The Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod has announced that on 31 August 2018, following his express desire, His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will visit the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with his delegation for conversations with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and pertinent offices of the Mother Church on matters of bilateral interest.
This will be the first meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow since the absence of the Church of Russia at the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church (2016). It seems clear that the subject of Ukraine will be the most important item on the agenda of this meeting. Let us recall that on 23 June 2018, a delegation from the Orthodox Church in Ukraine under the Moscow Patriarchate had a long meeting at the Phanar with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Metropolitans John of Pergamon, Emmanuel of France and Bartholomew of Smyrna. On 9 July 2018, Patriarch Kirill met at his working residence in Moscow with members of a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate consisting of Metropolitans Emmanuel of France and Bartholomew of Smyrna. On 27 July 2018, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France met with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and presented to the President a letter from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew where it was emphasized: “Recognizing her high responsibility as the First Holy See, the Church of Constantinople has always has taken initiatives before unlawful and irregular situations, which disrupt the smooth functioning of the Orthodox Church. In her own responsibility, she also took the initiative of restoring the unity of the Orthodox faithful in Ukraine with the ultimate goal of granting autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine.”