UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
HIS BEATITUDE METROPOLITAN CONSTANTINE MEETS WITH HIS ALL- HOLINESS ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW
As part of the visit of His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to the United States, he presided over the 9th Annual Prayer Service for the United Nations Community on Monday October 26th at Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York City. Prime Hierarchs of SCOBA, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, and of SCOOCH, the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Hierarchs (historically known as non-Chalcedonian Churches) were in attendance; His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine attended accompanied by Stavrophor Priests of the Ecumenical Throne Protopresbyter Frank Estocin and Protopriest Michael Kochis.
The Cathedral was filled to capacity with clergy, Hierarchs and faithful from all jurisdictions in the United States. Following the Prayer Service, which was celebrated with chanting in a variety of languages and traditions representative of the faithful gathered, His All-Holiness was welcomed on behalf of the United Nations community with greetings from Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Former Assistant US Secretary of State Strobe Talbott delivered remarks highlighting the unique role His All-Holiness has played in raising awareness of an issue of utmost importance to all peoples and Faiths: the challenge of a timely response to the crisis of global warming. Following the Service, an agape reception gave all in attendance to share in fellowship.
On Tuesday, October 27, His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine, together with the other SCOBA Primates, had a private audience with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in which His All-Holiness shared with them the desire of World Orthodoxy for the swift healing of every canonical anomaly that has arisen from historical circumstances and pastoral requirements, such as in the so-called Orthodox Diaspora, with a view to overcoming every possible influence that is foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has proposed to convene Pan-Orthodox Consultations within the coming year 2009 on this subject, as well as for the continuation of preparations for the Holy and Great Council. His All-Holiness conclude his remarks stating “Therefore, beloved brothers in the Lord, let the order of the Church be observed perfectly among you, beginning and ending always with the commandment – new and divine – that we have received from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: Love one another. Everything else that we attempt – even with all our skill and might – will come to naught if love does not reign supreme among us all. With these words we leave each of you with our Patriarchal and paternal blessing, invoking upon you the grace of God and His infinite mercy.”
Following this private audience, the Prime Hierarchs, other SCOBA and SCOOCH Hierarchs, and the leaders of other local religious communities were guests at a luncheon hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. In private discussion, His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine, ever-concerned with the well-being of Ukrainian Orthodoxy, presented once again to His All-Holiness the issues of the current disunity of the Church in Ukraine as well as the most recent uncanonical incursion by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Kyivan Patriarchate into the life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.