Mass media: Pope Francis denies Poroshenko an audience

The Pope during the meeting with Petro Poroshenko on November 20, 2015. Photo: Reuters

Poroshenko intended to talk with Francis about the Vatican's support for the scenario of OCU’s accession to the UGCC – in the format of autonomous structure.

During his stay in Rome at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Uniate Cathedral of St. Sophia, the former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko tried to organize an audience with Pope Francis, but was refused. This was reported by Strana publication.

According to it, the pontiff did not want to meet with Poroshenko, because the latter "is no longer the head of state and therefore, has no advantages for visits to the head of the Vatican."

In addition, Strana notes that the pope’s refusal of an audience with the ex-president of Ukraine is dictated by his unwillingness to spoil relations with the new government of Ukraine, as well as “to jeopardise relations with Moscow.”

According to Strana, Poroshenko "was going to meet with Francis to raise the topic of support by the Vatican for the scenario of the OCU’s accession to the UGCC – in the format of an autonomous structure."

The publication also reports that Sviatoslav Shevchuk personally requested a meeting between Poroshenko and the Pope, however, he was not able to achieve a positive result.

The Strana interlocutor emphasized that such a tough stance of the Roman pontiff was dictated by the fact that "Poroshenko cannot guarantee the final result and therefore, negotiations need to be held with Phanar which controls the OCU. If Constantinople undertakes to transfer the Orthodox Church of Ukraine to the Catholic zone of influence, then the Vatican is ready to consider such a scenario.”

Earlier, the UOJ reported that on September 1, the former president of Ukraine said during a short interview that it was very important to unite the UGCC and the OCU.

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