UOC-MP Rep: Recognition of Baptism in UOC-KP by UGCC Makes No Difference
The Secretary of the Department of External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), Protopriest Mykola Danylevych commented on the response of the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Patriarch Sviatoslav to Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP) regarding the Sacrament of Baptism administered in UOC-KP. According to the UOC-MP rep, the statement of Greek Catholics will not affect the situation in Ukraine.
“Filaret earlier wrote not only to Greek Catholics but also to the heads of the Orthodox Churches and Roman Pope but received no response,” said the protopriest.
The representative of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate stated that that church will continue to baptize again believers of the UOC-KP.
“We do not recognize the priesthood of the Kyivan Patriarchate; therefore, we cannot recognize their baptism,” he explained, and noted that there is no unified practice of admitting believers from another church. The protopriest also said that “by addressing other denominations, UOC-KP only spoils its image.”
Representatives of the Kyivan Patriarchate, on the other hand, are pleased with the response of the UGCC head. According to the UOC-KP spokesman, Archbishop Yevstratii (Zoria), the position of UGCC is grounded on the Church Tradition and Vatican documents and will assist further emergence of UOC-KP from the artificial isolation. “For our opponents will not be able to ignore such a position so easily as they ignore our calls,” said the archbishop in particular.
The spokesman of the UOC-KP also said that the letter was read to Patriarch Filaret, who is on a visit to the United States, over the telephone, and he positively evaluated it and gave his blessing for the publication thereof.