Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada Addresses Synod of Bishops of UGCC

17 September 2012, 09:54 | Interchurch relations | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada, Metropolitan Yurii (Kalishchuk), addressed the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church at its session on September 10, reported the Catholic Observer.

Metropolitan Yurii addressed the Synod Fathers and expressed his joy at the fact that the UGCC Synod of Bishops was being held in Canada and thanked His Beatitude Sviatoslav both for the possibility to be present at the ceremonial Pontifical Liturgy, which took place at the beginning of the Synod in the Cathedral in Winnipeg, as well as at the initial working meeting of the Synod. In his speech Bishop Yurii rated highly the achievements of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church which after decades of persecution and prohibition “rose on its feet, renewed its institutions and gained great authority in Ukraine.”

As a positive experience of North America, Metropolitan Yurii singled out the continued brotherly contacts between the Ukrainian Orthodox and the Greek Catholic hierarchs of this continent. In his presentation Archbishop Yurii stressed the issue of the union of the Ukrainian Churches through Volodymyr’s Baptism. He noted that “in every Ukrainian there is a wish to overcome the differences among us, to find that time when things were better – when there was unity,” and expressed the hope that in the coming years the dialogue between the Orthodox and the Greek-Catholic Church will develop, “in order that the Orthodox and the Greek-Catholics find that which they wish.”

“If we really are a part of the one Kyiv Church then we should seek paths towards to renewing that unity which once existed among us,” stated Bishop Yuriy. In his opinion, all the preconditions for it do exist- it is only the first time in some 300-400 years that the Ukrainian Churches have the ability to communicate with each other directly, without the interference of a third party. Whether these steps end up successful, according to Metropolitan Yuriy, depends on the wisdom of the leadership of both Churches: “May God bless you and us, and your Synod,” concluded His Excellency Metropolitan Yurii (Kalishchuk).

The metropolitan told the audience that the Catholic and Orthodox bishops of North America were able to overcome the previous “hostility” and they have started to cooperate. “It is necessary to go through the same process in Ukraine,” he said.

According to Metropolitan Yurii, one of the main problems in the Ukrainian situation is the forced unification between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1940. The election of Viktor Yanukovych as the President in 2010 strengthened the tension between the Orthodox loyal to Moscow and those supporting the independence of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

The Head of UGCC, Patriarch Sviatoslav told the metropolitan that in Ukraine he often finds himself in a delicate situation. He has to communicate with the leaders of three Orthodox Churches in Ukraine (UOC-MP, UOC-KP and UAOC). And every time when he communicates with representatives of the non-canonical Orthodox Churches, “they immediately send a letter from Moscow to Rome” asking why the Ukrainian Catholic Church cooperates with them.

“I always turn out to be a peculiar mediator between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches directly or indirectly, noted the patriarch.

The Primate of UGCC stressed that “we can and must be ambassadors of the whole Kyivan Church.”                                                                                          

A discussion among all present concerning various church issues, both in Canada and Ukraine, followed.

In conclusion, His Excellency Sviatoslav sincerely thanked the guests and stated his willingness to develop and deepen contacts between the Churches which will serve to praise God and to benefit the Ukrainian people.

The session was also attended by the former Head of the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of Canada, His Excellency Archbishop James Weisgerber who spoke first and stated that his predecessors came from Odesa in Ukraine and arrived in Canada almost a hundred years ago. He emphasized the great significance of the existence of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Canada. In particular, the Archbishop noted, “the Second Vatican Council very clearly declared that the essence of the Church is its communal communion. A communal communion means an exchange of gifts. Every community has to give something and to receive something. Every Christian, and especially every Church has a unique gift and the possibility of offering it as a gift. Often there is a sense that the Roman Catholic Church, given its great size, has nothing to learn from others. This is a serious error. Often it is those who are the smallest that can say the most significant things. An especially valuable gift offered by the Eastern Churches is the experience of synodality that, according to the guest speaker, “better exemplifies the teachings of the Second Vatican Council than many other churches.”

At the end of his speech, the Archbishop assured those present of his prayers and wished the Synod success, “We pray that you will be strong.  You survived much trials and suffering and this makes us all stronger. May the Lord bless you! Know that you remain in our hearts and thoughts,” theUGCC Information Department reported.

 

 

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    • ustavschyk | 16 July 2019, 22:45

      Google Translate strikes again.

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      «Обіцянка - цяцянка, а дурневі радість»

    • barni | 16 July 2019, 09:48

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      Дай Боже! Греків довго обманювали проросійською пропагандою, й вони останні роки погано ставились до українців через брехню кремля... Може, тепер протверезіють?

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