The Head of the UGCC consecrated in Poltava a cornerstone for a joint Autocephalous and Greek Catholic chuch
His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, sanctified and laid down the cornerstone for the construction of a joint church of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Poltava, UGCC press office informs.
Bishop Ihor (Isichenko), Archbishop of the Kharkiv-Poltava diocese of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and Bishop Vasil’ (Tuchapets’), Kharkiv Exarch of the UGCC were co-sanctifiers.
During the sermon to the faithful His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that today we witnessed the historic event - sanctifying and laying down the cornerstone to build the temple of God. The future temple will be erected in honor of the great martyr St. George.
What is this event unique? "Today we are experiencing not only the moment of startinganother temple of God, but today we feel that the anointed of God, our Christ the Savior, is the moment of our unity in this cornerstone, because we are laying down the first joint temple in Ukraine that children of the once unified Kyivan Church are going to build, the Church which today, unfortunately, is divided and exists in different confessions. But Christ is its cornerstone," said the Head of the UGCC.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav believes that today we have a very deep symbol - the beginning of true unity. This is the unity of the two communities - the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Poltava, who jointly start buildingtheir temple, because they striving for the unity, the basis of which is the Lord Jesus ChristHimself.
"We want these two walls of Ukrainian Christianity in the Kyiv tradition to finally find the point of support and the place of unity that is so needed today for Christians in Ukraine. There is no other foundation of unity, there is no other cornerstone for the construction of a single local Ukrainian Church in Kyiv but Christ the Savior. And there is no other way to this unity but joint labor, common prayer, and in this case, the construction of a common temple.”
In the opinion of the Head of the Church, today, looking at our Head, our Christ, we see that the church divisions do not reach the sky, for we all profess the only holy universalapostolic Church, the Church that He founded, the cornerstone of which is He Himself. "Perhaps our human infirmities," said the Primate, "lead to different divisions between people, but the closer we are to Christ, the closer we will be to each other. Therefore, today's blessing of the cornerstone is a holiday of the Church, united and indivisible, is the holiday of the unity of this Church."
But, in his opinion, we know that unity is something we must long for every day. "Unity is being built. We are building our personal unity with Christ in our spiritual feat, in the struggle against our sin, in the struggle for Him to become the only cornerstone of my life, on which I can always rely."
A long time ago old Archimedes taught us that if we lean on the right levers, we can move the world. "Let God become the centerpiece of our social, state and national constructionof the modern Ukraine. God grant that Christ Himself, the Head of a single indivisible Church, became the basis of unity among Christians. For we see in the symbol of consecration that church unity is not born in the offices, not even in the bishops' offices. Church unity comes from Christ," reiterated the Head of the UGCC.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked Archbishop Ihor (Isichenko) who, in his personal spiritual feat, founded his life, his thinking, preaching only on Christ. "I want to thank him for the openness and the suggestion that we should build this temple together. I think that today we give an example to the whole Ukraine, how to build our Church, our state, our society," added the spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics.
He also thanked the Bishop Vasyl’, the UGCC Exarch of Kharkiv for accepting this proposal. The Primate also thanked the community of the Autocephalous Church in Poltava, whо letGreek Catholics enter their hearts, embraced them and said that we are children of one and the same Church, we have nothing to divide.