Jerusalem, September 10, 2018
A delegation of Ukrainian pilgrims had the opportunity to meet with His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem at the patriarchate in the Holy Land on Friday. The group was headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye.
The patriarch spoke to them about the great blessing of visiting the holy places where Christ Himself lived and walked and stressed the special importance of concelebrated Divine services in the Holy Land that confirm the existence of pan-Orthodox unity.
The bishops and pilgrims also spoke of the current ecclesiastical turmoil in Ukraine caused by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, reports the site of the Zaporozhye Diocese.
Pat. Theophilos has expressed his support the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the integrity of the Russian Orthodox Church many times over the years.
Met. Luke first offered some words on the leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine: “For us Ukrainians, our primate is an unbreakable wall behind which we feel calm.”
In response, Pat. Theophilos responded that though the people are subjected to severe tests right now, they should not lose hope: “We live by the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Peace and the restoration of unity will come only through the Church and our prayers.”
“We pray for our brother, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, and the long-suffering people of Ukraine,” the patriarch assured the Ukrainian pilgrims.
“Globalization has its main goal of, above all, destroying the Orthodox Church. The tentacles of globalization are trying to penetrate into the Church Body to destroy it. This is happening all over the world, including in Ukraine. The interference of politicians in Church affairs, of representatives of one Church in the affairs of another under the influence of politicians is a sign of this process,” His Beatitude said, diagnosing the problem.
“Only the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ give us strength and hope for the preservation of peace, of our faith, and of our identity,” he added, giving the solution.
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