Gudziak: UGCC hopes that after unification of Orthodox into one local Church dialogue will become easier to manage

17 October 2018, 12:36 | Interchurch relations | 1 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

For Greek Catholics, it is important that when the Ukrainian Orthodox unite there is hope that it will be easier to conduct a theological, spiritual, ecumenical dialogue with the One Church. Bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Borys (Gudziak), president of the Ukrainian Catholic University, said this in an interview with Radio Liberty speaking about the granting of the Tomos to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

According to the hierarch, the UGCC is aware that the process of unification of the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine will be complicated. “This process will not take place without the great grace of God. This should be God's process. And all participants of this process will need a lot of humility, readiness for forgiveness, because many acute comments sounded, many curses, anathema. There were many reciprocal insults that still hurt, and now we have to stop feeling hurt to unite.”

When asked what role the Greek Catholics played in this process, Bishop Borys answered, “The position of the Greek Catholic Church is the same as that expressed by Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky during the World War II liberation activities when he said that when the Orthodox unite and are ready to unite with the Ecumenical Catholic Church, I am ready to retreat from my throne and cede it to any bishop who joins such an association.

It is not just about the bishop of Rome, who is one person, but about communion with the billion-strong Ecumenical Catholic Church, and the Greek Catholics are not going to give up this communion. For this, in the 20th century, they shed their rivers of blood to preserve this unity, because it is life-giving, it is a central aspect of the identity of the Greek Catholic Church.”

Answering whether there will be transitions from the UGCC to the one Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Borys (Gudziak) said the following, “Are we not afraid that there will be separate priests, or even whole parishes, who will want to move to this united local Orthodox Church responding to this calling. I think there will not be a mass movement, but there will be some instances. And here, unfortunately, we must warn our Orthodox brethren that the priests who will have the disciplinary problems, on whom we imposed some sort of sanctions will be the first ones to move. And such a departure for our Church would be a purification. There are priests or faithful who were traumatized by this war, for whom the defense of Ukraine was associated with personal great sacrifices, or they witnessed great sacrifices. They say that during the war, you need to do some great Ukrainian declarative acts.

I am confident that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church served and serves God, people and Ukrainian people. And precisely because of its universal unity with the Catholic world, it was able to maintain a clear moral stand in the terrible Soviet times and not to become a collaborator Church. The Greek Catholic priests had the opportunity to preserve life and freedom and to go to the Orthodoxy and have a calmer life. However, due to the desire to preserve this universal unity, many of them were put in prisons and Gulags. Many of them died in martyrdom.

Consequently, today, the Church will be able to serve most fruitfully, if it adopts both an Ukrainian and universal human and -- above all -- God-abiding stance,” summed up the bishop of the UGCC.

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  • Михаил | 17 October 2018, 19:05
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    Во всем согласен с Владыкой Борисом. Православные Церкви всегда будут конфликтовать и спорить между собой, пока у них не будет единого центра или первоиерарха всех православных. Турецкий патриарх для этого не подходит, его вес ничтожен, а Церковь мала и в рассеянии. Он держится только на былом величии Византии, но её теперь нет, есть Турция. Отмена томоса 1686 года показала его неадекватность - так можно начать отменять Первую или Вторую Мировую войну или Крестовые походы. Как не крути, а православным нужна уния с Римом и омофор Святейшего Папы.

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