In a spirit of brotherly love, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel paid a visit to the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Germany in Berlin to hold a meeting with His Eminence Metropolitan Augustine of Germany, the Patriarchal Exarch of Central Europe.
The meeting took place in the Holy Ascension Greek Orthodox Church in Berlin and was attended by His Grace Bishop Emmanuel of Christoupolis, Vicar to the Metropolis and Rev. Fr. Alexander Smoktunowicz, secretary of the Western-European Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora.
The two-hour meeting of hierarchs and clergy was important due to the increased number of Ukrainian Orthodox refugees that arrived in Germany and found spiritual home among the faithful of the Greek Orthodox communities of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
With the reawakening of the 30 communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Eparchy in Germany (most of them were established in 1940s due to the Second World War), the Church faces new opportunities and challenges in Germany and throughout Europe.
His Eminence Metropolitan Augustine expressed his respect to the people of Ukraine over the fact that while most of Ukrainian refugees arrived in Germany due to the ongoing attempt of invasion by Russian Federation of Ukraine, the people of Ukraine find the time and need to search for spiritual nourishment, while receiving economic assistance from the government of Germany.
Archbishop Daniel offered sentiments of gratitude to Metropolitan Augustine and Bishop Emmanuel on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony (prime hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of USA and Diaspora) for their kindness in offering initial place of worship for Ukrainian clergy and refugees I the communities of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Archbishop Daniel explained that Ukrainians are a spiritual people, with a strong faith in God. What they need most at the moment is a place where they can gather and give thanks to the Lord for their lives, and to pray for the salvation of those whom they left behind, and those who are fighting to protect their homeland.
Vladyka Daniel stated that presently all parish communities of his eparchy in Germany have received temporary places of worship from the Lutheran and Roman-Catholic communities throughout Germany, thus opening their homes and hearts to the spiritual and economic needs of the people and nation of Ukraine.
Moreover, the discussion took place about the importance of the spiritual witness of Ukrainian Orthodox faithful in Germany through the active participation of clergy and faithful in the Pan-Orthodox activates and the participation of Archbishop Daniel in the gatherings of the Assembly of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops of Germany.
His Eminence also explained that the refugees would benefit from a home base where they can pray, where they can gather for commemorations, where they can be free to celebrate their Faith, follow their customs and live their traditions. It is also vital for them to be able to establish some sense of normalcy for their traumatized children by providing them Ukrainian Kindergarten and Sunday School classes.
The meeting concluded with a short prayer service at the Holy Ascension Greek Orthodox Church in Berlin, where Archbishop Daniel venerated the sacred relics of the saints and signed the Altar Gospel in honor of his Archpastoral visit to the Metropolis of Germany of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.