Kiev, August 7, 2018
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is hoping that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will discuss the ecclesiastical situation in Ukraine with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at their upcoming meeting on August 31 in Constantinople.
“I think yes, they will discuss it, because Patriarch Kirill represents the fullness of the Russian Orthdoox Church: Russia, Ukraine, and Japan,” Vasily Anisimov, the head of the Ukrainian Church’s press service, told RIA-Novosti.
He added that the patriarchs “understand perfectly well” that they need to “somehow repel the attack” of the Ukrainian authorities against the Church. “I’m really hoping that the patriarchs will discuss this at their meeting, because the situation in Ukraine could become unhinged,” Anisimov explained.
As Department for External Church Relations Deputy Head Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich previously said, the meeting of the patriarchs promises to be a positive event both for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and for the entire Orthodox world.
“There has long been talk about this meeting in inner Church circles. There is reason to believe that this will be a positive event for world Orthodoxy, leading to a de-escalation in relations between the Constantinople and Moscow Patriarchates, and thus improve the whole climate of inter-Orthodox relations,” Fr. Nikolai wrote on his personal Facebook page.
“I think that the means of solving many relevant problems with the end of goal of strengthening inter-Orthodox unity will be resolved or will at least be outlined. In any case, the direct dialogue of the heads of Church is always better than the exchange of media statements, as we have been seeing so far,” the DECR representative added.
Patriarch Kirill previously met with a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Moscow in July, at which time the topic of the Ukrainian Church and the question of granting a tomos of autocephaly was discussed. The agenda for the upcoming patriarchal meeting is still being worked out.
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