First Hierarchs of Constantinople and Russian Orthodox Churches lead Divine Liturgy at Vladimir Hill
His Holiness Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexey II, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Hieronymos, and Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasii performed a Divine Liturgy before a memorial to Equal to the Apostles Prince Vladimir at Vladimir Hill in Kiev.
Along with the First Hierarchs served His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Vladimir and a multitude of archbishops and priest from various local Orthodox Churches throughout the world.
Patriarch Bartholomew and Patriarch Alexey were greeted by a large number of believers cheering “Alexey! Alexey!” when they arrived for the divine service.
At the liturgy prayed the President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko, who shortly abandoned the service. Also in attendance was the chairman of Ukraine’s Verkhovnoi Radyi, Arseny Yatsenuk, the secretary of the National Defense Council, Raisa Bogatyiyova, the director of the presidents administration, Victor Bologa, the Minister of Defense, Yurii Ekhanurov, and other members of the Ukrainian government.
The service was performed in two languages, Greek and Church Slavonic, while choirs from the Constantinople Patriarch and the Kiev Metropolia sang.
Press Service of the Moscow Patriarch
(Translated from the Russian: source)
From Interfax we learn that, “Yushchenko and Patriarch Bartholomew kissed each other three times, and then the Ukrainian president shook hands with Alexy II.” (What disrespect for the rightful local first hierarch! But, come to think of it, if I were the Patriarch, I wouldn’t touch Yushchenko with a ten foot pole, let alone kiss him.)
Note: Unnamed sources, along with my hunch, think that the so-called Orthodox president, on the pretext of a little boys room visit, made off to a local papist church where he “communed.”)