Patriarch Sviatoslav Responds to Patriarch Filaret Regarding Baptism in Kyivan Patriarchate
The press service of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP) published a response of the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Patriarch Sviatoslav, to the Head of the UOC-KP, Patriarch Filaret, regarding the position of the UGCC on the effectiveness of the Sacrament of baptism in UOC-KP.
This official letter was sent by Patriarch Sviatoslav in response to a letter of Patriarch Filaret of 20 October where he addressed the Greek Catholic head on behalf of the Holy Synod of the UOC-KP with a request to express the official position of the UGCC on the Sacrament of Baptism administered by the UOC-KP.
The response of the Greek Catholic head reads: “As regards the sacrament of Baptism, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church as a successor of the Kyivan Church observes the Tradition of the undivided Church of the 1st millennium in agreement with the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches in this regard. According to the practices established in the first centuries of Christianity, in accordance with the Apostles’ 'Creed,' Dogmas of the Church and Canonical Law of the Eastern Catholic Churches (see Canon 672 of CCEC), we recognize that it is not appropriate to administer the Sacrament of Baptism again if it was once administered effectively. It was repeatedly confirmed in the Catechism of our Church 'Christ - Our Pascha' (see items 415 and 423 for example).
“As regards the conditions of the effectiveness (validity) of the Sacrament of Baptism, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church also observes the rules of the undivided Church of the 1st millennium, which were confirmed in the Manual on Application of Principles and Norms of Ecumenism (1995) of the Roman Apostolic Church. According to this document of the Catholic Church, the Sacrament of Baptism is considered effective in the Church communities which administer it by water and with the use of a formula clearly defining it as an act of Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (see Item 93-95). As we know that according to the liturgical books of UOC-KP, the Holy sacrament of Baptism is to be administered exactly in that way, we have no doubts as to its effectiveness in that church community.”