“POROSHENKO ATTENDS CONSTANTINOPLE-UNIATE CONCELEBRATION IN NEW JERSEY”
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, on a working visit to the U.S., participated in a memorial service for the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred yesterday at St. Andrew’s Memorial Church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, a jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, in South Bound Brook, New Jersey, reports the official site of the President of Ukraine.
Poroshenko also broadcast the service live on his Facebook page.
The President’s site reports that the panikhida was served by Metropolitan Antony, the primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, and Archbishop Daniel, though Abp. Daniel is not visible in any of the photos of the video. The article does not mention that also present was Bishop Paul P. Chomnycky of Stamford, Connecticut of the Uniate Catholic Church in America.
Moreover, as can be seen in the video on Poroshenko’s page, not only did the Uniate hierarch attend, but he was vested and concelebrated the panikhida with the Orthodox hierarchs.
Poroshenko spoke following the panikhida, noting that he had begun the day speaking on behalf of Ukraine at a UN debate on the situation in the “occupied territories” in Ukraine.
The head of state also used the occasion of a memorial service to share his oft-aired views about Russia, saying that Ukraine is united “despite all of Putin’s attempts to split us, undermine stability from inside, destabilize, spread lies, and sow hatred in the hearts of Ukrainians … That is why Ukrainians are strong now, that’s why the whole world supports us.”
Poroshenko himself is known to commune freely from either schismatic Orthodox or Uniate clergy, and the Ukrainian Orthodox hierarchs, under Constantinople, frequently concelebrate with Uniate hierarchs. For just a few examples, joint Orthodox-Uniate requiem for victims of the Holodomor was held in 2018, Orthodox and Uniate hierarchs jointly blessed the cornerstone of a new Holodomor memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2013, and Orthodox and Uniate hierarchs concelebrated panikhidas at St. Demetrios’ Church in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, in 2014 and 2016.