23.07.2008, [14:47] // Orthodox //
Moscow— A letter of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexis II to Catholicos Illia II, head of the Orthodox Church of Georgia, in which the patriarch recommends the catholicos not travel to Kyiv for the celebration of the 1020th anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus, has been publicized. intermedia.org.ua posted the news on 23 July 2008.
In the letter, Patriarch Alexis II writes that “in a brotherly way he shares his disturbance in connection with the plans of the Ukrainian authorities regarding the coming celebrations.”
“During discussions with delegated persons of the Ukrainian government responsible for preparing the celebratory events, we learned of the firm intention of the president of Ukraine to invite to the celebrations not only Orthodox hierarchs but also leaders of all existing religious denominations of Ukraine,” reads the letter.
Patriarch Alexis is especially disturbed that the heads of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, hierarchs of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and others have been invited to the celebrations.
“The circumstances that have arisen in connection with the possibility of difficult temptation for the faithful and the threat of new divisions makes it impossible for us to participate in the celebration of the state program, because of the participation of schismatics,” Patriarch Alexis warns. He also notes: “With deep regret we are forced to ask Your Holiness to refrain from personal participation in the celebration, so that in the circumstances that have arisen and which do not depend on you, the fact of your presence would not be interpreted as a manifestation of support of anti-canonical acts.”
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