Rep of UGCC Explains Why It Recognized Baptisms in Kyiv Patriarchate
The head of the Department of External Relations of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Mitred Protopriest Oleksa Petriv, stated in a commentary to the Information Department of the UGCC that the UGCC head, Patriarch Sviatoslav, stated in response to a letter from the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate that the UGCC recognized the validity of the Sacrament of Baptism administered in that church as the Catholic Church teaches that “If a baptism is administered in the name of the Holy Trinity and with the use of natural water, it is considered valid.”
He noted that, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the Sacrament of Baptism is valid regardless of who administers it, an unbeliever or a Jew or Muslim or other representative of a Christian denomination, provided that it is administered in the name of the Holy Trinity with the use of natural water. “The head of the UGCC did not say anything about the other sacraments,” explained Fr. Petriv.
“In view of the above-mentioned correspondence, our church is actually accused of official communication with UOC-KP. But, unfortunately, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church does not maintain any official communication either with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate or the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate. All the communication is maintained at the level of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations and other interdenominational associations acting as public organizations or in the form of occasional correspondence,” explained Fr. Petriv.
He also noted that UGCC respects the canons of Orthodox Churches at all times and in all cases.
“We regret that the Orthodox Church is divided in Ukraine. And all our actions are aimed to achieve unity between the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine, in particular, and the Churches of Volodymyr’s Baptism in general. We seek unity and not division the father of which is 'one who divides,' that is the devil,” said Fr. Petriv.