Press-Conference Dedicated to Patriarch Kirill’s Visit to Ukraine Held at Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

21 July 2010, 12:11 | Religious-digest | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  |

Listen to the audio record of the conference >>> Taking part in the arrangement held on Monday, July 19 at 11.00 am at the Synodal building of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (block 70а) were Administrator of the UOC, chairman of the Commission for Reception of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in Ukraine Archbishop Metrophanes of Bila Tserkva and Bohuslav and press-Secretary for the UOC Primate, chairman of the Synodal Information Department of the UOC archpriest George Kovalenko.

The press-conference was dedicated to the visit of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill to Ukraine that will begin on Tuesday, July 20.

At the beginning of the meeting archbishop Metrophanes informed the journalists on the main points of the program of the visit to Ukraine of the Primate of the Russia Orthodox Church.

As it was previously reported, on July 20-28, present year, His Holiness Patriarch Krill of Moscow and All Russia comes to visit Ukraine. The program of visit of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill includes his visit to Odessa, where he is to consecrate the newly-restored Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. He is also going to meet the city and regional administration and to visit the National Law Academy, to have meeting with intellectual community of Odessa.

The next item on the program will be the visit to Dnipropetrovsk. There the Patriarch will preside over the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. He will also meet the city and regional administration, the believing residents of Dnipropetrovsk, call to the famous plant Yuzhmash.

Thereafter His Holiness’ program of visit will continue in Kyiv, where the Patriarch arrives on July 25. In the afternoon he will be received at the Kyiv Caves Monastery.

The visit to St Sophia Cathedral is scheduled for Monday, July 26, where a short prayer service will be celebrated, following which in the territory of our shrine – at the Kyiv Caves Monastery the session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church will be conducted. The same day His Holiness the Patriarch will call to the construction site of our new Holy Resurrection Cathedral. That will conclude the program for July 26.

On July 27 at 10.00 the prayer service will be conducted at St Vladimir’s Hill.
After the prayer service Patriarch Kirill will meet with Prime-Minister of Ukraine Mykola Yanovych Azarov.

Then the visit to St Jonah Monastery is on the program, where the Patriarch will meet the young people, get to know about the projects prepared by the Synodal Youth Department.
In the evening at 17.00 His Holiness the Patriarch will lead the All-Night Vigil service in the square in front of the Holy Dormition Cathedral in the Kyiv Caves Monastery.

July 28 is commemoration of the Holy Equal-to the Apostles Prince Vladimir, the day of Baptism of the Kyivan Rus. It is known that the previous year by the president’s decree this feast acquired national status. His Holiness the Patriarch will preside over the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, following which the exhibition will be opened in the territory of the upper Lavra, dedicated to the heritage of the Holy Equal-to-the Apostles Prince Vladimir. Then the sacred procession will be conducted from the territory of the upper Lavra to the Far Caves. There the sacred procession will be concluded by the prayer service and the patriarchal blessing of the worshippers.

In the afternoon Patriarch Kirill departs to Moscow.

The second part of the press-conference was dedicated to answering the media representatives questions.

TV-channel Inter, Svitlana Chernetska: How does the Ukrainian Christian community interpret this visit?

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is looking forward to this visit, and considers this visit to be a historical one. The believing people will have opportunity to pray together with their patriarch. At the same time we invite the representatives of other Christian confessions in Ukraine –of the Roman Catholic, Protestant and the Armenian Church to the official reception that will be held after the service. All those willing will have possibility to ray together with the Patriarch, which testifies to the fact that this visit is long wished for, and the majority of the Christian communities in Ukraine take positively the patriarch’s visit to Ukraine.

Would you tell please if His Holiness Patriarch Kirill will be granted Ukrainian citizenship? Is this issue discussed?

That is not the point now. It was discussed with the Patriarch, but the question was not raised.

In Dnipropetrovsk they said that the Patriarch’s visit will cost 2 million Hryvnas. Is it known how much does preparation for this visit cost altogether? And how many pilgrims may be present at these arrangements?

Judging by the last year Patriarch’s visit, the arrangements headed by Patriarch Kirill were highly populous. And we plan that this year the great amount of people will be in the places of Patriarch’s visit. Not only the residents of the respective cities, but the believers from the other Dioceses and all regions of Ukraine will come to Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk and Kyiv.
Talking about financial support, today it is difficult t tell how much it will cost, because today we are just calculating how much his visit will cost.

Will they manage to change the street nameplates before arrival of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill?

Perhaps, this issue is beyond our scope. It should be asked to the Kyiv city administration, when they will be ready to change the nameplates.

We did all we could possibly do through our efforts. The street has changed its name, but these are rather technical questions we cannot affect.

What is your view of the protests on the occasion of the Patriarch’s visit?

Certainly, even the previous year there were the protests on the part of some radical groups. We regard them as manifestation of the democratic changes in our state, of the right to express one’s own view. These are their problems; it is their attitude to the visit. But in this case, if we say that Ukraine has to be a modern country, a civilized state, we have to hold in respect that fact that thousands of faithful want to meet and to pray with their Patriarch.

"Channel 5”: Could you tell please if the meeting of Patriarch Kirill with the President is planned and why. What questions will be discussed with the Patriarch at the Holy Synod?

