risu.org.ua - On January 12, 2017, with the blessing of Patriarch Filaret of the Kyiv Patriarchate, members of the commission for dialogue with the Ecumenical Patriarchate met with representative members of the Holy Synod and the Holy Patriarchate of Constantinople at the official residence of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Phanar (Istanbul, Turkey).

The Ukrainian side was represented by the Commission Chairman and Patriarchal Vicar, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskyy and Bila Tserkva, Metropolitan Dymytriy of Lviv and Sokal, and Secretary of the Holy Synod Archbishop Yevstratiy of Chernihiv and Nizhyn. The delegation was also accompanied by the First Vice-rector of the Kyiv Orthodox Theological Academy, Archpriest Olexandr Trofymlyuk. Before the meeting, the delegation prayed at St. George Patriarchal Cathedral at the Phanar unto the relics of the saints of the Three Holy Hierarchs, St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate representatives, negotiating with the Ukrainian delegation were General Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, Metropolitan of Smyrna Bartholomew, and the Holy Synod member, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France. Both hierarchs are members of the commission set up by the Holy Synod in the summer 2016 to consider the autocephaly of the Church in Ukraine. Fr. Ambrosius, the Secretary of the Commission for Inter-Orthodox Relations was also in attendance.

According to the press-center of the Kyiv Patriarchate, “views on the current state of Orthodoxy in Ukraine were exchanged at great length.” On behalf of Patriarch Filaret, the UOC KP delegation communicated to the Ecumenical Patriarchate representatives the position of the Kyiv Patriarchate regarding the solutions to the problems that are faced by Ukrainian Orthodox believers due to the destructive non-canonical actions of the Moscow Patriarchate.”

It has been emphasized that the Kyiv Patriarchate, unlike the ROC, officially supported the decisions of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, held in Crete in June last year. Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have been provided with the copies of the UOC-KP Church calendar for 2017, which presents the translation of the Pan-Orthodox Council’s documents undertaken by the Kyiv Patriarchate.

Metropolitans Emmanuel and Bartholomew have underscored that the Ukrainian church issue is complicated, but the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as the First Throne and Mother Church will do their best to find the way of problem solving. The hierarchs have noted that all opinions and suggestions made during the meeting will be communicated to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate, which will take the appropriate action.

The press center of the UOC-KP states: “Noting that the Kyiv Patriarchate has sought for over 25 to restore of canonical order through the establishment of one local Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the delegation of the UOC-KP expresses hope that the Mother Church of Constantinople will do everything possible to adopt all appropriate decisions the earliest possible.”


Teachings of Christ

“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 ESV)

Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * showing Your glory to Your Disciples as far as they were able to bear it. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light shine also upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 7)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Upon the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, * and Your Disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could receive it, * so that when they would see You crucified, * they would understand that You suffered willingly; * and they would preach to the world * that You are truly the radiance of the Father. (Kontakion, Tone 7)

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

No one has to be embarrassed over his sinful state. ‘There is no man who, while living, does not sin,’ and the more sinful the man, the stronger will be God’s help in leading him out of his sinful mire. But the help of God comes only when the sinner repents with heartfelt contrition and has the will to reform. Not seeing in himself enough strength of soul to break away from sinful deeds, he asks for God’s help. This is where the mercy of God, Who does not wish the death of the sinner but wants him to be converted and live, is often evident.… If the voice of conscience awakens in us a feeling of remorse or repentance, then we must pray fervently to the Guardian Angel of our human existence that he may keep us from corrupt downfalls and help us ‘serve God with fear and trembling.’

Elder Macarius of Optina