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Ukrainian church leaders tell Welby of atrocities inflicted on their flocks

08 July 2022

Primate of Ukraine’s independent Orthodox Church visits Lambeth Palace

Lambeth Palace

Archbishop Welby greets the Ukrainian church leaders

Archbishop Welby greets the Ukrainian church leaders

THE Primate of Ukraine’s independent Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Epiphany (Dumenko), visited Lambeth Palace on Thursday to discuss the Russian invasion.

The Ukrainian Primate, accompanied by the Archbishop of Chernihiv & Nizhyn, His Eminence Yevstratiy Zoria, held a round-table discussion with the Archbishop of Canterbury; the Rt Revd Lord Chartres, a former Bishop of London; the Revd Professor James Walters, director of the LSE Faith Centre; and the Revd Dr Jamie Hawkey, Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey.

Metropolitan Epiphany described the daily deaths in the country: “The Ukrainian people are suffering to a very great extent from this atrocious war. Everyday a lot of people die, literally every day, and this includes children, elderly people, peaceful residents, peaceful citizens. We are very grateful for your prayer support.”

The church leaders participated in the midday eucharist in the Lambeth Palace crypt chapel, during which Archbishop Welby received a blessing from Metropolitan Epiphany. In his homily, Archbishop Welby said: “We know that we are in the presence of those who bear a heavy burden of leadership in war. Let us pray that our love for them and their people, and our peace with which we bless them, may strengthen them in the difficult and stony path that they travel at this time.”

Archbishop Welby spoke of his great sadness that their visit was taking place against a backdrop of the terrible suffering of the people of Ukraine. “The cruelty of the occupation has been extraordinary,” he said.

The meetings concluded with the exchange of gifts and discussion of continuing ecumenical relations.

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