"Just peace is considered to be Ukraine's victory" – the Head of the UGCC

Saturday, 10 October 2015, 18:34
UGCC is consistently denouncing Russian aggression against Ukraine and considers unacceptable forming the image of Ukrainian as an enemy of the Russian people, attaching different labels on those who defend the right of the existence of Ukraine as an independent state.

It was said by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Head of the UGCC, commenting for Austrian edition «Kathpress» the accusations that, so to say, our Church calls to fight with weapons to complete victory. These accusations against the Church were announced by Bishop Antoniy (Pakanych), Metropolitan of Boryspil and Brovary, UOC Administrator on September 22, during His meeting with a group of Austrian journalists.

The Primate of the Church explained to the edition of «Kathpress» that the Church has never called for violence and war, as in this case our opponents accuse us. "We have consistently condemned the aggressors and those who support illegal armed groups, and with all members of AUCCRO urged them to lay down their arms. We affirm the right and duty of Ukrainians to defend their land from foreign invaders, according to the social doctrine of the Catholic Church, we give Chaplaincy care for Ukrainian soldiers as defenders of just peace, educate Ukrainian society based on Christian patriotism, not with hatred to strangers, but with Christian love to our people, our land and our own state", - explained His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

"We consider just peace as Ukraine's victory, which is not possible to achieve in terms of the aggressor. We consistently call for reconciliation, but we cannot allow the reconciliation with the war, violence, lies and denial of the right to existence of the people of Ukraine and their country", - stressed the Head of the UGCC.

During His meeting with Austrian journalists Metropolitan Antoniy also said that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church does not express any position on the war in the East, just as Pope Francis and the Vatican, and this in order to "leave the way for dialogue".

Commenting on these words, His Beatitude said that the Pope, as the successor of St. Peter and the Supreme Pontiff of ancient Christianity, especially the first millennium, was considered the highest arbiter of the Church of Christ, who was addressed in the case of dogmatic and administrative disputes of solitary local churches, according to the old rules nemo iudex in causa sua. He performed and performs today this service not as a representative of the Roman Patriarchate, but as the Supreme Pontiff.

"The Superior Church is and must be with its people, it has to be its voice, mother and teacher. That is why, briefly speaking, "the matter of the people" is "the matter of its church", it is «causa sua». UGCC is with its people and protects their rights and interests, is its voice to the ecumenical Pontiff, particularly in the case of war against its own people appealing to the Holy Father, and through him the world community", - said the Head of the UGCC.

"The comparison of the UOC role in the issue of the war in the East of Ukraine with intermediary mission and service to the Pontiff in the Universal Church of Christ is absurd and dangerous ... How can a church that claims to be the only national Orthodox church of the people, separate of the matter of its life or death? I want to believe that this is just an unfortunate comparison, not a rejection of the UOC to be national Ukrainian Church"- pointed out His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

Another aspect of the talks during a meeting with journalists and Metropolitan Anthoniy was equating the subordination of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) to Patriarch Kirill with subordination of the UGCC to Pope Francis.

His Beatitude noted that he would not comment on the ecclesial specifics of canonical unity of Ukrainian Orthodox Church with Moscow Patriarchate, but as a comparison with the unity between the Church and the Pope Francis was made, He pointed out the fundamental difference of these "unities".

The Head of the UGCC pointed out that such a comparison is entirely inappropriate. Even in the Orthodox world Moscow Patriarch never considered universal and as having any ministry or jurisdiction outside their own Patriarchate.

 "Church as the local council of its law is in communion with the Holy Father as with Universal. We are not a part of "the Latin Patriarchate", we have, according to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, all the rights of patriarchal dignity, except the title "Patriarch" for the Head of the Church and have been steadily building our own Patriarchate", - said the Primate of the Church.

"When it comes to the Orthodox Church - continued the Head of the UGCC - it, nevertheless, despite all the so-called autonomy law, is a part of the Moscow Patriarchate and does not set out to achieve its own patriarchate". He explained that this belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate for the UOC is an integral part of its ecclesiological identity. It is through unity with Moscow Orthodox Church is in communion with the rest of the world Orthodoxy. "It should be noted the danger of such a comparison, it may be subconscious vision of Moscow as the Third Rome, as the Patriarch of Moscow is equated to Universal Pontiff. So, the analogy between the unity of the UGCC with the Universal Hierarch and unity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with Patriarch of Moscow is, put it mildly, the failure"- said His Beatitude Sviatoslav in the comments to the Austrian publication «Kathpress».

As we reported, during September 21-25 in Ukraine there was the group of Austrian journalists who came in order to learn more about Ukraine. Guests from Austria visited Kyiv and Lviv, where they had meetings with representatives and Heads of the Churches in Ukraine, representatives of government and the public.

UGCC Department of Information

 

In the supplement we invite you to read the full report of comments of Beatitude Sviatoslav, which He gave to «Kathpress»

Q: Metropolitan Anthoniy said that your calls changed from radical – we should fight for victory, to reconciliation during the stay in the Holy Land.

Answer: This is, actually, the third call for reconciliation during the last year. Interestingly, now it is heard. These calls to end the war against Ukraine were made in an interview to Zenit agencies and George Weigel last year.

UGCC consistently denounces the Russian aggression against Ukraine and considers unacceptable forming the image of Ukrainian as an enemy of the Russian people, attaching different labels on those who asserts the existence of Ukraine as an independent state.

