Authorized representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Kyiv Patriarchate in search for solutions to Ukrainian Orthodoxy issue in Istanbul
On January 12, 2017, with the blessing of Patriarch Filaret of the Kyiv Patriarchate, members of the commission for dialogue with the Ecumenical Patriarchate met with representative members of the Holy Synod and the Holy Patriarchate of Constantinople at the official residence of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Phanar (Istanbul, Turkey).
The Ukrainian side was represented by the Commission Chairman and Patriarchal Vicar, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskyy and Bila Tserkva, Metropolitan Dymytriy of Lviv and Sokal, and Secretary of the Holy Synod Archbishop Yevstratiy of Chernihiv and Nizhyn. The delegation was also accompanied by the First Vice-rector of the Kyiv Orthodox Theological Academy, Archpriest Olexandr Trofymlyuk. Before the meeting, the delegation prayed at St. George Patriarchal Cathedral at the Phanar unto the relics of the saints of the Three Holy Hierarchs, St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate representatives, negotiating with the Ukrainian delegation were General Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, Metropolitan of Smyrna Bartholomew, and the Holy Synod member, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France. Both hierarchs are members of the commission set up by the Holy Synod in the summer 2016 to consider the autocephaly of the Church in Ukraine. Fr. Ambrosius, the Secretary of the Commission for Inter-Orthodox Relations was also in attendance.
According to the press-center of the Kyiv Patriarchate, “views on the current state of Orthodoxy in Ukraine were exchanged at great length.” On behalf of Patriarch Filaret, the UOC KP delegation communicated to the Ecumenical Patriarchate representatives the position of the Kyiv Patriarchate regarding the solutions to the problems that are faced by Ukrainian Orthodox believers due to the destructive non-canonical actions of the Moscow Patriarchate.”
It has been emphasized that the Kyiv Patriarchate, unlike the ROC, officially supported the decisions of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, held in Crete in June last year. Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have been provided with the copies of the UOC-KP Church calendar for 2017, which presents the translation of the Pan-Orthodox Council’s documents undertaken by the Kyiv Patriarchate.
Metropolitans Emmanuel and Bartholomew have underscored that the Ukrainian church issue is complicated, but the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as the First Throne and Mother Church will do their best to find the way of problem solving. The hierarchs have noted that all opinions and suggestions made during the meeting will be communicated to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate, which will take the appropriate action.
The press center of the UOC-KP states: “Noting that the Kyiv Patriarchate has sought for over 25 to restore of canonical order through the establishment of one local Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the delegation of the UOC-KP expresses hope that the Mother Church of Constantinople will do everything possible to adopt all appropriate decisions the earliest possible.”