Ukrainian scholars and theologians discussed cooperation of Protestant Reformation and Catholicism
On November 3, in the framework of events dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Ukrainian Catholic University hosted a round table titled “Reformation and Catholicism.” The event was organized by the Resource and Research Centre for Euro-Asian Accreditation Association with the support and participation of the Philosophy and Theology Department and the Institute of Ecumenical Studies of UCU.
Michael Mokienko, researcher of the Resource and Research Centre to EAAA, told RISU that initiators of the roundtable discussion through a professional discussion and report sought to stimulate scientific and theological discussion of the interaction of the Protestant Reformation and Catholicism. The event brought together about seventy participants, including well-known domestic and foreign scientists and scholars, students, secular and religious schools, as well as representatives of the clergy and the public.
At the meeting moderator of the round table (Deputy Dean of the UCU Faculty of Philosophy and Theology Oleg Kindiy and researcher of the Resource and Research Centre of EAAA Michael Mokienko) welcomed the participants and outlined the problematic field and context of discussion. The first speaker, Ph.D. professor of Church History of the Ukrainian Catholic University Lyubaschenko Victoria, devoted her speech to political thought in Rzeczpospolita, stressing the harmony of contemporary political transformations with political ideas of Protestants, namely Socynians. The discussion touched upon the concepts of statehood in the late Middle Ages and modern times, the correlation of political ideals of Catholics and Protestants, identified causes of decline of Protestant communities late XVII early XVIII.
In the next report, Fr. Marco Blyaza, professor of ecumenical and dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St.Andrzej Boboli made comparative analysis of anthropological and soteriological aspects of Catholicism and Protestantism using fundamental doctrinal document of Lutherans – the Augsburg Confession of 1530. Through appropriate images and metaphors the author demonstrated the peculiarity of theological polyphony between the branches of Christianity.
A lively audience reaction was caused by candidate of historical sciences, director of the Resource and Research Centre to EAAA Roman Soloviy, devoted to the phenomenon of “new monasticism.” In the context of postmodern religiosity, the speaker demonstrated prerequisites for the formation and ideological dimensions seemingly atypical phenomenon of “monasticism in Protestantism.” During the discussion of the issue many analogues of this phenomenon were found in the Protestant environment, including some evangelical expressions in the domestic context.
The theme of Catholic-Protestant dialogue was continued in a video by professor, chair of theology department at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas Fr. Robert Marco. Based on the documents of official dialogue between the Churches, the speaker set off the current paradigm of church unity, showed theological and practical difficulties, as well as the prospect of further dialogue.
Despite the interfaith event format, key speeches and discussions brought about the constructive spirit not only in terms of Catholic-Protestant relations, but also in the search for adequate responses to modern challenges to Christian theology.
The participants noted the relevance and high level of reports and expressed hope that such interfaith activities dedicated to the anniversary of the Reformation will continue. In particular, the assistant at master's program in theology of the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary Bohdan Bintsarovskyy said: “The roundtable on Reformation and Catholicism enables to overcome stereotypes in mutual perceptions of Christian traditions and encourages a deeper study of the problems of interfaith relations.” According to UCU graduate brother Luke Miroslav Horhota, the roundtable was successful because it included both “the historical and theological frame, which allowed highlighting the processes of ecclesial reforms in Europe. Teacher of Lviv Theological Seminary Yuriy Kostyuk noted on timeliness of such event and expressed hope that the celebration of the anniversary of the Reformation will contribute to deepening of interfaith dialogue.
The next stage in celebration of the anniversary of the Reformation will be a future round table “Reformation and Orthodoxy,” which will be held on November 26, 2015 at the National Dragomanov Pedagogical University. Registration is required for participation in this event. More details on the program of events dedicated to reform movement are available on the website of Reformation 500 Program.