“We are pained by the division of the one Kyivan Church, born through Volodymyr’s Baptism,” stated UGCC Head in the Italian publication Il Regno

Tuesday, 24 July 2012, 20:41
“I am open to dialogue – even more, I believe that there should be a process of reconciliation with the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). We bear historical wounds which can be healed only through a process in which all church institutions will participate. I wanted to initiate this process and I hope that from the side of ROC there will also be such openness,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in an interview with the Italian publication Il Regno.
“I am open to dialogue – even more, I believe that there should be a process of reconciliation with the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC).  We bear historical wounds which can be healed only through a process in which all church institutions will participate. I wanted to initiate this process and I hope that from the side of ROC there will also be such openness,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in an interview with the Italian publication Il Regno. In answer to a journalist’s question, as to whether there are certain preconditions to a dialogue with ROC representatives following the letter written to UGCC Head by Metropolitan Ilarion (Alfeev), Director of ROC Office of Public Relations, proposing closer collaboration, His Beatitude Sviatoslav replied that so far there were letters but no meetings. “We have not yet started a serious dialogue about the existing problems,” clarified UGCC Primate. During the last twenty years the same thesis has been repeated over and over: we are perceived as an impediment to a meeting between the Moscow Patriarch and the Roman Pope. However, until now, we have never succeeded in talking directly with ROC to seriously discuss the question of historical truth and the conditions of pastoral care.  “There is so much more to do!” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav. He believes that this dialogue should take place mainly in Ukraine.  “It is natural that my dialogue partner should be His Beatitude Volodymyr (Sabodan), Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in union with the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP),” noted UGCC Head.  He explained that it is with this Church, that UGCC shares pastoral, social and ecumenical common interests. Therefore, believes His Beatitude Sviatoslav, if UOC-MP carries on a dialogue directly with UGCC - without outside interference - then this dialogue could be both positive and constructive “We are pained by the division of the one Kyivan Church, born through Volodymyr’s Baptism, not only between Catholics and Orthodox, but also among the Orthodox themselves – continues UGCC Primate. There cannot be a step forward towards unity if it is not nurtured by all those who are the inheritors of Volodymyr’s Baptism and the only Kyivan Church.” In his comments, he also mentioned that when His Beatitude Lubomyr announced the return of the UGCC Seat to Kyiv from Lviv, his pastoral letter on that occasion to UGCC faithful, “United God’s People in the Country on the Kyiv Hills,” voiced his vision of the establishment of one church – moving from confessional exclusivity towards confessional collaboration. “I admit that I share His Beatitude’s vision of the unity of the Kyivan Church.  Therefore I attempt to treat the accumulated wounds and to build one cathedral for a people – just as it was in the beginning, when in 988 there was one Kyivan Church – the daughter of the union of the Constantinople Church with Rome,” stated UGCC Head in his interview for the Italian publication Il Regno.  

UGCC Department of Information

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