2018-09-12 19:31:00

Constantinople legates arrive in Ukraine - sources

Moscow, September 12, Interfax - Sources said the two bishops appointed by the Patriarchate of Constantinople as its exarchs in Ukraine have already arrived in Kiev and had a walk around the Kiev Lavra of the Caves, the seat of the metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).

"Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon from the United States and Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton (Canada) were seen near the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Workers at a church shop said one of the exarchs bought himself a panagia [encolpion]," the Union of Orthodox Journalists of Ukraine said on Wednesday.

The leader of the self-proclaimed "Kiev Patriarchate", Filaret Denisenko, met last weekend with the acting director of the Kiev Lavra Preserve, Aleksander Rudnik, and demanded that Block 19 of the monastery be transferred to the "Kiev Patriarchate", the Union said. It was reported later that this building was allotted for the Constantinople exarchs.

It had been reported earlier that the Patriarchate of Constantinople appointed two bishops as its exarchs in Kiev "within the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine." This was done in reply to Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko's request on granting a tomos (ordinance) of autocephaly of a united local church in Ukraine.

Several days before, while speaking at a Synaxis (council) of active Metropolitans and Archbishops of the Ecumenical Throne in Istanbul on September 1, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said he assumed the initiative of overcoming the schism in Ukraine "since Russia, as the one responsible for the current painful situation in Ukraine, is unable to solve the problem." He said he did so in response to requests "by the honorable Ukrainian Government, as well as recurring requests by 'Patriarch' Filaret."