UGCC Head: New stage of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue: Not Moscow – Vatican, but Constantinople – Vatican
The existing schemes of ecumenical dialogue since the Cold War, when the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate was considered to be a privileged interlocutor, should be rethought after the Constantinople's UOC decision. Such an opinion was expressed by His Beatitude Sviatoslav in an interview with the Vatican’s media outlet CRUX.
“Yet the ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox world has been perceived through the prism of “Ostpolitik” and through the relations between Moscow and the Vatican. Now it is necessary to rethink not only the way of conducting this dialogue, but also to update the very concept of ecumenical dialogue, given that there are other representatives of Orthodoxy,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
“By this time, we, Catholics, often projected onto the Orthodox world the purely Catholic Church model. There is no single Orthodoxy like a Catholic Church. There are local Orthodox Churches. Considering one of these Churches as the exclusive representative of the Orthodox world is a big mistake. I think that the one who can truly be considered the first among the Orthodox Churches, according to the Orthodox canons, is the Patriarch of Constantinople, because he is the first among the equals,” stressed the Primate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
In this case, as the UGCC's leader noted, the decision of Constantinople will start a new period in the history of the Universal Church.
“It will be difficult, but interesting and, of course, inspired by the Holy Spirit,” added Patriarch Sviatoslav. This was reported by the Department of Information of the UGCC.