UGCC Head: Now Greek Catholics and Orthodox will in one voice tell truth about Ukraine
On December 17, 2018, His Beatitude Svyatoslav, the Primate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, met with Eduard Hooks, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ukraine, at the latter’s request, in the administrative building of the Patriarchal Center of the UGCC in Kyiv. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the social and religious situation in Ukraine. It was reported by the Department of Information of the UGCC.
The main theme of the meeting was the Unification Council and its results. His Beatitude Sviatoslav presented the position of the UGCC concerning the recent events in the Ukrainian Orthodoxy.
The head of the UGCC called this Council an important, historic moment in the life of Ukraine.
He noted that now there are all prerequisites for dialogue and cooperation, just as it was the case of Metropolitans Petro Mohyla and Joseph Velyamin Rutsky in the 1620's. “But this will be possible if the leaders of the Churches are at the height of their vocation and awareness of their mission,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
“It is important that the processes that are taking place in the life of the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine were not just a change in the sign, but a change in quality,” said the UGCC head speaking of the Unification Council.
He stressed that now both Churches -- the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine – should go together, seek and realize what unites them, because "in our unity is our strength, and the future of our country depends on inter-church unity and cooperation.”
According to the Head of the UGCC, the important achievement of the Council is not only the election of Metropolitan Epifaniy as Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, but also his entry into the communion of universal Orthodoxy.
“Now, not only the UGCC is able and has the opportunity to speak to the global community about the situation in Ukraine, about the war and its consequences, but also the OCU. After all, prior to this, Moscow had usurped the right to speak on behalf of the Orthodox on the global level. It was them who distorted information about the alleged war in Ukraine between the Orthodox on the one hand and the schismatics and Uniates on the other. That is, it told that in Ukraine there is not a war between Russia and Ukraine, but an internal interreligious conflict,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav. He has also noted that both the UGCC and the OCU will now be united to speak the truth about Ukraine and her war for freedom, integrity and independence.
The Head of the UGCC has stressed that he was pleased to hear from Metropolitan Epifaniy the opinion about the importance of theological education and its development. “Our theology has a common source and originated from the Kyivan Church of St Volodymyr's baptism. We also have a common basis to jointly develop theology of the Kyivan Church,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
At the same time, he gave an example of the Ukrainian Catholic University, which is called an icon of the open Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which is both national and global.
In turn, Mr. Eduard Hooks has noted the important role of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations in general and the UGCC, in particular, in the issue of the development and transformation of Ukrainian society. He wished great success in the ecumenical dialogue for the sake of unity, peace and a better future.