Today, the UGCC Patriarchate can be considered an unofficial reality, - expert opinion

Thursday, 30 December 2021, 15:07
The creation of metropolitas is already half a step towards the Patriarchate. At the end of 2021, three metropolias of the UGCC – of Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil-Zboriv – celebrate the 10th anniversary of their formation. What are metropolias in general for the Church as an institution – the deacon of the Archdiocese of Kyiv of the UGCC Fr. Daniel Galadza and Anatoly Babynsky, a historian and religious scholar at the UCU Institute of church history, explain in the program "Open Church"

The program stipulated that each Archdiocese reflects the peculiarities of the spiritual life of the church and community in a certain place and time. A vivid example of this is the three above–mentioned metropolias of the UGCC, each of which has its own long history and great spiritual treasures: spiritual fathers who continued to serve on their territory, despite the ban of the UGCC during the Soviet occupation, underground seminaries that have now become theological academies, pilgrimage sites, traditions of pastoral and social service.

Anatoly Babynsky believes that today the Patriarchate of the UGCC can be considered a reality, although there is no official legal act that would fix this yet.

"Indeed, the structure of the UGCC today corresponds to the patriarchal form, since the patriarch is the one who has super–metropolitan power," the scientist explains. – Today we see that the structures of the UGCC exist all over the world. And for their better functioning and communication between them, there must be a super-metropolitan power, which is traditionally the Patriarchate in the Eastern Church."

Anatoly Babynsky cited a letter from a well-known theologian and figure of the UGCC Fr. Ivan Muzychka, written in 2011: "Fr Ivan was a close employee of Iosyp Slipyi and knew from the inside how this struggle for the UGCC Patriarchate took place. And he writes these words: "I heard that we will create new metropolias. And the Metropolia is half a step away from the Patriarchate. I heard that something is being prepared at the end of November. This is what I know, and I will tell you more, having learned something else." Therefore, we see that our glorious predecessors carefully looked at the creation of metropolias and understood that this, in fact, is the creation of the Patriarchate. The only problem is that the Catholic Church does not have a mechanism in place for proclaiming the Patriarchate. It is logical that the creation of metropolias is already half a step towards the Patriarchate. But we are still waiting for this official recognition."