* RUSSIA * PATRIARCHATE * HOLY SEE * UKRAINE * OPINION *
POPE SUSPENDS UKRAINIAN PATRIARCHATE DECISION. RUSSIAN CHURCH TOP APPROVES
MOSCOW, June 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Orthodox Church has
"deservedly approved" a pontifical suspension of establishing a Greek
Catholic Patriarchate in Ukraine.
"Our Church is highly appreciating the attention which Pope John Paul II
has paid to the stances of almost all autocephalous Local Orthodox Churches
of the world as they disapprove prospects for a Greek Catholic Patriarchate
to appear in Ukraine," says Father Vsevolod Chaplin. The dignitary is
second in charge of the External Church Relations Department of the Moscow
As His Holiness John Paul II was receiving permanent Synod members of the
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the Vatican City today, he said the
prospects to establish a Greek Catholic Patriarchate in Ukraine had been
"To all appearances, today's [pontifical] statement means that there are
no close practical prospects for an Ukrainian Patriarchate. We hope it will
never appear," said Father Vsevolod.
At the same time, the Russian Orthodox Church remains apprehensive with
"attempts to spread Greek Catholicism to Central, South and East Ukraine,
Belarus, Russia and on.
"The idea of Uniate [derogatory name for Greek Catholicism] proselytising
in areas which the Union [of the Greek and Roman rites] had never
penetrated, or where it did not last long, clashes with reassurances of the
Roman Catholic Church having no intention to missionise the Orthodox
Christian flock, as such reassurances are coming from the Vatican City.
"Also alarming the Russian Orthodox Church are developments in West
Ukraine, where believers [of the Eastern Rite] are downtrodden. The clergy
of the Lvov Eparchy recently picketed Ukraine's parliament and presidential
administration. The pickets called the secular top's attention to appeals
ignored for many years-authorities have not to this day permitted the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate to build churches
in Lvov," pointed out Father Vsevolod.
© 2001 RIA Novosti