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Ecumenical Patriarch Names Condition for Unification of Ukrainian Churches in One National Church
19 November 2012, 11:24 | Ecumenical Patriarchate | 0 | | Code for Blog | |
During a one-hour meeting between Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and the Director of Cultural and Ethnic and Plitical Studies of the Interregional Academy of HR Management, literary critic Vasyl Yaremenko, in Istanbul, the participants discussed the unification of Ukrainian churches.
The meeting was held on the occasion of the publication of the Lutsk Gospel, a unique monument of the time of the Kyivan Rus, when Byzantium was our spiritual center and Constantinople was viewed as the ideological capital. Therefore, the Lutsk Gospel is evidence of the direct connection with the Byzantine Patriarchate, the Mother Church of the Ukrainian Church.
The literary critic described the meeting to umoloda.kiev.ua. According to him, the main subject was the building of the church in Ukraine.
“I said: during your visit to Ukraine in 2009 you said that that you will pray that God grants Ukraine an independent natioanl church. How are the 'talks' with God going in this regard and are your prayers heard and what should we expect in the near future? This question is very urgent in Ukraine and the part of the Ukrainian intellectuals represented by me is especially interested in it. He smiled and said that the talks are going on. And that prayers are being said. The patriarch said that he firmly believes that the Ukrainian Churches will unite and Ukraine will have its one national church in the nearest future (meaning the nearest years). He said they could have united a long time ago but there was no application submitted with regard to granting the church the status of a national one. Joint actions of the church hierarchs and the president as the head of the state are necessary for that. Upon such an application from Ukraine, the question will be considered by the Synod. But we received no requests from anyone, he stressed. We do hear the voice from below, from the believers like yours now. But no official application has been submitted,” reads the interview.
Vasyl Yaremenko learned from the patriarch’s entourage that an ecumenical Orthodox council has been prepared for decades. “Ten questions will be submitted for its consideration according to the consensus. Eight of them have been agreed upon and two remain open. They concern pentarchy, that is, the government of the Orthodox world by five patriarchs.”
In the interview, Yaremenko said that when Alexis stated that Ukraine is Moscow’s canonical territory and Kirill repeated it, four Patriarchs publicly stated that it is not a canonical territory of the Russian Church according to the Canons. The Kyivan Metropolitanate accepted Christianity from Byzantine, and later, when Moscow was granted the patriarchate, the question of a transfer of the jurisdiction was never raised. Therefore, Ukraine is a canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The scholar stressed that he understood from the conversation with Patriarch Bartholomew I that political will of the state’s leaders is needed. Without it we will never have our own unified church.
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