On Sunday, November 27, 2022, the Metropolitan of Korea and Exarch of Japan Ambrosios celebrated the Divine Liturgy, with priests Fr. Paul Koroluk, Fr. Roman Kavchak and Fr. Antonios Lim as co-celebrants.
His Exellency the Ambassador of Greece in Tokyo, Mr. Demetrios Karamitsos, followed by his wife, and many Ukrainians, Japanese, Greeks, Koreans and Americans participated in the Liturgy, for this reason the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in Ukrainian, Japanese, Greek, Korean and English.
After the Gospel Reading, the Sermon was preached in English by Metropolitan Ambrosios and in Ukrainian by Father Roman.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Ukrainian faithful welcomed Metropolitan Ambrosios in the traditional way of offering bread and salt, and then the Metropolitan said the following:
My beloved, first of all I thank you so very much for your warm welcome, which touched me deeply. Please allow me to express my great joy and that of my companions, the Ukrainian Priest Fr. Roman Kavchak and the Korean Priest Fr. Antonios Lim, who came from Korea with me in order to visit you.
I would like to emphasize from the outset, that this visit is not of a ceremonial nature, nor is it of a temporary nature. It is a pastoral visit of the speaker, in his capacity as Metropolitan of Korea and Exarch of Japan. In other words, it is a visit of responsibility of the canonical Metropolitan of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, to communicate with the flock of his jurisdiction.
It is precisely for this reason that I feel the great need to thank God for letting us to come to Japan, after the prohibitive measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, to meet you. And with God’s help, we will continue our pastoral visits to Japan at regular basis, in order to be in spiritual communication with all the Orthodox Christians who are in the country, Japanese and non-Japanese. With the collaboration of my beloved brother in Christ Fr. Paul Koroluk, as well as other clergy who will need to come in the future, when the flock of the Exarchate will increase, we will try to organize the Exarchate of Japan under the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the best possible way, so that the liturgical and pastoral needs of all Orthodox in Japan to be met.
Before I finish my speech, I would like to add two more things:
Firstly, that I feel very proud in the Lord, because I am one of the twelve Metropolitans of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who signed the Tomos of the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in which it is mentioned that the Ukrainian Diaspora around the world belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Russia’s terrible war against Ukraine, with all its tragic consequences, completely justified the historic decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that the independent Ukrainian state should have its own Autocephalous Church.
And secondly, that I have the special privilege and the extraordinary joy and honor to convey to all of you and your dear relatives the paternal wishes and blessings of His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, for good health and a long life.
May God bless you always. Amen.
After the end of the Divine Liturgy, a reception followed, during which everyone had the opportunity to talk with Metropolitan Ambrosios and exchange thoughts on the future of the Exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Japan.