Managing director of the UOC: we are against the arrival of Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine

President Zelenskiy should be aware that this visit could be a new impetus for more global religious confrontation.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is against the arrival of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to Ukraine, and the President who invited him to the country should know that the visit of the head of the Patriarchate of Constantinople may lead to a new round of religious confrontation in the state. Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovary, managing director of the UOC, said this in the release of the program «Church and Society» on the TV channel «Voice».

«Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zelenskiy is the President of Ukraine and no one can forbid him to meet with the leaders of other states or with the leaders of certain religious associations. Another situation is how justified is the invitation of the President of Ukraine to Patriarch Bartholomew. Because the President must take care of the internal state of society, of the internal situation. I believe that before inviting the head of a religious organization from another state, it was necessary to attend to how Ukrainian society would perceive this, whether it would lead to opposition movements», – said Metropolitan Anthony.

As the hierarch recalled, over the past two years, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has repeatedly declared its attitude towards Patriarch Bartholomew in various statements.

«We say unequivocally that Patriarch Bartholomew illegally intervened in the religious situation in Ukraine, and this interference led to opposition, the seizure of churches of our Church, to the beating of our parishioners, our clergy. And the words of Vladimir Zelenskiy that Patriarch Bartholomew cares about peace in Ukraine sound quite discordant. Because we have not found a single case when Patriarch Bartholomew, knowing the real situation in Ukraine, somehow prevented what was happening. I mean the raider seizures of our churches, illegal re-registration. And this all happened precisely on the basis of those actions – illegal, I emphasize, actions – of Patriarch Bartholomew in Ukrainian Orthodoxy», – said Metropolitan Anthony.

As the bishop said, today the position of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is unambiguous: «We are opposed to Patriarch Bartholomew coming to Ukraine. Because we understand and can be assumed that his arrival will not serve the world in Ukraine, but may become a new impetus to more global confrontations. The President must know about this and take care that not a single external situation, arrival, leads to a new round of confrontation among believers».

«And here the fundamental thing is that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has repeatedly stated: we must learn to live according to the Constitution. And the Constitution directly says that the state is separated from the Church. Therefore, any interference by statesmen in the internal life of the Church is contrary to our fundamental law», – concluded Metropolitan Anthony.

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