Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine wished via a letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of His enthronement.
As the Metropolitan pointed out in his letter, which he posted on social media, he and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church send heartfelt congratulatory wishes to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
“From your youth, the Lord called you to serve His Church for the fulfillment of great works. You worked and apprenticed next to great Hierarchs of the Church, such as the blessed Metropolitan of Meliton and your predecessors, Patriarchs Athenagoras and Demetrios, and you increased and enriched your experiences, in knowledge and spirit”.
Metropolitan Epiphaniy stated that “when the need and the fulness of time came 30 years ago for the election of a new Patriarch, Your Holiness was truly worthy to take up this cross, as evidenced by the fruits of your 30-year Patriarchy.”
He spoke of many outstanding achievements of the Ecumenical Patriarch, of which he distinguished two. The convening and conduct of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church and the resolution of the Ukrainian Ecclesiastical issue, with the convening of the Union Synod and the granting of the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine.
“In carrying out these great works, Your Holiness showed wisdom, courage, steadfastness of spirit, and sacrificial love. And although there are some among our brothers who have not understood the truth of all that has been done, in due time they will see everything that you understood from the beginning, they will understand and accept what was done for the benefit of the Church of Christ”.
Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv referred to the recent visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch to Kyiv, where “you had the opportunity to see and feel the love and gratitude of the Ukrainian Orthodox people in your face”, thanking once again the Ecumenical Patriarch for what He has done for the Orthodox Church and in particular for the Church of Ukraine.
“We pray to the Lord for the health, spiritual and physical strength of inexhaustible and blessed longevity of Your Holiness.”