputy Head of the Department of External Church Relations, Metropolitan Yevstratiy of Bila Tserkva.

    That’s according to the OCU press service.

    A friendly constructive conversation took place in the premises of the Consulate General with the Consul General, Mr. Roman Nedilskyi. In particular, it was about Ukraine’s continued cooperation with the Ecumenical Patriarchate in humanitarian and peacemaking initiatives.

    His Beatitude spoke about the progress of his visit and the current issues of interaction between the OCU and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. “We feel the full support for our Local Church, Ukraine as a state, and the Ukrainian people from the Mother Church and personally from His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch. Both in our conversations and in official public speeches, Patriarch Bartholomew gave very clear assessments of Russian aggression, condemned the role of the Moscow Patriarchate, which, contrary to the teachings of the Church, is trying to justify the war. The Patriarch condemned this “theology of war”, which he called not sacred, as it is interpreted by Moscow, but diabolical.

    “Our common prayer, our meetings and constructive dialogue have shown a complete understanding between us. This, of course, causes a negative reaction from our opponents, who try again and again to question both Tomos and the status of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

    But neither the OCU nor the Ecumenical Patriarchate pay attention to these hostile efforts. Because we act within the canons and traditions of Orthodoxy, we act according to the truth. And we see the good fruits of such work – the local Church of Ukraine is growing, strengthening, and has authority both in Ukrainian society and among international secular and religious institutions. And His Holiness emphasized once again in his speech: the canonical act of granting autocephaly to the OCU cannot and will not be revised. And all attempts by any forces and individuals acting in the spirit of Moscow to question what has already been done, attempts to “review autocephaly,” will see no success,” said Metropolitan Epifaniy.

    The participants in the meeting agreed on further cooperation, in particular aimed at the implementation of the humanitarian and peacemaking initiatives of the Ukrainian Peace Formula, which were discussed during the visit of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in July and the return visit to Kyiv of the personal representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the Elder-Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon in August this year.