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Moscow Patriarchate confirms Alexy II is to visit the 1020th anniversary of Russia's Baptism in Kiev

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=4900 04 July 2008, 16:49 Moscow Patriarchate confirms Alexy II is to visit the 1020th anniversary of Russia s
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4 8:43 AM
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      http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=4900

      04 July 2008, 16:49
      Moscow Patriarchate confirms Alexy II is to visit the 1020th
      anniversary of Russia's Baptism in Kiev

      Moscow, July 4, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church doesn't doubt
      the intention of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia to chair
      the Ukrainian celebrations of the 1020th anniversary of Russia's Baptism.

      The Ukrainian presidential secretariat deputy head Yury Bogutsky said
      at a briefing the day before that Patriarch Alexy had not give a
      final response whether he would arrive in Kiev and the Synod was to
      decide if Alexy II or "a representative delegation" would come to the
      Ukrainian capital. Meanwhile, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople
      has already confirmed his intention to visit Kiev, according to
      Bogutsky, on invitation of Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko and
      Patriarch Alexy II.

      The Moscow Patriarchate "is surprised" with such a statement. "Since
      February, when Viktor Yushchenko invited Patriarch Alexy II to visit
      Ukraine and participate in the 1020th anniversary of Russia's
      Baptism, the Russian Orthodox primate has confirmed his intention to
      see Ukrainian flock more than once," a secretary for inter-Orthodox
      relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church
      Relations Archpriest Nikolay Balashov told the Interfax-Religion on Friday.

      He reminded that Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine
      addressed the same request to the patriarch.

      Besides, according to Fr. Nikolay, "Alexy II confirmed his intention
      to visit Kiev in July (and it wasn't even questioned by either party)
      during his conversation with Yury Bogutsky as the Patriarch met with
      him on Yushchenko's personal request."

      "The possibility of inviting personally Patriarch of Constantinople
      to Kiev was also discussed at the meeting, so Bogutsky knows pretty
      well that the Russian Church primate didn't invite Bartholomew I to
      Kiev," the interviewee of the agency noted.

      He also didn't confirm the information Bogutsky voiced earlier that
      the patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem were to visit Kiev.
      According to Fr. Nikolay, primates of the Alexandrian and Jerusalem
      Churches informed that their representatives would come to Kiev on
      Alexy II's invitation.

      Besides, the Moscow Patriarchate representative is concerned with
      Bogutsky's statement that Yushchenko intends to initiate discussions
      on establishing the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church.

      Fr. Nikolay agrees with the Ukrainian state's representative that
      steps to church unity should keep "within the rules of canonical
      Orthodoxy." At the same time the priest doubts if it is canonically
      valid that a secular state "establishes the one Orthodox Church," and
      the opinion of the Ukrainian presidential secretariat deputy head as
      the latter believes that the process "should be approved by
      hierarchs" of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, "the Kiev Patriarchate"
      and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

      "However, in compliance with canonical requirements, it's impossible
      to compare canonical and recognized as such by the entire Orthodox
      world the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to non-canonical Ukrainian
      Autocephalous Church and moreover to "the Kiev Patriarchate," headed
      by the person alienated from the Orthodox Church," the interviewee of
      the agency noted.
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