Washngton, D.C., September 20, 2018
Former Vice President Joe Biden had a meeting with the schismatic “Patriarch” Philaret of the so-called “Kiev Patriarchate” on Monday, during which he expressed his support to the creation of an autocephalous church in Ukraine.
Philaret has been in America since September 14. Interestingly, his visit to the U.S. coincides with the arrival to Kiev of Constantinople’s two exarchs who were sent to negotiate with representatives of Philaret’s “Kiev Patriachate.” There has been no announcement as of yet of a meeting between the exarchs and Philaret, who insists that he will be the patriarch of the new Ukrainian church.
Biden, a Roman Catholic, spoke at the meeting of the importance of a united autocephalous Ukrainian Church for the confirmation of Ukrainian statehood and expressed gratitude to Philaret for his work “in spreading spirituality in Ukrainian society, helping the Ukrainian army, fighting against corruption, and so on,” reports the press service of the “Kiev Patriarchate.”
In turn, the schismatic patriarch, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian nationalist movement that is tearing the country apart politically and spiritually, thanked Biden for his long-term support for Ukraine and awarded him the Order of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir the Great, 2nd Degree.
Philaret awarded Sen. John McCain the same order, 1st Degree in 2015, for his support of Ukraine during the events of Euromaidan and the “Russian occupation of Donbass and Crimea.”
Biden is also known to be friendly with His-All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, having visited him twice in Constantinople. The Ecumenical Patriarchate in turn bestowed upon him the Athenagoras Human Rights Award. Considering Biden’s strong pro-abortion stance, many Orthodox clergy and faithful were highly displeased.
U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel D. Brownback met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev on September 11, expressing the same support for Ukraine’s battle against the Moscow Patriarchate.
Meanwhile, in a recent interview, Philaret asserted that U.S. does not interfere in Church affairs in Ukraine or in any other country.
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