Jerusalem, January 31, 2019
With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, the chancellor of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, met with His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem in the Holy City yesterday, January 30, reports the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
This was the second time in a week that the Patriarch met with a delegation from the canonical Church just after canceling his scheduled meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on January 21. The next day, he met with a delegation from the Odessa Diocese of the UOC.
Met. Anthony was accompanied by Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, the Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian Church’s Department for External Relations.
During the meeting, they discussed topics concerning world Orthodoxy in general and the Ukrainian crisis in particular. Pat. Theophilos assured the Ukrainian delegation of his prayers for the unity of Ukrainian and world Orthodoxy and noted the need for especial Christian wisdom, patience, and humility in this time of crisis in the life of the Church.
The Patriarch also spoke warmly about Met. Onuphry, describing him as “a special hierarch and deeply spiritual man.” Pat. Theophilos frequently meets with Ukrainian delegations and often speaks highly of the Ukrainian primate. Just before the Ukrainian state appealed to Constantinople for autocephaly in late April, Pat. Theophilos met with a Ukrainian delegation, expressing his belief that Met. Onuphry is the only one who could cope with the difficult situation the Ukrainian people find themselves in now.
“God chose His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the most suitable person for the difficult situation in which the Ukrainian people find themselves now, and he will have the strength to overcome the schism which has occurred in Ukraine,” he said at that time.
After meeting with the Patriarch yesterday, the UOC delegation venerated the Holy Sepulcher and other sacred sites throughout the Holy City of Jerusalem.
As OrthoChristian has reported, His Beatitude Pat. Theophilos has been under heavy pressure to recognize the Ukrainian schismatic church, which had hoped to send representatives to concelebrate with Pat. Theophilos on Theophany, though the hierarchs of the Jerusalem Church resisted this pressure. He was to meet with Poroshenko two days later, under the condition that no representatives of the schismatic church would attend, though he canceled at the last minute, officially because he became ill. However, as mentioned, he met with a delegation from the canonical Church the next day.
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