January 29, 2018 in the patriarchal residence Father and Head of UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav hosted a delegation of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ukraine.
The participants of the meeting were a newly appointed bishop of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ukraine Pavlo Shwartz and a senior priest of Saint Catherine Church in Kyiv pastor Mathias Lazi. Also participating on behaf of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was archpriest Ihor Shaban, Chairman of the UGCC Commission on Interreligious and Interfaith Relations.
Greeting his guests, His Beatitude remarked that Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church tries to build up sincere and open relationships with all Christians. “Regarding the Lutheran Church I recalled a situation that happened not so long ago at Maidan, when I was visiting wounded people in your church of Saint Catherine, which turned into an underground hospital for a while. But what impressed me the most was the personality of the previous pastor Ralph Haska, his belief and fidelity to Ukrainian people”.
Afterward, Bishop Shwartz expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to meet with His Beatitude Sviatoslav and gave a brief history of the foundation of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ukraine for the last 27 years. He also spoke about its present situation and terms of cooperation. As for him, in recent years they have managed not only to revive but also establish liturgical and communal life.
Continuing the conversation Kyiv pastor Mathias Lazi shared his experience of working in Germany prior to his transfer to Kyiv six months ago. The first thing that caught his eye was the openness of Greek Catholics to the ecumenical movement based on “Ecumenical concepts of UGCC”.
Another topic of the discussion was exploring of new areas of cooperation between the Churches. His Beatitude Sviatoslav suggested to continue developing social direction and to begin an intellectual work over the popularization of exchanging theological ideas and experience. An important element of cooperation between two confessions remains an ecumenical group “Reconciliation in Europe: a mission of the Churches of Poland, Germany, Ukraine and Belarus”.
At the end of the meeting His Beatitude Sviatoslav presented the participants an anniversary issue about the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and wished the German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ukraine development and openness for building a dialogue and peacekeeping.
The UGCC Department of UGCC