UOC Chancellor comments on forthcoming visit of the Phanar head to Ukraine
It'd be good if Pat. Bartholomew, who believes that "the Tomos brought peace to the church life of Ukraine," visited some affected settlements, the hierarch said.
Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary, Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, commented on the announced visit of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to Ukraine.
As the visit is slated for the days of Ukraine's Independence Day celebrations, "it is not so difficult to assume that the head of Phanar will have a rich program, lavishly seasoned with political and ideological condiments," wrote Metropolitan Anthony on his Facebook page.
"But it would be good if a foreign guest, instead of official receptions or participation in mass events being organized particularly for him, could come for a few minutes to several settlements of Ukraine, which were hit by forceful seizures," said the UOC hierarch.
In his opinion, if this could be realized, "much would finally become clear."
“For example, would the patriarch be able to look directly into the eyes of the believers who were brutally beaten during the seizure of their church in the village of Katerynivka, Ternopil region? the metropolitan continued. "Or could he confidently say that he brought peace to the ecclesiastic life of Ukraine with his tomos in front of the family of the late Archpriest Leonid Delikatny from the village of Zadubrivka, Chernivtsi region, whose health was irreversibly undermined by endless attacks on him and his community by supporters of the ‘OCU’? Likewise, could the first hierarch claim that he represents the Mother Church for the children and young grandchildren of the priest Stepan Korolchuk from the village of Polesskoye, Rivne region, who, together with their large family, were driven out of their house by the schismatics from the OCU?”
He recalled that there were hundreds of such cases and incidents "involving human grief, pain and afflictions."
"Let’s face it that the lion's share of responsibility lies with Patriarch Bartholomew, who in pursuit of unlimited power legalized the Ukrainian schism and thus provoked a powerful wave of pressure and persecution of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church," said Metropolitan Anthony.
Moreover, he noted, the arrival of the head of Phanar in Ukraine can give a new impetus to these processes, "but this should not scare us."
“The Church has withstood even more complicated tests throughout history and always won. What can you not say about some patriarchs of Constantinople, whose miserable fates testified to the futility of relying on the human might, rather than on God,” the UOC Chancellor summed up.
As reported by the UOJ, on November 30, the head of Phanar announced he would arrive in Ukraine in August 2021. The official visit will be a response to the invitation voiced earlier by Vladimir Zelensky.