Union of Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy of UAOC and UGCC is imminent - Patriarch Sviatoslav addresses autocephalous clergy
At the initiative of Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, on December 17, the Patriarchy of the UGCC hosted the meeting with clergymen of the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy of the UAOC.
Patriarch Sviatoslav was accompanied by Chairman of the Ecumenical Commission of the UGCC Fr. Ihor Shaban. The Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy was represented by Archbishop Ihor (Isichenko), archpriest Yuriy Boyko, archpriest Vitalii Zubak (Kharkiv), Fr. Ivan Leschyk (Mykolaiv), Fr. Ihor Lytvyn (Poltava), Fr. Dmitry Romankiv (Svatove), Fr. Leonid Slyvkanych (Oleshky), Fr. Volodymyr Chervonnykov (Kano), Fr Oleg Usov (Hlushkivka village, Kharkiv region), Fr Pavlo Kushch (Murafa village, Kharkiv region), Hieromonk Savvaty Solomyanyuk (Kyiv), Fr Theodore Sypeykin (Kano).
He told about the progress of debate on proposals of the UGCC to be submitted to the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy of the UAOC in response to the initiative of the Unification Council in 2015. The Patriarch underscored the need for absolute transparency of the unification processes, extensive involvement of priesthood and laity of both churches. The UGCC head urged the clergymen to assess his proposals and share their ideas on the unification process. In addition, the patriarch stressed that the very prospect of unification is irreversible, indisputable and had received unanimous support in the Church, the website of the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy of UAOC reports.
Each participant of the meeting had the opportunity to express their views and ask Patriarch Sviatoslav their questions. Archbishop Ihor noted that the unification process, being aimed at the development of the separated parts into a single Kyivan Church, is intended to protect and preserve the spiritual heritage of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church as part of the common Christian heritage of Ukraine.
The UGCC head welcomed the guests on a future day of remembrance of St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia and handed them books that reflect ecclesiological concept of the modern Church. Archbishop Ihor thanked on behalf of those in attendance for the gifts and presented to the Head of the UGCC a publication, prepared on the initiative and with an active participation of the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy. The participants agreed on the main stages of work on the unification and agreed to maintain permanent contact.
The meeting ended with a joint prayer in the chapel of the Patriarchy.