Of course, the question of meeting with the president was raised and discussed. Since the President’s program does not presuppose his presence in Kyiv, there will be no meeting.
Talking about the second part of your question, the current issues of the life and activity of the Russian Orthodox Church will be discussed at the Holy Synod. These issues are not thematter of our concern in Kyiv, so I just do not have information to give satisfying answer to your question. The sessions of the Holy Synod are not open public, and they are not made public before the issues are solved at the Holy Synod.

Fr George, what is special about St Jonah Monastery which His Holiness Patriarch Kirill is going to visit?

St Jonah Monastery is not an ordinary monastery; it is the monastery which promotes youth ministry. And the Patriarch’s visit may be conventionally divided into two parts. One part is traditionally prayerful, when the Patriarch visits the shrines, prays, communicates with the faithful. The other one is missionary-enlightenment; it is attending the church at the enterprise, meeting with community, the students, the youth performing volunteer and enlightenment ministry.
I think that such meeting at St Jonah Monastery is first of all necessary for the church community, since the patriarch shows by these meetings that the youth ministry the monastery develops is important for the Church.

There is some information that the services in St Sophia of Kyiv are planned to be renewed

The rumors concerning St Sophia very much resemble a kind of informational campaign, which as such has quite a different purpose from the question asked. I’ll explain why. The UOC has more than once stated that it desires to renew the divine services at St Sophia under any conditions acceptable for the Church and state and the museum. The Church is ready to fulfill all the requirements of the museum workers concerning the number of services, the quantity of people attending, the candles, the sound and the choir etc.
On the other hand, there is a situation when the Kyiv Metropolitan, successor of the Metropolitans of Kyiv, for whom the cathedral of St Sophia had been built, has not celebrated here the Divine Liturgy a single time for those 18 years His Beatitude is here. Therefore we have always addressed and address regarding the renewal of the services at St Sophia of Kyiv and are ready to agree to a variant proposed by the state. All the rest is informational campaign.

His Eminence Metrophanes: I won’t add anything concerning the rumors spread, since many questions arise here.

Fr George: Everybody said that the patriarch made a request that Ivan Mazepa street was renamed into Lavra street. It turned out that the patriarch did not, and no one disclaimed this information except for the church sources. Nobody said that His Beatitude Metropolitan has addressed during the past ten years.

Was there an official letter to the President?

His Eminence Metrophanes: I signed letters to the Kyiv city administration and the Prime-Minister of the previous government. Unfortunately, there was no response. Thanks God, now this question is solved.

Oleksandr Boyko, the Religious Service of Ukraine: Representative of the Kyiv Patriarchate Patriarch Filaret stated that the Patriarch visit brings about political undertone, and is aimed at establishment of the “Russian world” here in Ukraine. How would you comment this statement?

There is nothing to comment, since the UOC-KP, commenting any events, always relates everything to politics. It is quite understandable, since the UOC-KP itself was created by the political forces. And I won’t say that the given visit is political, for this visit is purely pastoral. The program of the Patriarch’s visit evidences that. I suppose, when the Patriarch comes and you hear what he will say and with what he will address the people, then one would be able to make conclusions whether this visit is political or pastoral.

Fr George: I’d like to add a word. If one perceives the words of the Patriarch through the prism of the Gospel, it is the gospel meaning, and if one has political mess in his head, he would perceive any word as political.

What gift will be offered to the Patriarch?

Now we get this issue specified. It will be either an icon or some church appliances.

Yulia Kominko, "Orthodoxy in Ukraine": Your Eminence, now in the mass-media there are lots of expectations regarding the Patriarch’s visit. What does the UOC expect from this visit?

Most of all the Ukrainian Orthodox Church expects consolidation of all forces during the visit so that Orthodoxy in Ukraine became unified. And that is the most important. For we know our problem – a pain of the schism. Therefore this visit will help people make right conclusions of what is going on in the church life today. This visit will facilitate strengthening friendship between our peoples – the Belarus, Russian and Ukrainian peoples with the other Churches, which will have a possibility to be present at the patriarchal services and patriarchal arrangements. We think it will assert and strengthen orthodoxy in Ukraine.

Before the visit Patriarch Filaret addressed Patriarch Kirill and his statement was published. Recently the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church issued a decree on renewal of the commission for the dialogue with the UOC. Could you tell whether there will be any answers from the patriarch or the Ukrainian Orthodox Church?

Certainly, the commissions exist. And our Synod of the UOC has also reinstated the commission for the dialogue with the UAOC and we have had a number of these sessions. For various reasons, mostly on the part of the UAOC, where there is still no unity as for conducting such dialogue with us, the internal problems the autocephalous church faces prevented us from having meetings. But we are sure that it will happen, and after the patriarch’s departure we will surely gather for our joint session to outline the ways to follow in future so that the schism ceased to exist in Ukraine.

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Last comments

  • LASTIVKAUST | 17 February 2019, 07:32


  • RODOVID | 16 February 2019, 21:45

    "Тому що еллінізм і Вселенський Патріархат мають першість в Православ'ї"? Вселенський Патріархат - так має першість у Православ'ї, але яке відношення до Церкви має так званий

  • LASTIVKAUST | 16 February 2019, 01:29


  • LASTIVKAUST | 16 February 2019, 01:26

    ПАН "рокитне" заклопотаний кількістю прихожан в його приходах. не буде чим ясир платити МП

  • muhamuha33 | 15 February 2019, 18:52

    хтось ще повірить в цю єресь !!! - 5 років нас усіх годують цією брехнею! А під шумок наші трахані політики нас безсовісно обманюють і обкрадають!!!

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