While in Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey, the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Diaspora met with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Patriarchal offices of the Phanar.
Greeting the Ukrainian Orthodox Bishops from the United States of America and Diaspora, the Ecumenical Patriarch reiterated his paternal love and care for the spiritual flock of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the faithful of the UOC of the USA and Diaspora throughout the world in the most difficult time of Russian aggression against the people and nation of Ukraine.
In the presence of Elder Metropolitan of Chalcedon Emmanuel, the hierarchs of the UOC of the USA discussed with the Patriarch the pastoral needs of the faithful in the United States of America, Western Europe, Australia and South America. Metropolitan Antony informed His All-Holiness about the charitable Humanitarian Aid campaign that the UOC of the USA and parishes across the UOC in Diaspora have initiated, trying to offer basic assistance to the millions of people in different regions of Ukraine, but especially the refugees in Western Europe and the US. Archbishop Daniel is scheduled to travel to Munich, Germany in order to visit the parishes of the Church and to coordinate further Humanitarian Aid as it is being prepared for shipment to Ukraine.
His Eminence Metropolitan Antony presented the Patriarch with the honorary spiritual award of the UOC of the USA “For the Love of the Church and the People of Ukraine” – a gesture of gratitude for His All-Holiness’s resilient support of the ecclesiastical unity and justice in Ukraine.
As a token of love and respect, Vladyka Daniel presented Patriarch Bartholomew with a painting by an artist from his hometown of Buchach, Ternopil region of Ukraine: "The Flame That the Lord Lit - No Darkness Can Extinguish."
"When outside the darkness devours the city in its eternal abyss and it seems that all hopes have already died out, a bright star appears in the sky, which informs everyone that someone has come into the world who can light an unquenchable flame in the heart of each of us . And then our task is to preserve this holy spark and pass it on to everyone who needs it…. A little girl carries a symbol of love, kindness and faith in her hands through a cold, dark city, but she is not afraid at all, because she knows that in her hands is an eternal flame that no evil can extinguish.”
Archbishop Daniel stated that he had an opportunity to buy this painting at an auction - 100% of the proceeds from the sale were given to Buchach volunteers for the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Now, the painting has found a home in the heart of world Orthodoxy - under the care of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew!
His Eminence Metropolitan Antony is scheduled to return to the United States of America on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, while archbishop Daniel embarks on a week-long visit of the Ukrainian Orthodox communities in Bavaria, Germany.