“I strongly hope that such time will come, when we all will pray at the Kiev Lavra of the Caves together,” the Patriarch said on Monday when addressing Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine at the opening of Holy Synod in St. Petersburg.
Patriarch Kirill congratulated Metropolitan Onufry on Angel’s Day.
“We prayed for you on this day. I regretted I did not have the opportunity to be in Kiev,” Patriarch Kirill said.
The Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia presented Metropolitan Onufry with a panagia dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of the death of Saint Duke Vladimir, who christened Rus.
Prior to 2014 Patriarch Kirill went to Ukraine several times as part of celebrations of the Rus Christening, usually in late July.
“Unfortunately, in 2014 my visit to Ukraine did not occur due to the current military and political situation. At that, I confirm that the Russian Orthodox Church – embracing Russian and Ukrainian people and moved by pastor’s responsibility – is ready to do everything depending on it in order to restore brotherly, good neighborly and respectful relations between Russia and Ukraine,” Patriarch Kirill said in late 2014.
On May 9, 2014 the Ukrainian authorities banned entry to Ukraine to head of Synod foreign church ties department, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. His visit was dedicated to the celebration of the 75th birthday of Metropolitan Iriney of Dniepropetrovsk and Pavlograd. The Metropolitan Hilarion was to participate in the service as personal representative of the Patriarch of Moscow and to deliver the Patriarch’s congratulations and a high church award. In the end, the Metropolitan Hilarion was forced to carry out these duties at passport control in Dniepropetrovsk airport.