17 Sep 2018 18:44

Constantinople's exarch says willing to cooperate with Kyiv Patriarchate

MOSCOW. Sept 17 (Interfax) - Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon from the United States, appointed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as its exarch in Kyiv, said he sees no problem with cooperating with representatives of self-proclaimed churches in Ukraine.

Meeting with President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv on Monday, Archbishop Daniel reaffirmed that the Constantinople legates will continue working on a "matter that has already been decided on," namely the granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

"Of course, we need to work on this, and let me disagree with some media outlets: we have come here not to divide Ukrainian Orthodoxy, but, on the contrary, to take even more steps to bring about the desired unification of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church," he said.

The exarchs are ready to cooperate with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, he said.

"Definitely, we stand ready for dialogue and [...] cooperation with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church within the Russian Orthodox Church, and also with the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. We have no prejudices against meeting with representatives of various religious organizations, learning their opinion, and constructively cooperating with them," Archbishop Daniel said.

Poroshenko wished the exarchs success and encouraged them to act boldly and resolutely for the unification of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. "I can say again that church should be separate from state, especially a foreign state," he said.