The members of the Local Orthodox Church of Ukraine could not attend the meetings at the Jerusalem Patriarchate. This was reported by the Vesti correspondent from Jerusalem on the eve of Orthodox Easter.
“They cannot even hold prayers with representatives of other Orthodox churches. They will have expected problems even with the approach to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In order to get closer to the place where the Holy Fire comes down, they need special badges,” he said.
According to the policemen who guard the church, the badges specially and in advance (for six months earlier) were given to those believers who can get close to the place where the Holy Fire will condescend.
Answering the question of whether the Local Orthodox Church of Ukraine delegates could be present at the Temple of fire in their robes, the bishop-abbot of the Temple answered.
“They can only be present, in their robes or dressed like ordinary believers, but they cannot stand with us. We are aware of Ukrainian church problems, and we assure: they cannot serve; such is the position of the Patriarch."
The Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilus III himself willingly answered the question about the separation of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. “We need to pray for the unity of the church and its prosperity,” he said.