Expert: Visit to Ukraine to lower Phanar head’s status as spiritual leader

Valentin Rybin. Photo: a video screenshot from the “1Kozak” Youtube channel

Human rights defender Valentin Rybin commented on the situation with the invitation of Pat Bartholomew by Zelensky to the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's Independence.

If Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople accepts the invitation of the President and comes to Ukraine, this will lower his level as a spiritual leader. This point of view was expressed by the famous Kyiv human rights defender Valentin Rybin in the Yan Taksiur program "The Right to Faith".

Answering the question of whether the head of state had the right to invite a spiritual leader to the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's Independence, the expert noted that “Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zelensky can invite anyone if it is allowed by the relevant protocol and corresponds to the spirit of the event that will take place”.

But with the invitation of the spiritual leader of this or that confession, "there is a closure of relations between the state and religion," he added.

At the same time, according to Valentin Rybin, the level of the President does not rise, but "in a certain way the level of the spiritual leader who responds to the invitation of the president is downgraded."

“After all, a spiritual leader knows exactly about the relationship between the Church and people, about the relationship between the Church and the state. Most likely, through this prism, it is more interesting to consider the issue of Bartholomew's consent to attend the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence,” he explained.

According to the expert, one should hardly expect any positive result from this visit, and in this regard, another question arises: "Can the actions of a spiritual leader be aimed at worsening relations between the Church and the person?"

As reported, UOC official representatives will not participate in events attended by the Patriarch of Constantinople.

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