UGCC supportive of autocephaly of united Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but won't join it

15 July 2018, 21:24 | Church-state relations | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is not indifferent to what is happening among the Orthodox. We empathize with them for reasons of their divisions, and we greet all initiatives that contribute to their internal unity. Patriarch of UGCC Sviatoslav had this to say during a nationwide pilgrimage to the icon of the Mother of God in Zarvanytsia.


He followed up on a speech given by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko about the aspirations for autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

“As Greek-Catholics, we consider this issue to be an internal affair of the Orthodox Church,” underscored the spiritual leader of Ukrainian Greek-Catholics.

Patriarch Sviatoslav stressed, “For the UGCC, nothing will change with the granting of autocephaly. But we will seek all possible ways -- according to the ecumenical spirit of our Church -- to achieve unity between all Christians, among all the members of the Kyivan Church baptized in the times of St. Volodymyr.”

According to the head of the UGCC, we have to jointly look after the well-being of our State, and thus look for ways to restore the original unity of the Kyivan Church, going back 1,030 years. This is our task as Christians, as the heirs to this Baptism.

“Thank you for your assurance that our Church will enjoy all the rights, and people will not be forced to change their confession to Orthodox -- as some tend to think. Since some of our people did not understand why some MPs who are Greek-Catholic voted for the independent Orthodox Church, and those people would express concerns as to whether -- once such a Church is established -- they would be forced to join it; we say, “No, they won’t be forced to do it!” explained the head of the UGCC.

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