How Ukraine is being prepared for the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew and why the diaspora has to do with it

Ukraine is being prepared for the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew. They want to show him, the real owner of the OCU, that his brainchild is successful. And also to fulfill the promise and give overseas parishes. But it is difficult to do this primarily because of the struggle between the schismatics, writes RIA Novosti.

Until recently, nobody cared about the diaspora, the newspaper writes. However, at the beginning of March, both the OCU and the Kiev Patriarchate remembered about the diaspora. The New Church urged parishes in the USA and Canada not to obey Filaret’s protege, Archpriest Bogdan Zgobe. Zgoba himself did not remain silent: he bluntly stated that the OCU does not have independence, all decisions for it are made by the Greeks.

The Kiev Patriarchate does not hide the fact that American and Canadian churches, where Denisenko is commemorated, are now actively persuading to go under the wing of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. They mainly press on the richest parishes – for example, the community of St. Nicholas in Philadelphia, which is near Washington. Its members are found in many of the White House and Congress offices.

That is why Denisenko is struggling with the leadership of the OCU for the diaspora. Throughout the summer of last year, he wrote plaintive letters to President Donald Trump. When he left the Oval Office, Denisenko tried to contact Joe Biden. First of all, with the help of the ex-Minister of Finance of Ukraine Natalya Yaresko and her brother John. Both are American citizens and are closely acquainted with the new head of state.

But the attempt failed. In addition, Biden publicly spoke about friendship with Patriarch Bartholomew and thereby sided with the OCU. As a result, Filaret decided to act in the old fashioned way: he publicly declared about allegedly “unprecedented cases of violation of the rights” of believers of the Kiev Patriarchate.

“This is the point in their squabbling: they want to monetize as much as possible what they have. That in Ukraine itself, where parishioners have become poorer over the past year, as abroad,” says political scientist Rostislav Ishchenko. In addition, both the Kyiv Patriarchate and the OCU want to enlist the support of Washington.

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