UOC Administrator meets with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople

On December 17, 2017, with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, the Administrator of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church visited Istanbul (Constantinople).

With the blessing of His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, on this Sunday morning, Metropolitan Antoniy celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the church of St. Andrew, which happens to also be the metochion of the Vatopedi Monastery. Concelebrating with the UOC Administrator were: Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC Archpriest Mykolay Danyleviych, parish priest Archimandrite Panaret (Psaraftis), the Rector of the Russian Metochion of the St. Panteleimon monastery on Holy Mount Athos, that is in Constantinople, hieromonk Tymofiy (Mishyn), Deputy General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate and Patriarchal Deacon Gregorios (Frangakis). Also praying at the altar was hierarch of the Patriarchate of Constantinople His Eminence Archbishop Job of Telmessos (Getcha).

Upon conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, at which Ukrainian and Russian-speaking worshippers from various republics of the former Soviet Union prayed, His Eminence Metropolitan Antoniy delivered a sermon on the theme of Sunday Gospel reading, he also greeted the Parish rector Archimandrite Panaret (Psaraftis) and faithful with their recent Patronal Feast and presented the parish a copy of the Pochayiv Icon of the Mother of God.

Following the prayer service, Metropolitan Antoniy of Boryspil and Brovary met with His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople at his residence at the Phanar. The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Chairman of the UOC DECR Archpriest Mykolay Danylevych and People’s Deputy at the Verkhovna Rada V. V. Novinskyi. Attending the meeting from the Ecumenical Patriarchate were: His Eminence Job (Getcha), Archbishop of Telmessos and Archimandrite Vissarion (Komzias).

Metropolitan Antoniy conveyed greetings to His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople from His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine. During the meeting, the state of inter-confessional relations in Ukraine as well as the current situation of Ukrainian Orthodoxy were discussed. Metropolitan Antoniy shared views and thoughts about the future prospects of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

In particular, Vladyka Antoniy confirmed the willingness of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to do everything possible to eliminate church schism. The interlocutors were united in their position that division within the Church should be rectified on the basis of church canons, and not on political expediency. Church schism should be cured and overcome but not legalised. The problem of the church schism in Ukraine should be solved in the ecclesiological dimension rather than the political one. After all, implementing such an approach to the problem of schism will inevitably lead to a genuine, rather than a superficial unity of the Church.

Towards the conclusion of the meeting, the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew conveyed greetings to the Ukrainian people on occasion of the upcoming feast of the Nativity of Christ.

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