The President of Ukraine asks the Ecumenical Patriarch for a blessing to establish a Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
“I humbly request from your Holiness a blessing, a blessing for the dream, for the truth, for the hope, for our nation, for
The Ukrainian leader expressed his certainty in that the 1020 year anniversary of the Christening of Russia was “a celebration for all the Ukrainian people” and for all
Yushchenko reminded listeners that, in accordance with his declaration, the 28th of July would henceforth be a holiday. In his speech he stated that the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I was “a spiritual revival of the journey of faith, patience, and wisdom, and that in time and space, the
Speaking later, Bartholomew called upon the Ukrainian elite to apply all their efforts for the unification of the Orthodox Church. “Concern for the defense and restoration of the unity of the Church is our common responsibility, one which outweighs any kind of political or ecclesiastical aims,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch.
He also emphasized that “social, political, ecclesiastical and all intellectual leading powers of the Ukrainian people have the common duty to use the gifts that God has given them as broadly as possible within certain limits,” including “for the restoration of the role of unity, which the Orthodox Church played in the creation of the Ukrainian state. If the confusion over aims and the spiritual character of the Church continues, the unifying strength of the Church will suffer and the dangerous divisions in the body of the Church will worsen.”
After the ceremony, the Ukrainian leaders and the Ecumenical Patriarch, as well as other participants in the ceremony, proceeded to Mikhailovskaya square where a memorial for the victims of the great famine stands.
Yushchenko, with his wife Katerina, Patriarch Bartholomew, and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada [
In the next few hours, the Patriarch of Moscow and all of
--Columnist Lev Rubin