By Kostas Onisenko
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew warmly welcomes to Kyiv by the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv.
There are a few hours left before the arrival of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Kyiv and both the Church and the state are preparing at full speed for his reception in the Ukrainian capital.
In the text published by Metropolitan Epifaniy on the social network, he referred to the Ecumenical Patriarch’s forthcoming visit as a historic event, which is of great importance for Ukrainians.
In detail, the welcome text written by Metropolitan Epifaniy is as follows:
“With great joy and pleasant impatience, I look forward to a truly historic event, that is, the visit of the First of Primates of Orthodoxy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
A man whose hierarchical ministry has the same age as our restored independence and has lasted for 30 years. A man who restored historical justice and who granted the Tomos which confirmed the dreamy spiritual independence to the Ukrainian people almost three years ago.
It is such a great honor and responsibility to welcome such a dear guest! I want to show the best and dearest, to give the best impressions and share the most sincere feelings, to convey at least a part of the brotherly love, respect and gratitude that our great spiritual family feels.
This is His All-Holiness’s third visit to Ukraine as Patriarch. But it is the first since we have an independent Church, which has its place in the Diptych of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches.
It is difficult to overestimate what His All-Holiness did and continues to do to resolve the old ecclesiastical issue in Ukraine.
That is why we honor Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as a great benefactor of the Ukrainian people, who supported and affirmed the great good, that is, the right to pray in the mother church, in the mother tongue and to have equal rights with other Local Orthodox Churches of the world.
Dear brothers and sisters! The Ecumenical Patriarch is coming to Ukraine to share with all of us the joy of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the restoration of state independence and to thank God for all the gifts through common prayer.
Everyone can take part in the Divine Liturgy, which will take place on August 22 at Saint Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv —if not in person, then via television and online broadcasts.
United in common prayer, we will thank God with one mouth and one heart for all His good deeds for us and we will ask Him for goodness, harmony and unity, as well as only peace and truth.”