Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Yushchenko describes his visit to Vatican as historical

Today, 09:58 Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said his official visit to the Vatican was extremely important in the context of strengthening relations between Ukraine and the Vatican.

"This was the first official visit in the history of our bilateral relations, therefore, it was historical and important," the presidential press service quoted him as saying on Monday.

Yuschenko said that during an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, particular attention had been paid to the subject of an inter-confessional and inter-religious dialogue. He said that Ukraine could currently serve as an example of equal attitude to all of the churches and confessions.

Yuschenko said the creation of a united local Orthodox church was the main subject discussed at a meeting with the Pope.

"The united local Orthodox church in Ukraine is a desired goal for many believers and clergy in all of the leading Orthodox confessions," he said.

Yuschenko and Pope Benedict XVI also spoke about Ukraine's plans to join the European Union and an "important role, which the Vatican and its policies play in this process." Yushchenko stressed the need to strengthen Ukraine's relations with the Vatican, because around six million Ukrainians belong to the Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches.

The Ukrainian president also thanked His Holiness for assisting Ukraine in the recognition of the Holodomor Famine of 1932-1933, as well as unity demonstrated by the Vatican to the Ukrainian people during the 75th anniversary of this tragedy. As reported, Pope Benedict XVI addressed Ukrainian citizens in their native language on November 23, 2008, the Day of Memory for Famine Victims.

Yushchenko also said that at a meeting with Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, he had discussed work on continuing a study of documents from the Vatican Secret Archives.

From Yahoo! News Photos:

Associated Press Mon Jun 1, 9:44 AM ET

Pope Benedict XVI, right, receives a gift, at left foreground, from Ukraine President Victor Yushchenko, left midground, during a meeting in the pontiff's private library, at the Vatican, Monday June 1, 2009. Behind Yushchenko, his wife Kateryna Mykhailivna.
(AP Photo/Tony Gentile, POOL)

Enlarge photo...

See also from Zenit, "Benedict XVI Meets With Ukraine Leader."


Post a Comment

<< Home