Greeks stop ROC provocateurs who tried to prevent the pilgrimage of the OCU delegation
Representatives of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine returned from a lengthy pilgrimage to Greece which they visited for the first time after the recognition of the local Greek Church. Ukrainians traveled to the holy places for a week, according to the TSN story.
In order to avoid provocations by the Moscow Patriarchate, they changed the route several times. Nevertheless, those were not fully avoided. Unknown persons tried to cause a negative reaction of the Ukrainians, but the provocateurs were stopped by the Greeks.
The delegation of 37 people was headed by Metropolitans Oleksandr and Simeon. According to them, opponents from the ROC tried to spoil this trip and to avoid provocations promised by the Russians, the route had to be changed: "They saw our previous program, it was not quite exactly announced on purpose. We were clearly aware that there would be opposition."
Together with the clergy, ordinary lay people flew to Greece. During the week, everyone visited 12 monasteries and 5 temples, everywhere met very well: "Hellas, the ancient Greek land welcomed us very cordially. With love, joy, but most importantly – with love. Both hierarchs and priests, both in temples and in monasteries, met us as brothers." This gave the pilgrims confidence that soon the trend towards recognition of the OCA in the world will expand.
But the provocations in Greece were not fully avoided - in the monastery in Patras during the Liturgy, a man began to insult the guests in Greek. His attacks were stopped by a local priest. "In the monastery of St Nectarius of Aegina, and in the Patras, there was a certain critic who shouted that they were schismatics. On that father Mykolai, he reasonably responded: who are you? Come over here, I can't see you," said Bishop Oleksandr. In Athens, there were already two provocateurs, they shouted insults in Russian towards Ukrainian priests, but as soon as they were on the focus of attention they ran away.
As reported, on November 8, Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and all Africa remembered Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and all Ukraine as the Primate of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine during the Liturgy in the capital of Egypt. Thus, the Patriarchate of Alexandria became the third Church after the Churches of Constantinople and Greece, which officially recognized the OCU and established the liturgical communion with it.