His Beatitude Sviatoslav: "In the Church there are several principles that are not the subject to the issue of decentralization"

Friday, 23 October 2015, 10:07
Matters of faith and morals can not be decentralized. Each individual church community in a country cannot have its own separate faith or their separate morality. This belief was expressed by the Father and the Head of the UGCC in an interview with Radio Vatican, commenting on the words of Pope Francis on decentralization in the Church.

His Beatitude explained that when the Holy Father spoke of decentralisation, He meant the need to develop the synodality of the Church. "The Holy Father voiced well, what Synodality of the Church means. He said that the Pope is over the Church, as the Church - it is the people of God. He said about Himself: I am baptized among the baptized, I am a bishop among bishops, I am the successor of the Apostle Peter, the Bishop of Rome - that church, which presides over all churches in love. I think it is a very interesting image that the Holy Father drew. And speaking of the need for such decentralization, He was trying to emphasize the great responsibility of local bishops and bishops' conferences of local church for the life of the Church in a country", - said the Primate.

According to Him, when we talk about decentralization in the Church, we should use the words - healthy decentralization. As the Head of the UGCC is concerned, there are some principles that are not subject to the issue of decentralization.

"First - He said - faith and morals cannot be the subject to the issue of decentralization. The matters of faith and morals can not be decentralized. Individual religious community in a given country cannot have their own particular faith or morals. The sign of catholicity of the Church is that in the whole world it teaches, performs equally commandments of God and equally celebrates the Holy Sacraments. If that were decentralized, the Church would lose its very specific sign of catholicity. There may have been some misunderstanding, even in the media, because the issue of decentralization was heard in the context of the Pontifical Synod of the Church's teaching on marriage and family".

Also, the Primate continued, there are two aspects of church life, to be saved for the entire Church. This is the question of Liturgy, particularly in the case of the Latin Church. Similarly, when it comes to Church legislation, which basically should be the same for the whole Church, except that certain countries may have their own local traditions - is what we call the particular law in our own right.

"So, I think, a step towards decentralization must be the first step of the Holy Father and the Apostolic See to the fullness of life of the Eastern Catholic Churches. And I hope that this Synodal road will be interesting and useful for the Catholic Church” – concluded His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

Full text of the interview is available here: news.ugcc.ua/interview/.

 

UGCC Department of  Information 

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