Chartered Secretary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Metropolitan Anthony stated that representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will not attend the national events dedicated to Independence Day if Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople visit them as Strana reported.
“We have heard the rumors that the presence of Patriarch Bartholomew I is supposed at different church and political events. Besides, we have information that he will visit the prayer service at St. Sophia's Cathedral. Usually, heads of religious organizations of Ukraine were invited. What is the status of Bartholomew I? We say that if Bartholomew I is there, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church cannot be present. Our believers will not understand us,” His Holiness said.
Anthony added that according to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Bartholomew I “is personally responsible for pressure on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, for conflicts around the churches and parish, the beating of our people and other violence that happens”.
“If he is here, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will not be able to participate. It turns out that our multimillion perish will also not be presented at this event. We made it clear to the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and representatives of the Office of the President of Ukraine. That is why, the choice lies on the organizers,” Metropolitan Anthony concluded.