Ukraine, October 5, 2018
Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andrei Paruby has invited His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to visit Ukraine and address the Parliament, reports Ukrainian National News.
Paruby had a meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch’s exarchs, Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon, and Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton, today, during which he told them of his invitation.
“I invite the holy Patriarch to Ukraine to speak in the Verkhonva Rada. Please pass on this invitation,” he said.
“I think that if the circumstances evolve, His Holiness will visit Ukraine and will also go to the Verkhovna Rada, which made the historic decision [to appeal for a tomos of autocephaly—O.C.],” Bp. Ilarion responded.
The issue of invitations and hierarchical visitations is a delicate one lately. According to proper Church protocol, a bishop must not enter the canonical territory of another bishop without an invitation from the ruling hierarch. His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the primate of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the Ukrainian Holy Synod have thus protested the arrival of the exarchs to Kiev, saying Constantinople had no canonical right to send them.
In response, Archbishop Job (Getcha) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate protested that the Ukrainian Church has no right to denounce Constantinople’s actions. He also added that Pat. Bartholomew himself traveled to Ukraine ten years ago, for the celebration of the 1,020th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’, without any invitation from the Church.
However, according to the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s site, during his toast at the official banquet hosted by His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir (the primate of the Ukrainian Church at that time) on July 27, 2008, Pat. Bartholomew addressed Met. Vladimir, saying, “Most reverend beloved brother Metropolitan of Kiev, our presence here after the generous invitation of His Beatitude, the Patriarch Alexei [of Moscow—O.C.] and His Excellency, President YUSHCHENKO…”
Moreover, the press release, posted on the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s site, announcing Pat. Bartholomew’s then-upcoming visit to Ukraine reads, “Having evaluated the invitations of the Church, Nation and the Ukrainian people, and in honoring their feelings, the Mother Church— as the one who originally guided the Ukrainian people into baptism—decided to respond to the aforementioned invitations through the sending of a Patriarchal Delegation under the personal leadership of His All Holiness.”
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