Laypeople should decide on Christmas celebration date, - UGCC Patriarch
This opinion was expressed by Patriarch Sviatoslav of the UGCC during the live broadcast.
"This issue should first of all be raised by our laity, from grassroots. As long as the initiative of the calendar issue comes from the top downward, it will create additional splits. Similar calendar wars, in particular, were recorded in the United States after World War II," the first hierarch said.
"If such a national need comes from grassroots, and the hierarchs feel that this will not provoke additional divisions at the local level, then the experimental transition stage will begin," he added.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that the calendar issue in the UGCC is resolved per local needs.
"For example, I was at the first Episcopal service in Argentina. The old calendar was never observed there. Right from the start, when the community began to take shape when priests began to organize parishes, it immediately adhered to the new style," the head of the UGCC explained.
However, in Ukraine, as patriarch Sviatoslav emphasized, the UGCC would like to switch to the new calendar together with the Orthodox Churches.
"On our part, we, the UGCC, want to do this together with our Orthodox brothers.
Ukraine has its own special context, in particular, ecumenical, traditional one, there are certain historical points that are subconsciously rooted in our hearts, and this requires not one's sole discretion, but the national interchurch, ecumenical discussion and movement," he explained.
"It is essential not to forget that we celebrate Christmas as a day, as an opportunity to experience the birth of Our Savior. Sometimes we talk about Christmas in a secular aspect, without specifying whose Christmas it is, whose birth it is. Thus this source, this religious, theological, spiritual moment is being lost. The secularization of Christmas introduces its own dynamics. Christmas will take place, it will definitely take place, Christ will be born, will enter this post-covid world to give us the light of Hope," said Patriarch Sviatoslav of the UGCC.