MOSCOW, May 10 /ITAR-TASS/. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, was denied entry to Ukraine and had to return home.
The metropolitan headed to Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk to take part in the celebrations marking the 75th birthday of the Metropolitan of Dnetropetrovsk.
The Ukrainian authorities stopped the Russian metropolitan at Dnepropetrovsk’s airport, giving him a written notice prohibiting him from entering Ukraine. No explanations were provided.
“Metropolitan Hilarion arrived at Dnepropetrovsk’s airport on May 9 to attend celebrations for the jubilee of the honorable hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. He was stopped on passport control. After a long wait, the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations was provided with an official written notice that he was prohibited from entering Ukraine, without stating any reason for such prohibition,” the Department for External Church Relations said.
Since Hilarion could not enter Ukraine, he conveyed Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia’s congratulations to Metropolitan Irinei of Dnepropetrovsk at the airport and gave him the Order of St. Prince Daniil of Moscow. The hierarchs exchanged messages, after which Hilarion left for Moscow last night.