UOC-Moscow Patriarchate Accuses Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of Supporting Kyivan Patriarchate
The accusation regarding the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) was voiced in the report of the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), Metropolitan Volodymyr, on the state of the UOC-MP and the challenges facing it, which was read out at the hierarchical council of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The head of UOC-MP accused the UGCC of supporting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate, of providing spiritual care to the Ukrainian diaspora and adding to the interdenominational conflicts in the Bila Tserkva and Vinnytsia Eparchies, even though he noted that the relations between the Orthodox and Greek Catholics in Ukraine are not very tense.
Metropolitan Volodymyr referred to the UOC-KP address to the heads of the national Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church, Church of England and the UGCC with the request to recognize the validity of the sacrament of baptism administered within the schism.
“No response was received in Kyiv from the head of the Roman Catholic Church or the head of the Church of England. Only the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Supreme Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, sent to the so-called UOC-KP an official letter stating the actual recognition of the sacrament of baptism in UOC-KP.
“Therefore, the UGCC has become the only denomination which actually supported the Ukrainian schismatics. The UGCC thereby violated the principles developed both in the process of the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue and the inter-Christian dialogue in general. The participants of the dialogue undertake not to establish formal contacts with church groups that are not canonically recognized. Therefore, the Orthodox Church does not maintain contacts with schismatic groups within the Catholic Church and hopes that official representatives of the Catholic side will not maintain contacts with groups which are not in communion with the world Orthodoxy,” reads the letter of Metropolitan Volodymyr.
The metropolitan also mentioned conflicts between representatives of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and communities of the UOC-MP in the Bila Tserkva and Vinnytsia Eparchies even though he noted that in comparison with 1980s and 1990s, the relations between the two churches are better.