Secretary of Head of UOC-MP Welcomes Establishment of Relations With UGCC
The Head of the Department of External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), Secretary of the Head of UOC-MP, Archbishop Oleksandr (Drabynko) of Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi and Vyshneve commented to the newspaper Day on the present situation in UOC-MP.
In answer to the question about “the struggle for the seat” which “cannot be hidden any more” in UOC, the archbishop responded that he is “not a candidate in the struggle for the seat.” The main task entrusted to him by the Synod is the treatment and care for the Head of UOC.
The archbishop said that the condition of the primate is improving thanks to the operation and that it is “already better than it was before.”
As for the canonical status of UOC-MP, the hierarch stated that “the status enjoyed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church today thanks to the weighed external and internal policy of Metropolitan Volodymyr is quite sufficient. Obviously, within UOC, there are differences in the vision of its past and present. And to avoid imbalance, it is necessary to keep up the policy of his Beatitude.”
Archbishop Oleksandr welcomes the establishment of contacts between UOC and UGCC. “I am acquainted with Patriarch Sviatoslav. He made a very pleasant impression. We have many common subjects to talk about as we live in the same country and have same problems. And when we begin to settle them together as Christians, we manage to do it better than when we do on our own. There are also some relations at the local level, between our communities who conduct some social work in towns and villages. But they are situational. Yes, we have many things in common, but there are a number of problems which are still unsettled and hinder further cooperation,” said the hierarch.
As for the relations with the Orthodox of the Kyivan Patriarchate, he said that “as of today, there are no relations except knowing each other.” According to Archbishop Oleksandr, “on the general scale, the preparation of the dialogue has been frozen. For certain reasons. But, subjectively, I would like inter-denominational dialogue to be conducted in our state.”