Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa, and Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine co-officiated the Divine Liturgy on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos in Alexandria.
Metropolitan Geron Gabriel of Leontopolis, Metropolitan Symeon of Vinnytsia, Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Church of Ukraine, Yefstratiy of Bila Tserkva, Deputy Secretary, Georgios of Guinea, Representative of the Patriarch of Alexandria in Athens, Nikodemos of Memphis, Patriarchal Vicar of Cairo, Panteleimon of Naucratis, Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, Narcissus of Pelusium, Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria and Germanos of Tamiathus, of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of Saint Savvas the Sanctified in Alexandria.
Before the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Patriarch addressed Metropolitan Epifaniy, to whom he offered an Archieratic engolpion and a valuable walking rod.
In his reply, the Metropolitan of Kyiv said: “Today, we honor the holy icons with great solemnity and confirm our commitment to the true faith, as expressed in the Divine Revelation and as explained in the dogmas of the Holy Fathers of the seven Ecumenical Councils. This is the apostolic faith, this is the Orthodox faith, this is the saving faith!
We thank your Beatitude and the Hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa for your steadfast commitment to the Orthodox faith and canonical order, and for your love and care for the Church of Ukraine. You have supported us and continue to support us, even though this has caused you problems.
However, today’s celebration shows that no matter how strong the lie may seem, it will be defeated. On the side of the heresy of iconoclasts who rose up against the Church were the powers, the power of kings, and the power of arms – but nothing helped the lie. So now a new teaching, contrary to the Gospel, filled with the pride of this world and the heresy of ethnophyletism, has occupied a part of the Church of Christ in the northern countries, and the rulers of these countries are spreading it by the power of the sword. However, it too will be condemned, just as the ancient sects were condemned and rejected.
We pray to Almighty God to reward you a hundredfold for all that you have done and continue to do for Ukraine and for Orthodoxy. We believe that we will have the opportunity in the near future to thank you for the hospitality with which you welcomed us into your home, this holy Patriarchate, and to welcome your Beatitude into our home, Kyiv.
May Orthodoxy triumph and consolidate itself. For many years, Your Eminence.”
The Metropolitan of Kyiv offered the Patriarch of Alexandria hierarchical engolpion with a cross, as well as a traditional handiwork of Ukraine.
Then, in the Throne Room, took place the decoration of the Primate of the Ukrainian Church with the highest distinction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Grand Cross of the Holy Apostle Mark, as well as the entourage of the high priests, Vinnytsa and Bila Tserkva, with the Golden Cross of St. Mark, to whom the Pope and Patriarch offered hierarchical engolpia, as well as commemorative gifts to the other escorting clergymen.
Photos: Grigorios Haliakopoulos, Alexandria