US diplomatic reps discuss “Ukrainian issue” with head of the Greek Church
During the meeting, US Ambassador for Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback and Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens discussed the issue of the OCU.
On May 6, 2019, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback, accompanied by members of the US Diplomatic Service, met with the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece, reports "Romfea".
Samuel Brownback was accompanied by Riley Barnes, an employee of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Affairs (DRL) within the US Department of State, US Ambassador to Greece Jeffrey Payette, and religious affairs advisor to the US Embassy in Greece Paulette Walsh, and political advisor on religious affairs Holly Metcalf.
The Protosyncellus of the Holy Archdiocese of Athens, Bishop Symeon of Thespiae welcomed the ambassador and his colleagues at the entrance to the Archdiocese.
As reported, Archbishop Ieronymos II greeted Mr. Brownback and members of the mission, and they discussed “various issues of common interest, including the issue of the Ukrainian Church.”
In addition, according to the resource, on the same day the US delegation scheduled a meeting with the abbots of the Athos monasteries and the civil governor of Athos Konstantinos Dimtsas.
We recall that at the end of 2018, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback visited Kiev and met with President Petro Poroshenko. During the talks, the American diplomat promised that Washington would continue to support the creation and establishment of the OCU.
As the UOJ reported, in March 2019, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece held sessions, at which, among other things, the issue of recognition of the OCU was discussed. No final decision was made, and at the next session of the Synod the “Ukrainian church issue” was not raised. In between the meetings, Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and all of Greece visited the Russian Embassy, where he declared full understanding with the Russian Orthodox Church.