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Greek Catholics responded to Orthodox intellectuals’ appeal regarding 70th Anniversary of Lviv Pseudo-Council
28 March 2016, 10:38 | Interchurch relations | 7 | | Code for Blog | |
On March 26, 2016, the UGCC Information Department issued a collective appeal of Ukrainian Greek Catholics in response to the statement of renowned Orthodox Christians of the world, in which they admitted to the forced accession of the UGCC to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1946 and called on the “modern church hierarchy in Russia, Ukraine, etc. to invalidate the tragic resolutions of Lviv Council. “The signatories to the Declaration include the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Bishop Bohdan (Dziurakh) and Vasyl (Tuchapets), acclaimed priests and scholars.
Signatories to the “Address to Orthodox brothers and sisters who have signed the statement on the 70th anniversary of the so-called Lviv Council of 1946” express gratitude to the Orthodox for their appeal, noting not only those whose signatures were placed on this year's joint statement, but all the Orthodox who have recognized in recent decades the truth about the tragic events of 1946.
For their part, the Greek Catholics have suggested the Orthodox to reject polemical model of the relationship and start a dialogue about the events of the past, which is to “proceed in a relaxed friendly atmosphere of mutual search for objective truth, based on scientific methodology and academic honesty and responsibility.”
At the same time, Greek Catholics note that the dialogue on historical issues is not enough and a dialogue on the unity of the Church should be also conducted. The UGCC suggests rejecting the false concept of unity in which one party treats the other, “not as a community of brothers and sisters in Christ, but as adversary and sometimes as enemy." According to Greek Catholics, “Unity” cannot be understood as “accession” or “reunion” because such models are “in fact, nothing but notorious ‘uniatism’ denounced by both Catholics and Orthodox and condemned as the inappropriate way of reunification of churches.”
The UGCC note that the Greek Catholic and Orthodox sides have worked their own unique way of development and their experience could serve to mutual enrichment.
According to one of the signatories of the collective Address, editor of "Patriarchate" journal Anatoly Babinskyi, “The statement issued by our Orthodox colleagues has been the most valuable evidence provided in the days when we remember the tragic events of 1946. It gives hope that we are really departing from the controversy of the past and opening a new page in our relations. Patriarch Sviatoslav has said that for Greek Catholics this statement is more significant than the Havana Declaration. This can easily be verified. The questionable points mentioned in the Declaration heated up the debate around Catholic-Orthodox relations not only in Ukraine but also abroad. Instead, in case of the exchange of letters between the Orthodox and Greek Catholics regarding the events of 1946, we see an attempt to reach a new level of relations through sincere conversation, without the use of diplomatic tricks that usually do not bring any result.”
The statement of the UGCC was published on behalf of the international scientific conference “Power of faith vs. abuse of power: Greek Catholics of Central and Eastern Europe in the context of persecution by totalitarian regimes after World War II,” held in Shevchenko Kyiv National University on 17 March 2016.
Any Greek Catholic may become a signatory to the statement by following the link.
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