His Beatitude Sviatoslav was one of the leaders who formed the agenda for all Churches during the Maidan, Victor Yelensky

25.03.2021, 09:59
His Beatitude Sviatoslav was one of the leaders who formed the agenda for all Churches during the Maidan, Victor Yelensky - фото 1
On March 27, our Church celebrates the tenth anniversary of the enthronement of His Beatitude Sviatoslav. Victor Yelensky, theologian and politician, spoke about the role of the UGCC and the position of the current Head of the UGCC in times of great trials like the Revolution of Dignity, in the program "Good Conversation" with Halyna Babiy.

"During these ten years, the UGCC has done a lot to save the entire Ukrainian society as a community of people,” says Victor Yelensky.

On the common position of the Churches during the Revolution of Dignity

Victor Yelensky, who was one of the Maidan activists, recalls a personal conversation with His Beatitude Sviatoslav when the killings on the Maidan began.

"The opposition then invited representatives of all Churches in Ukraine to a meeting to help stop the bloodshed… His Beatitude suggested that politicians and religious leaders go to the Maidan and ask the people to allow the opposition to make another attempt and negotiate with the authorities… And the people on the Maidan, who had previously agreed not to have any more talks and meetings with the regime, gave this permission."

"His Beatitude Sviatoslav was one of the religious leaders who were able to work out an agenda for all Churches during the Maidan. All the Churches began to demand that Ukraine follow the European course..."

On the unity and dialogue between the UGCC and the OCU

"His Beatitude Sviatoslav completely inherited the vision of the late Lubomyr Husar about the dialogue and unity of the Churches of Volodymyr's Baptism," says Victor Yelensky. "His Beatitude Lubomyr had a very deep and comprehensive vision of this unity: he belonged to a cohort of hierarchs who believed that the division between Christians was a scandal, as Pope John Paul II said."

An important point that Mr. Yelensky points out is that when Ukraine was preparing to receive the Tomos, it faced opposition not only from the Russian Orthodox Church, but also from the entire machine of the Russian state, from all of its secret services and media.

"Among the methods taken by Russia was an attempt to provoke a quarrel between the UGCC and the OCU. Russia promoted a narrative that these Churches are competitors who will inevitably fight for the church electorate. In this situation, both Patriarch Sviatoslav and Metropolitan Epifaniy acted, in my opinion, in a very responsible and very Christian way. If we talk about the true evangelical attitude to each other, we saw it in the dialogue between the UGCC and the OCU, between the Heads of these Ukrainian Churches."

You can view the entire program here.