Epiphany: Key to the union of OCU and UGCC lies in Rome and Constantinople

Epiphany at a meeting with students in Lviv. Photo: Lviv portal

The OCU and the UGCC are moving in the same direction, both stand on a patriotic basis but the key to their unification lies not in Ukraine, said Metropolitan Epiphany. 

It is necessary to look for common ground, which in the future may develop into good cooperation, for which the OCU and the UGCC plan to develop a kind of road map. The head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko said this at a meeting with students and teachers of the National University "Lviv Polytechnic" on September 12, reports the Lviv portal.

“We as a unified recognized Ukrainian Orthodox Church want to have good, warm and friendly relations with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the future,” Dumenko emphasized. “In fact, we see that we are moving in one direction, we all want to see a successful, integral, independent Ukrainian state. Our Church stands on a patriotic basis, as well as the Greek Catholic Church.”

He recalled that he had repeatedly met with the head of the UGCC Sviatoslav Shevchuk and discussed future cooperation with him because, in his opinion, it was necessary to “look for common ground that unites us and does not separate us”.

At the same time, Epiphany noted that it was too early to talk about a certain union, but he was very pleased with how positively the UGCC viewed the bestowal of the Tomos of autocephaly to the OCU.

“This indicates that we all in Ukraine want to be united as a nation, we want to do good together, make every effort for Ukraine to be a strong state,” Dumenko explained. “After all, we see from the side of our northern neighbour that it seeks to divide us from the inside. He saw that it was impossible to enslave us physically and with weapons because the Ukrainian people showed that they were spiritually strong. And if we are spiritually strong, then no weapon can enslave and destroy us. Therefore, there are attempts on the part of the aggressor to break us up from the inside, and especially on religious grounds. Therefore, I think that in the future, good and warm relations will continue to develop between our Churches.”

He also emphasized that the key to the unification of the OCU and the UGCC is not in Ukraine but in Rome and Constantinople.

“After all, ecumenical communion takes place there. Therefore, in the future our relations here in Ukraine will depend on this. But these relations are good, and I believe that in the future they will only improve,” the head of the OCU concluded.

Earlier Epiphanius Dumenko has already stated that the unification of the OCU and the "patriotic church" of the UGCC is "theoretically possible in the future". According to him, "many seek and say that these churches (the Orthodox Church and the UGCC – Ed.) should unite in the future, but for this we need to come to a dialogue."

We recall that the clergy of the temple of Warm Sophia and the Editor of the official site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Ivan Sidor said that the Sophia of Kiev is not an Orthodox or Catholic shrine but a common one.

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