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Church

Historic Co-celebration of Divine Liturgy by Patriarch Theodore and Metropolitan Epiphanios

ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT – Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa, and Metropolitan Epiphanios of Kyiv and All Ukraine co-officiated the Divine Liturgy on the Sunday of Orthodoxy at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos in Alexandria, Egypt.

Before the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Patriarch addressed Metropolitan Epiphanios, to whom he offered a hierarchical ‘engolpion’ and episcopal staff.

In his reply, the Metropolitan of Kyiv said: “Today, we honor the holy icons with great solemnity and confirm our commitment to the true faith, as expressed in Divine Revelation and as explained in the dogmas of the Holy Fathers of the seven Ecumenical Councils. This is the apostolic faith, this is the Orthodox faith, this is the saving faith!

“We thank your Beatitude and the Hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa for your steadfast commitment to the Orthodox faith and canonical order, and for your love and care for the Church of Ukraine. You have supported us and continue to support us, even though this has caused you problems.

“However, today’s celebration shows that no matter how strong the lie may seem, it will be defeated. On the side of the heresy of iconoclasts who rose up against the Church were the powers, the power of kings, and the power of arms – but nothing helped the lie. So now a new teaching, contrary to the Gospel, filled with the pride of this world and the heresy of ‘ethnophyletism’ [i.e. extreme nationalism] has occupied a part of the Church of Christ in the northern countries, and the rulers of these countries are spreading it by the power of the sword. However, it too will be condemned, just as the ancient sects were condemned and rejected.

“We pray to Almighty God to reward you a hundredfold for all that you have done and continue to do for Ukraine and for Orthodoxy. We believe that we will have the opportunity in the near future to thank you for the hospitality with which you welcomed us into your home, this holy Patriarchate, and to welcome your Beatitude into our home, Kyiv.”

Patriarch Theodore decorated Metropolitan Epiphanios with the highest distinction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Grand Cross of the Holy Apostle Mark, as well as the entourage of the ranking clergymen, Vinnytsa and Bila Tserkva, with the Golden Cross of St. Mark, to whom the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria also presented hierarchical ‘engolpia’, as well as commemorative gifts to the other escorting clergymen.

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