Head of UGCC: Let's switch to new calendar together with Orthodox brothers

Head of the UGCC Sviatoslav Shevchuk. Photo: UOJ

Sviatoslav Shevchuk sees no prospects for a large-scale calendar reform in Ukraine in the near future, since this issue divides, rather than unites people.

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, said that if the UGCC switches to the Gregorian calendar, it will do it together with the Orthodox brothers, the press service of the UGCC reports.

During the pilgrimage to Zarvanytsia, when asked by young people about calendar reform, Sviatoslav Shevchuk noted that in Ukraine, Greek Catholics celebrate Christmas and Easter together with Orthodox Christians, and if they change the calendar, they will do it together.

Shevchuk said that when he was a bishop in Argentina, he was surprised to learn that the Argentine diocese of the UGCC never had a Julian calendar, and as soon as the Ukrainian settlers arrived there, they immediately switched to the Gregorian one. The same thing happened in Italy, Portugal, Spain.

According to him, this is absolutely normal, since the Ukrainian Uniates in these countries are a religious minority, so you need to keep pace with the society where people live.

“But the situation is different in Ukraine. Here, the issue of calendar reform is an issue that divides rather than unites. This is said by representatives of both the Orthodox and our Church. Therefore, In my opinion, there is no way for a large-scale calendar reform in Ukraine in the near future,” he added.

Shevchuk believes that the calendar reform is always a strength test.

“Even those Orthodox Churches (Bulgarian, Greek) that adopted it, experienced church schisms. After all, there are always non-conformist groups. Today in our society there are many splits, many divisions, so we try not to make artificial steps that could further divide our people,” he said.

The head of the UGCC compared the issue of calendar reform with pilgrims who go on a pilgrimage. According to him, there is always someone in a group who walks at the head and those who are behind, while the task of the guide of the pilgrimage is to make everyone walk together.

“Those who really want a quick calendar reform are told: wait, because not everyone can keep up with you. And those who think that the calendar is a dogma of faith and something untouchable are told that they are right. But you do not lag behind too ... this is how we’re going on our pilgrimage. Together. I believe that the Church will not lose its authority when it does not pursue only some ideas. We will take care of the good of people. We will hear the first and the last,” he summed up.

As the UOJ previously reported, Zelensky awarded the head of the UGCC with a state award.

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