Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ukraine and Constantinople Express Desire for Unity

2007-06-26 16:19:00
Ukrainian president and Patriarch of Constantinople
discuss establishment of united Local Church in Ukraine

Kiev, June 26, Interfax - Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople discussed, in Istanbul on Tuesday, the establishment of a united Local Church in Ukraine, the Ukrainian president's press service reported.According to the press service, the patriarch also expressed hope that the situation in Ukraine will stabilize after the early parliamentary elections and added that he was praying for the unity of Ukraine. Patriarch Bartholomew conveyed through President Yuschenko his blessing upon the Ukrainian people.They also discussed the religious formation of young people on the basis of Christian ethics.In conclusion of their meeting, President Yuschenko and Patriarch Bartholomew exchanged tokens.

Let us pray that the unity for which the President and the Patriarch pray will include reunification and full recognition of the rights of Ukrainian Greek Catholics. I have intuited for some time that Ukraine could be the linchpin for true Ecumenical progress between Rome and the Separated Eastern Brethren of the Byzantine Rite.

1 comment:

Ecgbert said...

Oh, dear. Of course the Ukraine could have its own autocephalous church in the Orthodox communion but the canonical church there for now and the foreseeable future is the Moscow Patriarchate, which most of the churchgoing minority of Ukrainians are perfectly happy with.

AFAIK there already is freedom of religion for the Ukrainian Greek Catholics of Galicia.

Western-backed Mr Yushchenko belongs to the biggest nationalist schism from the Orthodox, the Kyiv Patriarchate, and obviously he and Constantinople want a power play against Russia.

Mr Y's patriarch, Filaret (the former Orthodox metropolitan of Kiev), is friendly with the UGCC as part of his playing the nationalist card to build and keep his church empire.

Going against the canonical Orthodox in the Ukraine would hurt not help ecumenism!

Of course there is a history of nationalist schisms eventually being recognised and reinstated in the Orthodox communion but again most churchgoers in the Ukraine are happily Russian Orthodox.