His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphaniy expressed support for the position of the Ecumenical Patriarch on the issue of Hagia Sophia and called to pray for the Mother Church.
On July 4, 2020, during the sermon at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv, His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphaniy, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, expressed support for the position of the Ecumenical Patriarch on the issue of Hagia Sophia and called to pray for the Mother Church.
“Today I would like to urge everyone to offer a prayer for our Mother Church of Constantinople and personally for the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,” His Beatitude said. “Because many of you probably know that in Turkey there is a debate about the possibility of changing the status of Hagia Sophia, which for almost a century is open to people of all views and faiths as a place of becoming familiar with sacred history and beauty, acting as a secular museum. This status was defined by the founder of the Republic of Turkey and its first President, Atatürk, and we share the views and concerns of His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the possible implications of revising this decision.”
The Primate emphasized the special role of the cathedral in the history of Christianity adoption in Rus’-Ukraine during the reign of St. Prince Volodymyr of Kyiv: “St. Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople is a special place for the Ukrainian people, because, according to the chronicle, it was the exact place, where the ambassadors of our Grand Prince Volodymyr during the service felt the divine presence”. The Metropolitan also quoted an excerpt from the chronicle with their testimony: “We did not know, whether we were in heaven or on earth. Because there is no such spectacle or such beauty on earth – we can’t even say [about it] “.
“So may the Lord direct everything for the greater good, so that Hagia Sophia may continue to serve love, peace and good for all people, no matter what religion or nation they belong to,” the Primate of the OCU concluded.
Press Service of Kyiv Metropolitanate of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (OCU)