At the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, held in Rome on September 1-10, Archbishop and Metropolitan Borys Gudziak spoke about “Unity and Communion: the voice of the UGCC from the United States.” In his opinion, it is first and foremost worth paying attention to the spiritual foundation.
“God is the Word. Joint deep nourishment with the Word of God, which is the source of common language and categories, is a necessary condition for unity. Our goal is the authentic proclamation of the Gospel in the 21st century,”said Borys Gudziak.
The bishop emphasized the importance of common prayer. “The aesthetic liturgical life of dioceses and parishes, personal prayer, and the deepening of spiritual life among the clergy and the faithful builds unity. Attention should be paid to the symbols, the quality of church singing and music, as well as the beauty and art of living with God and our neighbors,”said the speaker.
He is convinced that the spirit of the Kingdom of God; unity between bishops, the clergy and the faithful; attention to the needs of the poor are also extremely important components of the spiritual foundation.
“The use of the Ukrainian Liturgy alongside local languages should be combined if there is appropriate pastoral work. We should cherish the mutual tolerance and unity of our Church’s multilingual believers. Communities may have different histories or challenges, but together they can sing the Divine Liturgy, regardless of their level of Ukrainian or other local languages. This issue is difficult and requires special attention,” emphasized the Metropolitan.
Moreover, he also sees certain threats to unity and communion, both internal and external. In particular, he attributes the following to internal threats: mistrust, neglect of the significance and need of unity, lack of knowledge of one another (hardly many believers know about the Chinese-speaking parish in Canada or the features of ministry in Dubai), lack of cooperation, and tendency to look at the global Church from a local perspective (i.e. without seeing the broader picture), the gap between generations (in and outside Ukraine), divisions between priests on the calendar issue, moral and material problems, etc.
In addition, the bishop calls for attention and work on external threats: the war in Ukraine, the issues of migrants (many Ukrainians, being migrants themselves, are intolerant of new migrants, particularly from Latin America), scandals in the Church and their media coverage, etc.
The UGCC Department for Information