Representatives of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate Pray for Peace in Ukraine with Ecumenical and Interfaith Leaders

March 11, 2022

On March 9, on the 14th day of the military invasion of Ukraine, a prayer service in support of Ukraine and its people was held at the Cathedral of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Manhattan.

Archbishop Elpidophoros, Primate of the Greek Orthodox  Archdiocese of America was joined by Metropolitan Anthony of Hierapolis,  Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA), and Metropolitan Tikhon of America, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.  Many other hierarchs and clergy of the Orthodox churches in the United States also participated. 

The service consisted of prayers for the holy protection and intercession of the Mother of God as well as for the termination of the military intervention in Ukraine and for the solidarity of those who defend their homeland.  The petitions of the clergy included the supplication, “We pray for our God-loving and divinely protected country the United States of America, for its government and its armed forces and for all its people; for our God-loving and divinely protected ancestral homeland of Ukraine and for all its people.  May the Lord God help them in everything and protect them from every enemy and adversary.”  At the end of the prayer service  Archbishop Elpidophoros read a prayer for Ukraine in English which Archbishop Daniel then read in Ukrainian.

At the invitation of Archbishop Elpidophoros, Archimandrite Alexander, Vicar of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate of America, and its Director of Public Relations, Ivan Belya, were in attendance.  In addition to the clergymen of other Orthodox Churches of America, representatives of various religions, both Christian and non-Christian, as well as diplomatic, political and public figures, also attended the service. Among those present were New York Governor Kathleen Hochul, Ambassador Sergyi Kyslytsya of the Permanent Mission of  Ukraine to the United Nations, and Timothy Cardinal Dolan of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.  

At the conclusion of the service Archbishop Elpidophoros, delivered a touching speech.  “Violence in the world is a somber sign of our fallen reality and the imperfection of our human experience, enslaved by the brokenness of our hearts which have been disfigured by our estrangement from the presence of God. Violence is a sin in perfect contradiction with the vocation for which men and women were created: to carry the supreme legacy of God’s image, while simultaneously growing in His likeness. Therefore, no war can ever be called “holy” nor even “just” in an attempt to rationalize it as morally acceptable.”   His Eminence also thanked all those present for attending the prayer service for peace in Ukraine and its people.

In response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and the need for immediate assistance, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America began a fundraiser for the Ukrainian victims of the war. Financial assistance in the amount of $1,000,000 was immediately sent. In addition, Archbishop Elpidophoros personally donated $100,000.  These funds will be transferred to Ukraine by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.  Financial and humanitarian aid are also being collected at all the parishes of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate.