2018-11-13 19:05:00

Archbishops' Council of Moscow Patriarchate's Ukrainian Orthodox Church ready to meet with Ukrainian president, but on church soil - statement

Kiev, November 13, Interfax - The Archbishops' Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is ready to meet with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, but only on its own soil, the Council said.

"The Archbishops' Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church confirms its readiness for a meeting with the president of Ukraine, but on the church's grounds," the Council said on Tuesday.

The document explains the reason for choosing the venue.

Given the current status of the church-state relations, public statements made by government officials "can be seen as being aimed against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church," the archbishops said. The council also took into account the sentiments and views of the people and the clergy: "church-related matters must be discussed on the Church's territory."

It said it had decided to meet with Poroshenko at the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, not the Ukrainian House, and immediately notified the president. Poroshenko, however, declined to meet, the Church said.

"On the same day the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church held an emergency meeting which decided to convene the archbishops' council," the statement said.