Kiev, January 31, 2020
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” met today, January 31, at St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, the administrative center of the OCU.
According to the report on the OCU website, the parties reached an agreement on bilateral cooperation.
Hierarchs of the OCU have publicly acknowledged that their church was created in late 2018 and given autocephaly in early 2019 by the Patriarchate of Constantinople thanks to the support of the U.S. State Dept. and other the governments of other Western powers.
Dumenko spoke about the formation of his OCU, its relation with society and the state, and the expansion of its international relations.
He also expressed “gratitude to the American side for the firm and reliable support of Ukraine both in the context of countering external challenges that our country continues to face, and on the path of state and democratic reforms.” The sides also discussed the role of Russia in Crimea and Donbass and charged the neighboring state with persecuting Ukrainian clergy. Dumenko called for sanctions to be increased against Russia until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored.
Moreover, an agreement was reached with the State Dept. on further support for bilateral cooperation, “especially in the field of protecting the freedom of conscience and religion.”
Recall that Dumenko and Pompeo met in Washington in October, where they discussed many of the same issues.