28 Sep 2018 13:23

Alexandrian patriarch expresses solidarity with canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church

MOSCOW. Sept 28 (Interfax) - Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria, who has "second place of honor" among the heads of the local Orthodox Churches, has called on Ukrainian Orthodox Christians to stay faithful to the canonical church led by Metropolitan Onufriy.

"The head of the canonical church in Ukraine is His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy, a man blessed by God and a real monk," Patriarch Theodore II said in a message to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church after a prayer for the unity of the Orthodox faith at the Odesa Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, which he visited on Thursday.

Theodore called on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church "to keep the Orthodox faith by staying in the canonical church," the information and education department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said.

He said there have been very difficult times in the history of the church, "but we believe that a canonical church exists in Ukraine in these difficult days."

He also said he visited Warsaw last week and issued a joint statement with Polish Metropolitan Savva saying that they both "stand by the canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine."