Patriarch Filaret (Orthodox Church of Ukraine) asks the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, to refuse to hold a liturgy in St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv. Filaret's message was published on his Facebook page.
Patriarch Filaret expressed concern about this event, as it may cause confrontation between the Orthodox and Greek Catholics and disrupt interfaith dialogue in Ukraine.
Thus, according to the patriarch, the holding of Divine Liturgy by the Greek Catholic clergy in the center of Ukrainian Orthodoxy, the Cathedral of St. Sophia, might cause resistance from Orthodox Ukrainians.
He suggested that this event could be used by Russia to harm the Ukrainian people, and therefore urged the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, to abandon pilgrimage and the celebration of Divine Liturgy in the St. Sophia’s Cathedral.
Earlier, Epifaniy, head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, said that he was looking forward to deepening cooperation with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
“We are not talking about unification, we are talking about cooperation. We want to start good fruitful cooperation between the Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church,” Epifaniy said.