Head of UGCC tells Korrespondent that he believes in creation of one Ukrainian church
The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Patriarch Sviatoslav, said in an interview to the magazine Korrespondent that he believes in the possibility of creating one Ukrainian church.
According to the publication, the patriarch asserts the possibility of communion of the UGCC with all the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches. Then journalists Anna Morozova and Iryna Solomko asked him whether he is adherent to the idea of the church’s unity.
“He (His Beatitude Lubomyr – ed.) stated more then once that the one Ukrainian Church is a real possibility. First of all, because it has already existed in such state, but due to different factors it was divided into different confessions. Because there is a common ground, there are also chances that this unity will be regained. But we must step on this path of unity,” said the UGCC primate.
“Back in 2005 His Beatitude Lubomyr said that we had to move from denominational confrontation to the primacy in love. Very often today many of the churches that stemmed from Kyivan Church present themselves as the sole heir of this tradition. They consider the other churches as less worthy or even negate their right for existence. It is impossible to return to the original unity with this kind of thinking,” added the head of the UGCC.
He also answered the question of whether he communicates with the heads of the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine, particularly with the head of the UOC-MP Metropolitan Volodymyr. “Bishop Ilariy, the representative of Metropolitan Volodymyr, was at my enthronement. Not only did he greet me but he also invited me to a meeting with the metropolitan. It was supposed to take place in the next few days, but due to the health problems of the metropolitan, the meeting was postponed. Nonetheless we are preparing for the meeting and I am looking forward to it,” said the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics.
Besides, Patriarch Sviatoslav noted that the UGCC actively cooperates with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP): “We are actively cooperating with them within the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations. We have agreed to create the Council of Churches from churches that stemmed from St. Volodymyr’s Baptism, which would help us to accomplish many good things together.”
The complete version of the interview with the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics can be found in issue 21 of Korrespondent from June 3, 2011.