Today, the 90th birthday is celebrated by a person, thanks to whom we finally have our own, independent church. A person who once refused to become the head of the ROC and concentrated on our church. Happy birthday, Filaret!
In his greetings to Filaret, the President of Ukraine emphasized that today’s birthday celebrant made the first steps towards the autocephaly when most of us were only aware of its necessity. According to Petro Poroshenko, the development of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has become the lifetime project of the Patriarch.
In addition, the president noted that Filaret became a part of the history as a spiritual and state leader, one of the creators of the church and the state. And the personal sacrifice of the Patriarch (apparently, Poroshenko means the decision to refuse the post of the head of an independent Ukrainian church) has raised his public image to the unprecedented height for millions of Ukrainians.
Said Ismagilov, Mufti of the Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine “Ummah”, also congratulated Filaret on behalf of the Muslims of Ukraine, admitting that he is always interested in listening to his spiritual teachings. After all, he never refuses to communicate and pays a lot of attention to everyone. Ismagilov is sure: going through such a difficult long time, standing tall and achieving the goal deserves respect.
Ihor Zhdanov, the minister of youth and sport, also joined the congratulations, calling the jubilant an example of the true and wise allegiance to independent Ukraine, the church and the whole Ukrainian people.
Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk supported the previous opinion, also noting that the Ukrainian people are grateful to the Patriarch for his wisdom and determination in the creation of his native church.
Saken Aymurzaev, a journalist in his turn assumed that Filaret’s biggest sorrow, like to any other person of this age, is the death of his relatives and friends. Moreover, those who are still alive, but belong to the ROC, are unlikely to come for tea. However, the patriarch has many protégés, friends and followers who should bring him joy.
Olha Bohomolets, a doctor and People’s Deputy called Filaret “Moses of the Ukrainian Church”, stressing that for her the patriarch is a true faith mentor. A person who always shows humility, mercy and Christian love.
The blogger Myroslav Oleshko also joined the congratulations of the former UOC-KP leader, calling him the legendary figure in Ukrainian history, saying that it is the honor to live with him at one and the same time.
Ihor Mosiichuk reminded that the Filaret’s way to creation of an independent Ukrainian church was not easy: persecutions, anathema… However, all these obstacles didn’t break the Patriarch, he stood tall and won, and therefore, in the opinion of the deputy, he celebrates not only his 90 anniversary but also the triumph of his life and of the Ukrainian church.
Valentyna Rudenko also described the difficulties on the way of the Patriarch, stressing that even when everyone had already lost the faith, Filaret continued to believe and brought his flock through the way formation and faith itself.
Iryna Herashchenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine thanked the Patriarch for all that was done to create our local church and support the Ukrainian army, government and president during all these difficult years.
Volodymyr Shovkoshytnyi, a writer and public figure, recalled the days when he had the opportunity to chat with Filaret. At that time, the Patriarch blessed the church built by the author and impressed everyone with his humane and true faith in God and Ukraine.
People’s Deputy Victor Kryvenko also congratulated the birthday celebrant and called him a fighter for the independent Ukrainian church, for interfaith understanding, for winning the ideals of humanity and true Christian mercy.
Oleksandr Derkach, a businessman, admitted that now, remembering the past, he doesn’t even know who can be compared with Filaret in the years of independence. And this is not only about Tomos, but also about the power of not combining his life with scandals, business or politics. He doesn’t afraid of curses and always makes the right choice.
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