7 Nov 2018 21:49

Moscow Theological Seminary rector barred from Ukraine

MOSCOW. Nov 7 (Interfax) - The rector of the Moscow Theological Seminary has been prevented from entering Ukraine, the head of the Synodal Department for liaising with society and the media said.

"Archbishop Ambrosio today was barred from entering Ukraine at passport control in Kyiv. The priest arrived for a one-day event at the Kiev Theological Academy, which will now proceed without him. We are awaiting details," Vladimir Legoida wrote on his Telegram channel.

For his part, Mykola Danylevych, deputy head of external relations at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, told Interfax that the Academy rector was stopped at the border "without explanation of reasons."

"Currently Father Ambrosio is preparing to fly back to Moscow," Danylevych said.

The Russian Orthodox Church has expressed its regret over the Ukrainian authorities' refusal to let Archbishop Ambrosio into the country. "As the head of a leading theological school which features in the biographies of many contemporary Ukrainian clerics, Father Ambrosio was his way to Kyiv to attend a one-day event at the Kiev Theological Academy. However, the Ukrainian authorities barred him from entering the country, probably thinking him to be a spy," Igor Yakimchuk, the secretary for Orthodox relations at the Moscow Patriarchate's department of external relations, told Interfax on Wednesday.

"Such hypertrophic spy-mania, more characteristic of the 1930s than of the 21st century, is bringing shame upon those who foment it," he said.