On July 14th, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople gave an interview to Ukrainian TV channel 1+1.
The TV channel belongs to oligarch Igor Kolomoisky who recently returned to the country, it is also the channel which aired Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s “Servant of the People” show.
In the interview Bartholomew clarified that “the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was provided with autocephaly, not because Ukraine is an independent state, but because external pressure was exerted on the Ukrainians.”
“Mother Church, which catechized, baptized, cleaned and taught her children with such diligent effort, created an alphabet for them, due to external circumstances, was forced to tell them: ‘Children, now you have to cope and live in self-governance, but when it becomes too difficult, your Mother is always with you and is ready to help you with all her spiritual resources, especially with her experience.’”
After all, the Patriarch to the benefit of the political players expressed his benevolence, saying that the Orthodox Church would “adopt” the people of Ukraine back.
The Metropolitan of Boryspil and Brovarsky Anthony, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the canonical UOC MP, spoke of this.
According to him, “Fanar billed Epiphanius’ (the head of the OCU) account. The smallest amount of tax on arrival is estimated at 4 thousand euros, and the largest – at 20 thousand euros. “
He also said that representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople contacted Volodymyr Zelensky about the promises of the former head of state, Petro Poroshenko, about transferring local shrines to Fanar’s subordination.
For the “Servant of the People”, the clear favorite of the presidential race, these are still additional votes. Since Petro Poroshenko is clearly not among the favorites, Bartholomew plays on the side of his main rival in the presidential election. Also, a certain political capital in the treasury of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The rebranded Petro Poroshenko Bloc, European Solidarity is unlikely to win any significant number of seats in Ukrainian parliament. And unsurprisingly, Epiphanius is jumping ship, through Bartholomew and is trying to secure support for Zelensky’s “Servant of the People.”
Poroshenko bets on the electorate from the western regions of Ukraine, who gave him the most votes in the presidential election.
For all of his life, Poroshenko was a “faithful” parishioner of the UOC-MP, and half a year ago, he and his backers from the Washington establishment created a “All-Ukrainian Orthodox structure” – the OCU on the basis of the UOC-KP.
On July 13th and 14th, Petro Poroshenko visited the Zarvanitsky spiritual center of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which he shared on Facebook:
“The Lord today is very grateful to Ukraine. Ukraine is undergoing very difficult trials, and for Ukraine it is very difficult times. And the prayer of the Lord, the help of the Lord is urgently needed,” Poroshenko said after the prayer in the spiritual center of the UGCC.
Десятки тисяч вірних Української Греко-Католицької Церкви сьогодні у Зарваниці об’єдналися у спільній молитві. Для мене велика честь знову побувати тут – у Марійському духовному центрі – одній з найвизначніших католицьких святинь світу. Це місце відкрите для вірних інших церков. І я, православний українець, почуваюся тут надзвичайно затишно. Щоразу, перебуваючи у такому святому, світлому й благодатному місці, знаходжу духовний спокій та умиротворення. Разом з прочанами спільно просимо у Господа та Пречистої Діви Марії принести довгоочікуваний мир на Українську землю та зберегти нашу рідну країну.
Posted by Петро Порошенко on Saturday, July 13, 2019
He told reporters that he visited this place “at the call of the soul,” and called on Ukrainians to join in a joint prayer with the Greek Catholics.
Poroshenko thanked the head of the UGCC, Svyatoslav Shevchuk, for his support at the presidential elections and expressed hope for further cooperation.
“I’ll just be happy if our cooperation continues. After all, only together we will be able to find an answer to the new risks, challenges and threats facing Ukraine,” he wrote to Shevchuk.
On the day after the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pope Francis, the Holy Father received a delegation of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. For two days, the Greek Catholic hierarchs headed by Archbishop Svyatoslav Shevchuk met with the top leadership of the Vatican. The main topic of the meetings was the topic of the war in Ukraine. This was stated in an interview with the Italian edition of the АСІ Stampa by Svyatoslav Shevchuk himself.
“The war in Ukraine is a colonial war going on in the very heart of Europe, with the intention of restoring a system like the Soviet Union, restoring an empire. Therefore, we presented to the Holy Father the desire of Ukrainians to protect the country. If the aggressor succeeds in destroying the Ukrainian state, it will “redraw” the borders of Eastern Europe, and this will be a tragedy for all of Europe. This topic was one of the main topics of communication with the Holy Father,” Shevchuk said.
The more actions undertaken by the Ukrainian officials, as well as the clerics of the OCU, the clearer it becomes that the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had little to do with actual faith, and much to do with money, politics and influence.
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