Metropolitan of Boryspil and Brovary Anthony (Pakanich), interview to RIA Novosti:
The visit of Patriarch Bartholomew, apart from introducing new problems and dividing lines into Ukrainian society, was not particularly memorable. But it was supposed that he would become a triumph of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which in front of the entire Orthodox world will demonstrate the strong support of the Ukrainians for the decision of the head of the Phanar to create the “OCU”. In practice, everything turned out differently.
Take, for example, the “solemn” meeting of Patriarch Bartholomew at the Mikhailovsky Monastery. As the essentially monotonous sociological research trumpets, those who support the OCU are allegedly several times larger in Ukraine than those who are believers of our Church. In accordance with these data, Kiev should have been, in theory, packed to capacity with crowds of people welcoming the guest who launched the project of the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine. However, life has put such expectations to shame. As, however, and the results of the studies mentioned: a handful of people came to the “solemn” meeting. And this despite the fact that it was a day off.
In general, this moment has once again testified to one indisputable fact – the “OCU” does not have a large flock. By the way, a similar situation was repeated the next day after the “solemn” meeting. The service of Patriarch Bartholomew and Dumenko, as recorded by television cameras, was again not noted by a huge number of adherents of the “OCU”. Although people were actively gathered for the event by forces, apparently, of the same Petro Poroshenko. Which then, by the way, was clearly manifested: the standing ovation to the former president from those present on the territory of Hagia Sophia sounded louder than the ovation to Patriarch Bartholomew.
Therefore, one cannot definitely say that the latter’s arrival in Kiev became a significant event in the spiritual life of the country. Rather, he was needed only by certain political forces, and the Dumenko organization, for their own, as they say in a secular environment, PR.
Interestingly, this visit played in many ways against the head of Phanar himself. After all, the entire Orthodox world saw that behind his decision to legalize schismatics from the “UAOC” (Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church – ed.) And “UOC KP” (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate – ed.) Was not the desire of the Ukrainian people, that such a step , in reality, scanty support. And if so, it turns out that in Constantinople both themselves and other Local Churches were deceived when they argued that the granting of autocephaly for Ukraine was based on a request from the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians.
And one more important point. The visit of Patriarch Bartholomew, which is indicative, was very warmly greeted by representatives of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. And the guest from Istanbul himself showed great hospitality towards the UGCC.