LAST UPDATE: 19:33
By Kostas Onisenko
Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon was in Kyiv these days, in view of the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine in August.
The Metropolitan of Chalkedo, in a statement to orthodoxtimes.com, stated that he was in Kyiv on May 26 and 27 with the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
“During my stay there I visited Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and all Ukraine, to whom I conveyed the fraternal wishes of the Ecumenical Patriarch on the occasion of his name day.
I also had the opportunity to discuss with associates of the Ecumenical Patriarch as well as officials of the Competent Authorities of Ukraine, the preparation of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s visit in the context of the celebrations there for the thirty years of the country’s independence.
Ukraine looks forward to the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch, who linked his name with the granting of the Tomos of Autocephaly, to a just and old request of the pious Ukrainian people.”
According to the announcement of the Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy stressed to Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon that the Church of Ukraine is looking forward to the visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Kyiv next August, at the invitation of President V. Zelensky.
The meeting took place at the new residence of Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv.
Meeting with the head of the press office of the President of Ukraine
Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon also had contacts with state officials to prepare for the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch, accompanied by Archbishop Zoria.
In particular, he held a working meeting with the head of the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Andrii Yermak.
The purpose of the meeting was to prepare for the visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Kyiv on August 24, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the independence of the Ukrainian state.
Yermak thanked the Ecumenical Patriarch for his support of Ukraine and said that the country is looking forward to his visit and assured that it will take place at a very high level.
The head of the office of the President of Ukraine pointed out that Ukraine is at war for the eighth consecutive year with the result that there are constantly wounded and dead.
Ending the war, he said, is a key condition for the government. Among other things, Yermak stated that “Volodymyr Zelensky does not use the church for political purposes.”
For his part, Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel said that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is praying for an end to the war in Donbas and peace in Ukraine as well as for the end of the pandemic in Ukraine and in the world.