September 7, 2018, met the delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate headed by Metropolitan of Zaporozhye and Melitopol Luke with his Beatitude Patriarch of the Holy city of Jerusalem and all Palestine Theophilos III, according to patriarhiei with reference to the official website of the Zaporozhye diocese of the UOC.
His Beatitude congratulated the pilgrims with the opportunity to visit the Holy Land, noting that the stay in the places connected with the earthly life of Christ is a great blessing for themselves, their families, relatives and friends, and for the whole of Ukraine in General.
Metropolitan Luke, in turn, warmly thanked his Beatitude for the possibility to meet again and conveyed the greetings of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church his Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine Onuphrius.
“For us, Ukrainians, our Primate is indestructible wall, behind which we feel calm, said, in particular, the hierarchy. — We feel pain for our country. Zaporiz’ka oblast borders on those districts where now shed the blood of our compatriots. The Lord Jesus Christ His footsteps blessed the ground on which the Jerusalem Church carries out her Ministry; the Church, from which came the Apostolic preaching around the world. You are the guardians of the Holy Sepulchre, sacred places, and with great honour and dignity carry out this service for millennia. We ask for your prayers for our country. The Lord made it known to our politicians, depends on the cessation of fratricidal war”.
According to Patriarch Theophilus, the recent events around the Church life of Ukraine — one of the manifestations of globalization, which, he believes, “has as its main goal the destruction of the Orthodox Church.”
“The tentacles of globalization are trying to penetrate in the Church body, to destroy it. It occurs worldwide, including in Ukraine. The intervention of politicians in the Affairs of the Church, one Church in the Affairs of another under the influence of politicians — these are signs of this process”, — said His Beatitude. He also noted that the Orthodox people today are subjected to special tests, but, nevertheless, should not lose hope.
“We pray for our brother, his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry and the long-suffering people of Ukraine <…>, — said Patriarch Theophilos. — Keep their Primate, not only to find solace in his prayers, but be his helpers and Somaliweyn, to imitate him in firmness of faith.”