07 February 2013, 10:02
Relations between Orthodox and Greek Catholics in Ukraine goes through a
new stage of difficulties, the Moscow Patriarchate official believes
Moscow, February 7, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church does not
entirely share the optimism of the Vatican's representative to Russia
Archbishop Ivan Yurkovich about improving relations between Orthodox
believers and Uniates in Ukraine.
"In many ways, we managed to overcome difficulties in relations between
Orthodox and Greek-Catholics in Ukraine that existed in early 1990-s,
but we have to accept that today we face new challenges," Secretary for
Inter-Christians Relations of the Synodal Department for External Church
Relations Archpriest Dimitry Sizonenko told an Interfax-Religion
Thus he commented Yurkovich's words published today by the NG-Religii
paper. According to the apostolic nuncio "those difficulties of the
early 90-s today have been overcome in many ways and today there are
many contacts, especially of personal and informal character, between
the two Churches."
The Moscow Patriarchate representative says that the Primate of the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church "not without grounds is concerned with the
attempts of the Greek Catholic Church to set up and develop its
structures in regions where Orthodox believers make a majority."
Besides, Father Dimitry further said, "we can't help mentioning one more
injury that needs healing," - church schisms.
The interviewee of the agency said that in their speeches the UGCC
official representatives said they were striving to reach unity among
Orthodox believers in Ukraine, "but in practice they do things aimed at
reaching the contrary result."
As an example, the priest pointed out to the UGCC head Archbishop
Svyatoslav Shevchuk's recent statement when he said that they accept the
Baptism carried out in churches of the Kiev Patriarchate not recognized
in Orthodox world.
At first glance, Father Dimitry said, this statement did not contain
anything new as since St.Augustine's times the Roman Church has based on
the teaching that the Sacrament of Baptism cannot be repeated and
accepted any Baptism held observing certain conditions.
"However, in context of the current Ukrainian situation it sounds only
as a witness to their interest in strengthening positions of
shismatics," the Moscow Patriarchate representative said.