Patriarch Filaret Doubts that Whole Greek Catholic Church Is Ready to Become Part of Unified Orthodox Church
Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP) spoke about the relations between the UOC-KP and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in an interview to NG Religions. According to the hierarch, the relations between them have become normal now.
“We had complicated relations with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the beginning of 1990s, during the time of the struggle for church buildings. Now, when hundreds and, perhaps, even thousands of church buildings have been built in Galicia and each parish has its own church building, our relations have become normal. We have many things in common. Both churches hold state positions and support the protection of morality in the society. We have this in common not only with Greek Catholics but also with the Roman Catholics and Protestants.
Unification with them will be possible when the Ukrainian Orthodox community is united in one church recognized by the world’s Orthodoxy. The thing is that the Greek Catholic Church appeared in the 16th century when Ukraine, which had lost its independence, became part of the Polish kingdom and the Orthodox bishops were put in an unequal position with the Catholic bishops. Now, we have our own state. There are grounds for unification as the cause of the divide has been liquidated. But I do not think that the whole UGCC is ready to unite in one Orthodox Church. Even if this unification happens, part of the Uniate clergy will simply join the Roman Catholic Church,” said the head of the UOC-KP.