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Ukrainian Orthodox Church-MP Not Happy about UGCC’ s Pastoral Care in Eastern Ukraine

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/confessional/interchurch_relations/52633/ Ukrainian Orthodox Church-MP Not Happy about UGCC’s Pastoral Care in Eastern
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 19, 2013
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      http://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/confessional/interchurch_relations/52633/

      Ukrainian Orthodox Church-MP Not Happy about UGCC’s Pastoral Care in
      Eastern Ukraine
      14 June 2013

      The Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) acknowledges
      that there are no conflicts with the Greek Catholics of Galicia, but in
      other regions of Ukraine the relations with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic
      Church (UGCC) are not straightforward.

      This was stated by Chairman of the Department for External Church
      Relations of the UOC-MP, Archbishop Mitrofan (Yurchuk) of Luhansk and
      Alchevsk in comment to Orthodoxy in Ukraine on the visit the President
      of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch.

      “Thank God, today, between us there no longer are such severe
      confrontations that occurred 20 years ago. In particular, in Galicia,
      where, first of all, there were clashes on religious grounds, but today
      the situation has stabilized ... Although, of course, the absence of
      conflicts between the Orthodox and Greek Catholics in Galicia does not
      mean there is an absence of problems in the relations with the UGCC in
      general,” he said.

      The archbishop of Luhansk and Alchevsk admitted that the UOC-MP is now
      worried about the Greek Catholics’ activity in central and eastern Ukraine.

      “Lately we have seen conflicts not in Galicia but in other regions,
      particularly in central and eastern Ukraine,” said the hierarch.

      Bishop Mitrofan said that the church even complained about this to the
      leadership of the UGCC.

      “Unfortunately, we still cannot say that the leadership of the UGCC
      takes into account the position of our church. In particular, a month
      ago, on May 9, 2013, the head of the UGCC Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk
      in his speech at the Second Congress of the Laity of the Kyiv-Halych
      Metropolitanate of the UGCC quite frankly stated that the priority for
      the UGCC today is ‘evangelization in Eastern Ukraine!’” he said.

      According to him, the UOC-MP does not deny the UGCC the right to care
      for their faithful who live in various regions of Ukraine.

      “However, we insist that Ukraine should follow the agreements that were
      made ​​in the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue. Namely, we have to prevent
      cases of proselytism, i.e., enticing the Orthodox flock to join the
      UGCC. Unfortunately, such incidents have taken place,” said the archbishop.

      The head of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC-MP
      also reported that Cardinal Koch during his visit to Ukraine met with
      Metropolitan Volodymyr and the administrator of the UOC-MP Metropolitan
      Anthony Pakanych of Boryspil. At these meetings the parties raised
      issues that are now arising in the relations between the Orthodox and
      Catholics in Ukraine.

      Recall that the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting
      Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, while in Ukraine, also noted that
      in recent times the number of accusations by the Orthodox of proselytism
      of Greek Catholics in western Ukraine has significantly decreased.
      However, he stressed that the question of proselytism is very complex
      and not every accusation has a real foundation.
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