President of Ukraine visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s headquarters at the Phanar in Istanbul on 9 April 2018. President Poroshenko was accompanied by the Vice-President of the Government of Ukraine Mr Gennadiy Zubko, the Foreign Minister Mr Pavlo Klimkin, a large group of his collaborators and his Ambassador to Ankara Mr Andriy Sybiga.

President Poroshenko expressed his warmest Paschal wishes to the Ecumenical Patriarch who gave his blessings and expressed his wishes of the Mother Church of Constantinople to Mr. Poroshenko and to the entire Ukrainian people.

During their private meeting at the Patriarchal Office which lasted one and a half hours, the two leaders discussed various issues of mutual interest, including the creation of a chapel within the Embassy of Ukraine in Ankara as well as the issue of serving the religious needs of Ukrainians living in Turkey. It was mentioned that Archbishop Job of Telmessos went to Marmaris where many Ukrainians live and performed the divine service for them on the day of Easter, transmitting them the Paschal wishes and the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

The Metropolitans John of Pergamon, Epidophoros of Proussa, Bartholomew of Smyrna, Archbishop Job of Telmessos and the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod Archimandrite Joachim Billis attended the meeting on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Then the President of Ukraine and his colleagues took lunch at the Patriarchal Refectory.

Immediately after, Patriarch Bartholomew, in his conversation with President Poroshenko in the Hall of the Throne, raised, among other things, the issue of the situation of Christians in the Middle East, for whom he prayed particularly during the holy days. He also urged the President of Ukraine to do all he can to improve their position so that they can live peacefully and securely in their own country.

Then the Ecumenical Patriarch accompanied the President of Ukraine to venerate the Patriarchal Church where the Second of the Patriarchal Deacons Nephon Tsimalis told its history and shoved the sacred relics kept in it. President Poroshenko prayed in particular in front of the column of Flagellation, that is the Column over which Christ was whipped.