UGCC Bishop Dziurakh: Despite efforts of Moscow Patriarchate, ecumenical dialogue goes forward
During his stay at the Council of the UGCC in Poland, which takes place in the city of Przemysl, Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh, secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, commented to RISU on the recent statement of representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate on the latter’s willingness to return to the issue of "Uniatism" within the Catholic-Orthodox theological dialogue. This proposal, as reported by Russian media, was put forward by the Russian delegation during the last meeting of the Commission in Amman, Jordan.
According to Bishop Dzyurakh, there is always a lot of negativity in trying to raise the issue of so-called "Uniatism": "it is always referred to as a ‘bloody wound on the body of Christianity’ and as something to be done with. I think that such rhetoric has no future, as it suggests that we should do something with a certain group of Christians, or rather do something so they cease to exist. This is not a positive proposal, it is not a proposal that may be developed and give rise to a good, creative and fruitful dialogue. In order for the dialogue to be fruitful and constructive, it must take place in love. And love requires respect for the rights of each party concerned."
Commenting on the possibility of returning to this issue within an official dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, Bishop Bohdan expressed his conviction that it should be returned to in a positive format rather than negative one: “We are inviting to the dialogue to find new formats of unity. Perhaps, the methods that were used 400 years ago now look anachronistic, but the idea of unity does not come either from the Holy See or from a particular group of Christians – this is the commandment of Christ, a gospel postulate. So we have no choice here. For the choice here is to follow Christ, to go to unity or maintain this tragic dissent. I see that the authoritative representatives of the Orthodox Church in the person of the Patriarch of Constantinople understood it and along with the Pope withdrew the mutual anathemas that had emerged as a result of human sinfulness and ambitions.”
“I think that it does not make sense to continue the dialogue in a polemical manner. For ‘polemics’ comes from ‘polemos’ that means ‘war’ in Greek. In our case, this is war on religious grounds. We should rather seek and offer new models of unity. Regarding the statements of the Moscow Patriarchate representatives to turn back to the issue of ‘Uniatism’ within the theological dialogue. As far as I know, this proposal was not supported by the Commission members. This suggests that those who are looking for true dialogue think in a positive way. And this gives us hope that the ecumenical dialogue is moving forward despite the various difficult moments of crisis,” concluded the Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC.