During the Patriarchal and Polyarchieratic Co-liturgy performed by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieroynmos of Athens and all Greece at the Church of the Acheiropoietos in Thessaloniki, the Church of Greece officially recognised the Church of Ukraine.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew thanked Archbishop Ieronymos for the attitude he adopted towards the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church issue and for the good coordination with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said that Archbishop Ieronymos addressed last week to the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece and that “he identified with the canonical decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He also wrote the name of Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kiev and All Ukraine on the pages of the Diptychs. It is about satisfying a righteous demand, which had been on hold for many years, and therefore a schism arose. We look forward to the visit of the Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kiev. Our Ukrainian brothers will see that the Greeks, who taught them the Christian faith as well as to read and write, will welcome them with open arms. We want them to feel real love from our side.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch talked about the history of the church and the icon of Panagia Hodegetria that is housed there. He stressed, “The greatness of our history mainly depends on the future. The Greek Community is able to survive in this world under the condition that we respect our past.”
He also expressed concern for the low birth rate and abortion, and stressed, “We have to defend the rights of any unborn child.” He then referred to the decisions of the Pan-Orthodox Council on this matter and said, “The right to give birth is a fundamental human right.”
Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki thanked the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Archbishop and the Metropolitans, who attended the Co-liturgy, and referred to the events organised by the Centre for Byzantine Research in Thessaloniki, stressing that “Thessaloniki is the symbol of the Greek Community since ancient times.”