Jerusalem, January 22, 2019
Updated January 25, 2019, 4:30 PM
His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem received a delegation from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church at his residence in the Patriarchate in the Old City of Jerusalem today.
The pilgrimage group was led by His Grace Bishop Victor of Artsyz, vicar of the Odessa Diocese. Pat. Theophilos told the group that he prays for peace in Ukraine and conveyed his primatial blessing, offering gifts to the pilgrims, reports the diocesan website.
However, just yesterday, as a source within the delegation accompanying Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko reported, the Patriarch could not meet with Poroshenko as planned yesterday because he had become ill, as OrthoChristian reported.
A source “in religious circles” even told Interfax-Ukraine that the Patriarch “went to the hospital and is now in serious condition in Tel Aviv.”
The Chief Secretary's Office of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem confirmed to OrthoChristian that His Beatitude had become ill and gone to hospital for treatment and an examination, though he quickly recovered.
Thus he was able to meet with a canonical Ukrainian delegation today in Jerusalem.
It was also reported by a source from within the Patriarchate that the Patriarch had initially agreed to meet with Poroshenko only on the condition that no representatives of the schismatic Ukrainian church accompanied him. As OrthoChristian has reported, the Patriarch has been under heavy pressure from various sides to recognize and even serve with the schismatics.
In the end, Poroshenko met with the Deputy Head and General Secretary of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, His Eminence Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina instead.
Follow us on Facebook!