The webinar of the UGCC on Church history analyzed efforts for the unity of Christian Churches in Ukraine during the period of the patriarchate of His Beatitude Lubomyr

Thursday, 24 February 2011, 16:33
The imperative for the unity of Ukrainian Christians was originally declared by His Beatitude Lubomyr during his installment and solemn declaration speech 10 years ago. This message has been emphasized by Director of the Institute of Church History of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Rev. Dr. Andriy Mykhaleyko during the Church history webinar dedicated to the topic “His Beatitude Lubomyr Huzar on the unity of Christian Churches in Ukraine”
The imperative for the unity of Ukrainian Christians was originally declared by His Beatitude Lubomyr during his installment and solemn declaration speech 10 years ago. This message has been emphasized by Director of the Institute of Church History of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Rev. Dr. Andriy Mykhaleyko during the Church history webinar dedicated to the topic “His Beatitude Lubomyr Huzar on the unity of Christian Churches in Ukraine”   "To live in faith, to help believers and unbelievers, so that all of us are united in faith so that our nation and our Church will become one in Jesus Christ " - the webinar author recalled of the words delivered by His Beatitude Lubomyr in January 2001 during Solemn Archiepiscopal Divine Liturgy at St. George’s Cathedral in Lviv.

The Director of the Institute of Church History built his online seminar dedicated to the issue of Christian unity in Ukraine, on the materials of the sermons, epistolary texts, and Synodal Letters published when the Church was guided by His Beatitude Lubomyr. Surveying ecumenical theology of the Head of the UGCC during the period of 2001-2011AD, Rev. Andriy noticed that it is mainly based on awareness of belonging to the Kyiv-Christian tradition of Volodymyr's baptism.  It was also based on the inclusive deeds of the Churches of Kyiv, along with thinking in the categories of the communion and restoration of the Eucharistic unity.   "If we read into the suggestions made by His Beatitude Lubomyr, we can understand that they are more spiritual and evangelical. They are hard to insert in any legal framework ", - stated the author of the webinar. According to Rev. Andriy, held against the current state of Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical dialogue, the ideas of the UGCC are, unquestionably, innovative and fresh.
A better awareness of this heritage and tradition of Volodymyr's baptism was highlighted in a 2004 Letter "One People of God in the Kyiv Hill Country." In this message of His Beatitude Lubomyr we hear an idea that none of Kyiv's churches are a solitary successor of the Kyiv-Christian heritage. The Director of the Institute of Church History recalled that rejection of this approach only serves to make the existing disagreements worse.   According to Rev. Andriy, a like-minded idea could be found in an Appeal of His Beatitude Lubomyr to the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Volodymyr, dated April 26, 2008. The document made it evident that as neither one Person of the Holy Trinity is the whole, so none of the Churches of Volodymyr's baptism are whole. Therefore, the only way towards reconciliation is acknowledgement of the common heritage of Kyiv's churches. As it was pointed out in the Appeal, the development of communion is not a reason for breaking off ties with Rome, Moscow or Constantinople.   “Patriarchate for God’s people is not an end in itself and not a politically motivated goal. It focuses not only on matters of structure of the Church, but on the unity of God’s people and its holiness, "- quoted the webinar author in the Synodal Letter of 8 December 2009.
"Without a doubt, the suggestions made by His Beatitude Lubomyr and the Synod of the UGCC are revolutionary as they propose to go beyond a narrow confessional framework" - summed up Rev. Andriy Myhaleyko. In his view, the communional unity being strived for by the UGCC can be realized through the initiative of all four churches of Kiev.

Answering the question from one of the participants of the webinar, whether the Head of the UOC Metropolitan Volodymyr replied to the Appeal of the Head of the UGCC in 2008, Rev. Andriy said: "Yes, he did. This, however, was not a personal reply but a collective response of the Synod of the UOC.” According to the webinar author, one could hear in this response stereotypical phrases, like “UGCC does not possess the mandate from Rome to make such offers and in this situation. It is not the subject, but rather the object of the process." After all, it was said that the UGCC faithful who consider themselves supporters of the Eastern tradition, should return to the fold of Orthodoxy, and others - should remain in communion with Rome" - said the church historian In response to the question about the dialogue with the UOC-MP, the Director of the Institute of Church History observed that the Greek Catholics are trying on the local level to keep up good relations with the Kyiv Patriarchate and the Primate of this Orthodox Church.  However, on the official level, we cannot talk about unity yet.   In the opinion of Rev. Dr, Andriy Mykhaleyko, what impedes a genuine dialogue for the unity of the Kyiv Churches of Volodymyr's baptism is unhealthy exclusivity, and narrow confessional thinking. The author of the webinar observed that His Beatitude has compared this situation with the wheel: "We are similar to those who stand in a circle, the center of which is Christ. If each of us gets closer to Christ, we will be united among ourselves ". “The truth is but one, and it is found in God alone. God wants the Church to be one. Which of the churches does not agree with this idea? I think that when everyone desires unity, God will guide us and reveal the way to accomplish it. What is required of us is the desire for, and agreement on, unity”, - observed one of the participants in an open chat at the conclusion of the webinar. You can get more information on the Church history webinar of the UGCC dedicated to the topic “His Beatitude Lubomyr Huzar on the unity of Christian Churches in Ukraine” from the archived version following the link below: http://ugcc.org.ua/webinars/2011-02-22.flv
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