President Greets Orthodox Metropolitan On 10th Anniversary Of Kharkiv Sobor

21.06.2002, 23:15
On 19 June 2002, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma participated in a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the Kharkiv Sobor, which elected Metropolitan Volodymyr as head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). Kuchma called the Sobor “a significant milestone in the life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church” and awarded Metropolitan Volodymyr the state order of Yaroslav the Wise.

Assessing the events of 10 years ago, Kuchma stressed “our recent past has proven that any attempts to achieve progress by violating and disregarding the will of believers has failed.” The president also added “the state should not interfere in the internal affairs of the church and does not intend to do so.”

The president’s address also states that the state authorities fully support “the most wide-ranging activities of the church in all spheres of life.”

According to Kuchma, “the time has come to take a closer look at the part the church and the clergy are playing today. The increasing role of the church in the domain of social ministry and the care and protection of the needy have found strong support from the population…

We view cooperation between the church and the state,” the president continued, “as a strategic prospect and an important contribution towards the consolidation of the civil society.”

Metropolitan Volodymyr has received greetings on occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Kharkiv Sobor from Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Patriarch Peter of Alexandria, Patriarch Alexis of Moscow, Patriarch Pavel of Serbia, Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria, and other heads of national Orthodox churches.