Metropolitan Hilarion complains about the enemies of Moscow who disrupted his meeting with Pompeo
Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department of External Church Relations, accused the opponents of the Russian Church of the fact that on October 22 meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not take place.
"Я думаю, что есть у нас немало недоброжелателей, которые имеют хорошие контакты с госдепартаментом, и когда эта встреча была анонсирована, они приняли меры для того, чтобы она не состоялась", - сказал митрополит в эфире программы "Церковь и мир" на телеканале "Россия-24", сообщает Интерфакс-редигия.
"I think we have a lot of detractors who have good contacts with the Department of State, and when this meeting was announced, they took steps to keep it from happening," the Metropolitan said on air for the "Church and World" program of Russia-24 TV-channel, reports Interfax-religion.
He said he had received an invitation to meet with the Secretary of State from the members of the Antioch Archdiocese of North America back in June.
"I was not the initiator and I did not expect anything special from this meeting, but I agreed. I was offered dates in August - they didn't fit me, I was offered dates in September - but in September my schedule was also jam-packed. Then the US Secretary of State's office offered three dates in October - I chose one of the three proposed dates because it was close to the 125th anniversary of St. Raphael of Brooklyn's ministry and the 100th anniversary of the Council of Antioch, to which I was invited by the Antiochians who arrange this meeting, "said the Metropolitan.
"Until the meeting was announced, no one was trying to disrupt it," the ROC hierarch complained.
However, on the eve of the conversation, the US Department of State published Pompeo's schedule for the next day.
"And then the next day I get a call from the US Department of State that the meeting will take place, but it will be a tete-a-tete, and earlier it was supposed that a representative of the Church of Antioch would also take part in this meeting. And an hour before this meeting, I get a call saying that instead of Pompeo I will be met by his deputy. Well, I refused from this meeting, "said the Metropolitan.
The hierarch said that the next morning Pompeo had a solemn meeting with the Primate of the OCU, Epifaniy, who spoke about the violation of the rights of believers in the Donbas and in the occupied Crimea, and the Secretary of State assured that the United States supported and would support the Ukrainian Church.
According to RISU, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on October 23 as part of the latter's first visit to the United States.
The Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine noted that in Ukraine they are grateful for the long-standing solidarity and highly appreciate the reliable two-party support of the United States of America, which is extremely important for strengthening Ukraine's independence. Metropolitan Epifaniy expressed his hope that Washington would continue to remain unwavering in its support of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, in the defense of religious freedom, in countering Russian aggression and in returning all Ukrainian hostages.