Kiev, November 13, 2018
Today’s scheduled meeting between the bishops of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko did not take place because Poroshenko broke his agreement at the last minute and did not show up, reports the Kiev-based Union of Orthodox Journalists.
As the official site of the Ukrainian Church reports, 83 of the 90 diocesan and vicar bishops were already present at the Kiev Caves Lavra, where the meeting with Poroshenko was agreed to take place, where they participated in a session of the Bishops’ Council of the Ukrainian Church.
It was agreed in a November 9th telephone conversation between His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and President Poroshenko to come together at the Kiev Caves Lavra at 2:00 PM today in a meeting initiated by the President.
Despite the agreement, the bishops received an order from the head of the presidential administration Igor Rainin yesterday to go to the Ukrainian House, an international exhibition and convention center in Kiev, at the same time as the Lavra meeting was to take place. State Security employees who usually check buildings before the President arrives did not go the Lavra but instead to the Ukrainian House.
Poroshenko had initially suggested to Met. Onuphry to meet at the Ukrainian House but the primate insisted on meeting at the Lavra. The President was hesitant, fearing his presence at the Lavra on the same day as the Bishops’ Council could be perceived as support for the canonical Church, but he eventually agreed, after which the chancellery of the Kiev Metropolia published a call for the clergy of the Church to gather today in the Lavra.
Details of the phone call were published by the Ukrainian portal Vesti with reference to a source in the President’s administration.
In a statement released earlier this evening, the Ukrainian Church reaffirmed its readiness to meet with the President, but on Church territory.
Updated 11/13/2018, 7:16 PM
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