Patriarch Filaret arrives to Bukovyna
“This is far from my first visit to Bukovyna,” said His Holiness Filaret, the Patriarch of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine. “I have been here many times, including in Soviet times.”
On July 20, the first hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate arrived in Chernivtsi. Two hours before his arrival, hundreds of faithful waited for their patriarch in the courtyard of the temple of the Venerable Paraskeva of Serbia located on Zankovetska street in the city center.
Patriarch Filaret visited the Chernivtsi Regional State Administration, where he talked to the governor, the head of the regional council Ivan Muntean and the mayor of Chernivtsi Oleksiy Kaspruk at the office of the head of the Regional State Administration Olexandr Fischuk.
“My mission,” said Patriarch Filaret, “is not only to pray, but also to unite people, which is why I am going to Ukraine.”
At a briefing for local journalists, Patriarch Filaret said that Ukraine is now severely suffering from an external aggressor - Russia. For if it were only the local separatists, then Ukraine would have dealt away with them for a long time.
“We will not be slaves,” added the head of the UOC-KP. “Ukraine is a peace-loving country. Russia should have been a guarantor of immunity after Ukraine abandoned nuclear weapons. In the east of Ukraine, Russia intervened in our internal affairs. We are the victim of an aggressor. But evil wins only for a short time, good always wins.
Answering the question how His Holiness will comment on the situation in Chernivtsi regarding the restoration of the Cross-Pieta in the center of the city, Metropolitan Danylo of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna noted that “this is a local issue, while one should ask the questions of all-Ukrainian importance, and not such local trifles as Pieta.”
Not long ago, a serious religious conflict was looming over Chernivtsi when the initiative of the Greek Catholic community of the city and the activists of Chernivtsi to restore Pieta was opposed by the Diocese of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna of the UOC-KP, and later by the local Orthodox of the UOC-MP.
Although at the very beginning (in the 90-ties), the initiative to restore Pieta was put forward by historians and public figures.
After the briefing, the Patriarch went to the temple of the Venerable Paraskeva the Serbian to pray there with the residents of Chernivtsi. And on Friday, his Holiness will visit Doroshivtsi village of Zastavnovsky district, which celebrates its 400th anniversary. The head of the UOC-KP will celebrate there the festive Divine Liturgy.