Kyivan Patriarchate Points to Main Obstacle in Bringing Greek Catholics Closer to Orthodox
KYIV — Commenting on the results of the recent session of the Committee of Inter-Conciliar Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church on the issue of counteracting and overcoming schisms held in Kyiv on March 25, 2010, the representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP) touched also upon the situation regarding the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC). The UOC-KP stressed that strengthening the position of Orthodoxy in western Ukraine is possible exactly thanks to the movement for the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church.
“…there are grounds to assume that the establishment in Ukraine of the one national Orthodox church will bring closer to Orthodoxy a considerable part of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics, the process for them which is mainly hindered by their reluctance to belong to the Moscow Church,” says the statement of the press center of the UOC-KP.
The document also stresses that the Moscow Patriarchate should not “indulge in self-deception,” that the overwhelming majority of the Orthodox parishes in western Ukrainian regions do not belong to the Moscow Patriarchate.
In addition, commenting on the statements of Metropolitan Hilarion not only at the session of the mentioned committee but also his other meetings and discussions during his stay in Ukraine, the Kyivan Patriarchate expressed surprise as to why representatives of the Ukrainian churches are not engaged to the discussion of their very churches. The case in question concerned exactly Greek Catholics.
“During his stay in Kyiv and Lviv, Metropolitan Hilarion held meetings with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church such as Metroplitain M. Mokrzycki and the Apostolic Nuncio I. Jurkovic. According to the latest official reports, the head of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate talked with the latter about the activity of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine. In general, the practice of conducting negotiations about Ukrainian Churches between the religious centers outside Ukraine is odd, unacceptable, and without prospects,” stressed the Kyivan Patriarchate.