 Repeated calls for reconciliation aimed primarily not to the presidents (as we have in the case of the ROC), but Ukrainian and Russian peoples. We believe that Russian propaganda is burning ethnic hatred, asserting that there is no Ukrainian nation, its language and culture, and the very existence of the Ukrainian state is a wound on the body of a single Russian people, saying that Ukraine is not a nation or state, but only "territory". The content of our calls is to resist this propaganda because propagandists and politicians come and go, but peoples remain. Only when we understand ourselves as equal neighbors, then we can talk about true reconciliation between us and seek to peaceful coexistence.

The peculiarity of the call from the Holy Land is calling for the common spiritual heritage of Ukrainians and Russians, ROC and UGCC - the holy martyrs Borys and Glib, the first saints of Kievan Rus, and a thousand- year anniversary of which we celebrate this year. An important note here is that the ROC this year has made an excessive emphasis on the millennium death of St. Volodymyr, but it passed up Borys and Glib. Maybe the example of Saints Borys and Glib speak to the conscience of Russians and Russian Orthodox and remind them that they need to obey God rather than men.

Church has never called for violence and war, as in this case our opponents accuse us. We have consistently condemned the aggressors and those who support illegal armed groups, and with all members AUCCRO urged them to lay down their arms. We affirm the right and duty of Ukrainians to defend their land from foreign invaders, according to the social doctrine of the Catholic Church, we give Chaplaincy care for Ukrainian soldiers as defenders of just peace, educate Ukrainian society based on Christian patriotism, not with hatred to strangers, but with Christian love to our people, our land and our own state.

We consider just peace as Ukraine's victory, which is not possible to achieve in terms of the aggressor. We consistently call for reconciliation, but we cannot allow the reconciliation with the war, violence, lies and denial of the right to existence of the people of Ukraine and their country.

Q: Metropolitan Anthony explained that the Orthodox Church on the war in the East occupies such a position that Francis Pope and Vatican have. This is in order to keep to the path of dialogue. How can you comment that?

Answer: the Pope, as the successor of St. Peter and the Supreme Pontiff of ancient Christianity, especially the first millennium, was considered the highest arbiter of the Church of Christ, who was addressed in the case of dogmatic and administrative disputes of solitary local churches, according to the old rules nemo iudex in causa sua. He performed and performs today this service not as a representative of the Roman Patriarchate, but as the Supreme Pontiff. As regards it is interesting the appeal of Basil the Great to the Pope as an arbitrator and mediator in the disputes of Churches of Asia Minor.

The Superior Church is and must be with its people, it has to be its voice, mother and teacher. That is why, briefly speaking, "the matter of the people" is "the matter of its church", it is «causa sua». UGCC is with its people and protects their rights and interests, is its voice to the ecumenical Pontiff, particularly in the case of war against its own people appealing to the Holy Father, and through him the world community

In a very similar way ROC is imbued with "pain and joy" of the Russian people. Even the idea of ​​"Russian world" for it is «causa sua». Whatever Moscow Patriarch tried to pretend to be "Rus" and not just "russian", in contemporary reality it is evidently not possible. The moral right to represent "pain and joy" to the people of Ukraine, have questioned even by the believers UOC, considering their Patriarch "Patriarch of the aggressor".The comparison of the UOC role in the issue of the war in the East of Ukraine with intermediary mission and service to the Pontiff in the Universal Church of Christ is absurd and dangerous. This shows that the pain and suffering of the Ukrainian people against the war that is «the matter of the people» not "the matter of UOC", not a «causa sua». Therefore, the common people have the question: if the Church is completely abstracted from its people and acting from a position outside judge or mediator, then who is it? How can a church that claims to be the only national Orthodox church of the people, separate of the matter of its life or death? I want to believe that this is just an unfortunate comparison, not a rejection of the UOC to be national Ukrainian Church.

Q: Metropolitan Anthoniy equated the subordination of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) to Patriarch Kirill with the submission of the UGCC to Pope Francis Church. Is this true?

Answer: This comparison is entirely inappropriate. Even in the Orthodox world Moscow Patriarch has never considered to be universal and as having any ministry or jurisdiction outside His own Patriarchate. The absence of any universal service in the Orthodox Church Moscow has consistently denied even to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Indicative in this respect are the recent theological discussion of Orthodox-Catholic Theological Commission of ecumenical dialogue that is lead by the Catholic Church with the Orthodox Churches.

Church as the local council of its law is in communion with the Holy Father as with Universal. We are not a part of "the Latin Patriarchate", we have, according to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, all the rights of patriarchal dignity, except the title "Patriarch" for the Head of the Church and have been steadily building our own Patriarchate.

When it comes to the Orthodox Church - continued the Head of the UGCC - it, nevertheless, despite all the so-called autonomy law, is a part of the Moscow Patriarchate and does not set out to achieve its own patriachate.

This belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate for the UOC is an integral part of its ecclesiological identity. It is through unity with Moscow Orthodox Church is in communion with the rest of the world Orthodoxy. "It should be noted the danger of such a comparison, it may be subconscious vision of Moscow as the Third Rome, as the Patriarch of Moscow is equated to Universal Pontiff. So, the analogy between the unity of the UGCC with the Universal Hierarch and unity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with Patriarch of Moscow is, put it mildly, the failure.

This analogy could be seriously considered if the Orthodox Church belonged to the ancient Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Then Patriarch Bartholomew could truly be seen as the "Pope of the Orthodox world». I hope we are dealing with a simple mistake of Orthodox spokesman than the "Confession of the faith" and a real ecclesiology of UPC.

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