His Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav does not believe that the unity between the UGCC and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the long run is utopian. Such a position was expressed by the UGCC Primate in a traditional Christmas interview for Channel 5.
“On the contrary,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav, “this is a beautiful, joyful prospect.” For the whole Christian world, in particular the Catholic and Orthodox communities, are looking for ways to unite. At the universal level, there is a dialogue to restore this unity. First of all, it is about Eucharistic Communion.”
According to him, it is not about restoring some structures or re-subjecting one Church to another. “The highest sign of ecclesial unity is the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Therefore, when we talk about finding ways to restore unity among Christians, we have in mind the restoration of unity in the faith, and therefore in its expression in liturgical life. Therefore, when someone breaks this unity, he breaks the Eucharistic Communion. This is what happened between Moscow and Constantinople, after the decision of our mother church about granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” added the Head of the Church.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that there are already several levels of cooperation, agreed with His Beatitude Epiphanij.
“First of all, we want,” said the Primate, “to explore together the common heritage of Kyivan Christianity. For it has happened historically that the Greek-Catholic Church often fell under the influence of the West, in particular the Latin Church. The Orthodox Church fell under the influence of Moscow, that is, under the influence of this glorious or, rather, notorious Nikon reform, which is expressed in certain ritual moments … “
Therefore, on both sides, emphasized the Head of the UGCC, we have to look for what is “Kyivan” in our present life. It is to be explored and restored. According to him, it is about the development of theological tradition, the development of our pastoral ministry.
“One thing is unification, and the other is unity. In many cases, we can already unite,” said the Archbishop.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav expressed the hope that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which will now receive international recognition, will enter the universal movement of seeking the unity of the Church of Christ which is happening today at the universal level.
“From the Orthodox side, the Ecumenical Patriarch leads this process, and from the Catholic side – the Roman Apostolic Capital. By the way, after all the intentions of giving the Orthodox Church of Ukraine autocephaly, Moscow has left this ecumenical dialogue … I think the Ukrainian Church should be actively involved in this movement and then in Ukraine we will see its real fruit. For, perhaps, we, Ukrainians, most need a universal unity of the Churches,” said the Head of the UGCC.
Department of Information of the UGCC