Head of UGCC: Our common goal is the creation of a single Kiev Patriarchate
According to Sviatoslav Shevchuk, every effort should be made to restore the original unity of the Catholic and Orthodox branches of the Kiev Church.
It is necessary to distinguish between the concepts of "unity" and "unification", the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Sviatoslav Shevchuk explained in an interview with "Glavkom" his message of December 18, 2018, in which he "stretched his hand" to the OCU and proposed to create a single Kiev Patriarchate.
“I tried to declare this position of ours even during the celebrations on the occasion of the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus-Ukraine,” the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics said. “Unification is what happened today in the bosom of Ukrainian Orthodoxy when a new structure with a local status was created. But when it comes to the "outstretched hand", we are talking about unity. That is, by remaining ourselves, we can and must cooperate in the name of the good of the Ukrainian people, in the name of truth, in the name of searching for universal unity with Christians, which we call the ecumenical movement.”
According to him, the UGCC is looking for ways to restore unity within the “now divided Kiev Church, which was once born in the baptismal waters of the Dnieper”, and this is “completely in the context of the modern ecumenical movement to restore the unity of the entire Church of Christ, the convergence of Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church”. At the same time, he regards the restoration of the Eucharistic communion between Rome and Constantinople not as a utopia, but as “the fulfillment of the commandment of Christ, where “all will be one”.
The leader of the Greek Catholics stressed that the Moscow Patriarchate had completely withdrawn from the ecumenical movement, which has a "universal scale" and "it can no longer be stopped."
“That is why it is very important that our sister Church, the newborn Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, join it (the ecumenical movement, ed.) so that it should not be closed only on itself, ”said Svyatoslav Shevchuk.
He explained that it is in this sense that the UGCC wants to cooperate with the OCU, and they have already agreed with the “Metropolitan” Epiphany to develop a certain “road map”, “in what fields of our church life, being different faiths, we could really do different things together. "
“We know that the Mother Church of Kiev, which is the common root for both Ukrainian Orthodoxy and the Greek Catholic Church, reacted painfully to the break between Rome and Constantinople. For many years, the head of the Church, the episcopate, the monk, the faithful of the Kiev Church, considered this a local conflict, a quarrel between the Latins and the Greeks. But later, this gap division tore into shreds the insides of the Kiev Church. And that is why today it is necessary to make every effort not only to overcome the division within Ukrainian Orthodoxy but also seriously theologize, pray, work in order to restore the original unity of the Kiev Church in its Orthodox and Catholic branches. And just the UGCC bears the mystical church memory of the undivided Christianity of the first millennium,” concluded the head of the UGCC.
Earlier, Sviatoslav Shevchuk stated that the OCU is God's gift on the way to the “complete unity of the Churches of Vladimir’s Baptism,” to which he also refers the UGCC.