U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel D. Brownback has met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, pledging America’s continued support for the struggle for an autocephalous Church that was launched by Ukrainian politicians and schismatics.
President Poroshenko received the ambassador, in Kiev for a working visit, in his office yesterday, reports the president’s website.
The meeting comes during a period of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia. Moreover, Poroshenko and the Ukrainian government view Russia as an aggressor state, and thus the canonical Ukrainian Church, an autonomous body within the Moscow Patriarchate, as a threat to its national security.
The current ecclesiastical situation in Ukraine is very delicate and complicated and is being exacerbated by political interference, as the hierarchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the primate of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, and others have pointed out.
Although tasked to deal with religious issues, it is unlikely that Brownback, an Evangelical convert to Catholicism, is competent to understand the Orthodox theological and canonical issues at play in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian president stressed his view that religious freedom is an integral part of Ukrainian identity. “We are proud to have a respectable state of religious freedom in Ukraine, as guaranteed by the Ukrainian constitution and the Ukrainian law on the freedom of conscience and religious organizations, and also the traditionally high level of tolerance that prevails in Ukrainian society,” noted President Poroshenko.
The president then informed Ambassador Brownback about the steps being taken towards the creation of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, thanking the American side for its active support of Ukraine in this process.
American politicians have a history of supporting Ukrainian nationalists and schismatics. The fake “Patriarch” Philaret of the so-called “Kiev Patriarchate” even awarded Sen. John McCain the Order of the Holy Prince Vladimir 1 Degree in 2015 for his support of Ukraine during the events on the Euromaidan and the “Russian occupation of Crimea and Donbass.”
Poroshenko also spoke to the ambassador about violations of rights and freedoms, including religious, against members of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in “Russian-occupied” Donbass and Crimea.
However, despite the president’s claims of a free Ukraine and persecuted occupied-territories, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has found that it is the Ukrainian government that has launched a campaign of intolerance against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. More than 50 parishes of the canonical Church have been seized by schismatic-nationalistic terrorists in recent years, clergy and parishioners have been attacked, and churches and monasteries have been vandalized.
In turn, Brownback assured the Ukrainian head of state that the U.S. will continue to support Ukraine in what it sees as its struggle for the restoration of its sovereignty and territorial integrity and the right to have a united autocephalous Orthodox Church.