UGCC claims ROC statements on lobbying Ukrainian autocephaly by Greek Catholics to be primitive manipulation

shaban_ugcc.jpgThe UGCC claims that statements by Metropolitan Hilarion that the UGCC allegedly lobbied for the unification of Orthodox Ukrainians to convert all of them to the Union, to be a manipulation with facts and feelings.

Fr. Ihor Shaban, Chairman of the UGCC Commission on Interreligious and Interfaith Relations told this to RISU.

“The UGCC is in no way involved in the process of granting the Tomos [an official document granting the autocephaly], neither directly nor indirectly. We are accused of the fact that certain Ukrainian politicians who declare themselves Greek Catholics promote these developments. I would like to emphasize that the Church did not bless them. They act solely at their own discretion or at the discretion of their political party. Therefore, I think that the words that the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church said in this regard should be interpreted as a primitive manipulation of the facts and feelings of Christians, and we strongly reject all Moscow's accusations that these movements began as our initiative,” he said.

The representative of the UGCC stressed that the unification of the Orthodox Churches to obtain the Tomos is only an internal affair of Orthodox Ukrainians.

“The UGCC has no relation to the process of obtaining the Tomos or to the process of unification of Orthodox Churches. This is the internal affair of our Orthodox brethren. We, as the Church, consider this type of competition aimed at the unity of Christians as positive since this position correlates with the commandment of Jesus Christ “that all may be one.” We are also ready for dialogue with all Orthodox Churches in accordance with the Ecumenical Concept of the UGCC,” said Fr. Ihor.

The head of the UGCC Commission on Interreligious and Interfaith Relations also hopes that the receipt of Tomos on the autocephaly of the UOC and the creation of the One Local Orthodox Church will in no way affect the activities of the UGCC.

“In our opinion, this will help so-called non-canonical Orthodox Churches to overcome the church isolation and will eliminate the painful state of divisions and fragmentation. For the UGCC, for its activity and its inner life nothing will ultimately change. The only thing we would like the State to further ensure is necessary conditions for the free development of all Churches and would like the authorities not to offer preferences for any faith. However, I think that this will not happen anyway since Ukraine is a democratic state where all the Churches enjoy equal rights and freedoms,” Fr. Ihor Shaban said.


The items contained in the Religious Information Service of Ukraine

may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source.