Visit of His Excellency Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine To the Ecumenical Patriarchate
|On Monday, April 9, 2018, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in accordance with Patriarchal Protocol, wholeheartedly received His Excellency Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, together with the members of the official delegation accompanying him, among which were His Excellency Gennadiy Zubko, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, His Excellency Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs and His Excellency Andriy Sybiha, Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Turkey, at the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.|
President Poroshenko expressed his warm wishes for a blessed Paschal Season to His All-Holiness, who reciprocated to him and the people of Ukraine his personal Patriarchal blessings, as well as the collective prayers of the Mother Church of Constantinople.
During their private hour and half meeting in the Patriarchal Office, the two leaders discussed various topics of mutual interest, amongst which was the establishment of a Chapel within the grounds of the Embassy of Ukraine in Ankara, as well as the matter of tending to the religious needs of the Ukrainian people residing in Turkey. Further, on Pascha Sunday this year, following a request from the Ukrainian faithful living in the Marmaris region, Archbishop Job of Telmessos travelled to Marmaris where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy and conveyed the Paschal wishes and blessings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Present in the meeting were also Metropolitans Geron John of Pergamon, Elpidophoros of Bursa and Bartholomew of Smyrna, as well as Archbishop Job of Telmessos and the Very Rev. Archimandrite Joachim, Chief Secretary of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Holy and Sacred Synod.
In the afternoon, the meeting broke for lunch, where the President of Ukraine, together with his colleagues, were hosted for an official luncheon in the Patriarchal Dining Hall.
Following the luncheon, the meeting reconvened in the Room of the Throne, where His All-Holiness broached the subject of Christians in the Middle East to His Excellency, saying that he especially prays for them during these high holy days. He then requested that the President do whatever he can to improve these Christian peoples’ current state so that they may live in peace and safety in their own land.
Thereafter, the Ecumenical Patriarch accompanied the Ukrainian President to the Venerable Patriarchal Church of St. George, where he was offered a tour by the Secondary Patriarchal Deacon Nephon. He was also afforded the opportunity to venerate the holy relics housed within the Patriarchal Church, and His Excellency took a moment to especially pray before the Column of Christ’s Flagellation.