UGCC: Phanar’s position gives the green light to serve at one altar
Phanar's awareness of the importance of serving as Protos for the sake of unity of the Church provides opportunities for joint service, says Father Igor Shaban.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople understands the importance of the role of Protos (the first), and this provides new opportunities for uniting the Orthodox and Catholics, shares his point of view Chairman of the UGCC Commission for the Promotion of Christian Unity, Father Igor Shaban, with the informational resource of the UGCC.
He arrived at this conclusion thanks to the statements of Metropolitan Emanuel (Adamakis) of France.
"Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, in his welcoming word, pronounced after the enthronement of Metropolitan Epiphany, stressed that the throne of Constantinople is the main one among all the Orthodox Churches of God, ‘because the life and practice of the Church defined it so that there should be a sacred institution to resolve disputes in any church matters’," recalled Shaban.
Thus, Metropolitan Emmanuel indirectly "pointed out the importance of the role of Protos (the first) in the Christian world, whose role in the 1st millennium is performed and continues to be performed today for the ecumenical Church by the Bishop of Rome," he said.
The head of the UGCC commission is convinced that such an awareness of the importance of serving as the Protos for the sake of the unity of the Church "opens up new opportunities for serving together behind one throne."
“For this end one does not need a lot – you must have the same faith, have the same understanding of the Holy Sacraments, obey your bishop, who has an apostolic succession, and be in unity with the Bishop of Rome who is a visible sign of the unity of the Church of Christ,” he assured.
Shaban also said that the unification of the UGCC and the OCU is possible only if the new church structure recognizes the supremacy of Rome. "Holy Pope John Paul II called Ukraine 'the laboratory of ecumenism'. Perhaps, that is why, at their local level the Ukrainian Churches like the Apostle John, in their pursuit of unity, are ahead of the ancient Apostolic Churches, but taking into account the common goal they should, following the example of St. John, not take too bold and hasty steps without the other Churches with which they are united by the communion and love of Christ,” he declared.