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  • » 09/22/2014, 00.00

    RUSSIA - UKRAINE

    Moscow Patriarchate tells Vatican that Uniate "problem" should be at the centre of ecumenical dialogue

    Nina Achmatova

    Metropolitan Hilarion again attacks the "project" of the Catholic Church to proselytise in Ukraine, says theological issues should be put aside to address and solve instead the Greek Catholic "problem".

    Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Moscow Patriarchate has attacked once again Ukraine's Greek Catholics, warning the Vatican that the "problems" involving the so-called Uniates might have a negative impact on the ecumenical dialogue and relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Santa See.

    Metropolitan Hilarion, number two in the Patriarchate and head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, made this point recently on television.

    Hilarion sharply criticised Ukrainian Greek Catholics on the programme Church and World reiterating his accusations that the "Uniates" (a term for Catholics that follow the Orthodox rite that has a derogatory connotation) are a special project of the Catholic Church to proselytise.

    In his view, at "present" as at other historical times, Greek Catholics have exploited "the support of the Ukrainian authorities of the time" at the expense of the Orthodox.

    According to the Orthodox official, despite complaints from the Moscow Patriarchate about the "problem", the Vatican continues to claim to have no influence over the Ukrainian Catholic community because of its autonomous status, and yet it continues to confirm the appointments of all its spiritual leaders.

    For Hilarion, "there is something improper in the project itself". Speaking directly to the Catholic hierarchy, he proposed a provocative idea to Catholics.

    "It may be that you and we should now discuss in the theological dialogue not such theoretical questions as primacy and conciliarity in the Church but return to the topic of the unia(te) in order to understand why this wound bleeds all the time and why we cannot do anything to repair and heal it," he said.

    Reading in-between the lines, he wants the two Churches to draft some kind of code of conduct for the Greek Orthodox and Catholics in the territories where they live.

    Against the backdrop of the crisis in Ukraine, the top leaders in the Moscow Patriarchate have already attacked the positions of the Greek Catholics on several occasions. For Russian Orthodox religious leaders, Greek Catholics are guilty for their support of the protests in Kyiv's Maidan Square and for promoting anti-Russian sentiments.

    By contrast, the Major Archbishop of Kyiv, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, issued an appeal for reconciliation this summer through AsiaNews. In it, he called on Moscow to recognise the dignity of the Ukrainian people and open a sincere dialogue based on truth. At the same time, he urged people not to believe in the "propaganda" coming out of Russia.

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    See also

    05/07/2008 TURKEY - RUSSIA - UKRAINE
    Bartholomew I at celebrations for the 1020 years of Christianity in Kiev
    The decision has an ecumenical flavour. It is intended to create an occasion for dialogue among the three communities: Greek Catholic, Ukrainian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox. But there is murmuring against Constantinople in Moscow.

    04/04/2014 RUSSIA - UKRAINE
    For Metropolitan Hilarion, Ukraine crisis ended preparations for meeting between pope and patriarch
    According to the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, the two sides were working on preparations last fall, but the actions of the Greek-Catholic Church during Maidan Square protests Maidan "have thrown us much back".

    01/03/2016 11:00:00 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    "Heretic and traitor": Fundamentalists term Orthodox Patriarch Kirill who met with Pope Francis in Cuba

    The meeting took place 10 thousand kilometers distance from Moscow, perhaps to avoid the objections of the traditionalists. Kirill accused of being "nikodimico", too ecumenical. An "appeal to the Orthodox youth" claims that orthodoxy is being "sold out”  to the Pope of Rome. Others say that Pope Francis is about to "convert" to Russian Orthodoxy. Urgent need for information and education.

     



    22/02/2016 10:44:00 RUSSIA-VATICAN
    Francis and Kirill: After Cuba, time for concrete steps

    The embrace between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow shows  desire for common witness. Strong resistance from conservative orthodox who accuse the "patriarch of heresy." Mediation on “uniate” issue. Deepening of theological dialogue and collaboration on "joint projects”. Call for more regular meetings between Rome and Moscow.

     



    14/02/2014 UKRAINE
    Ukraine, Churches unite in support of protesters
    Representatives of various denominations take turns in celebrating Mass on Kiev’s Independence Square, the heart of anti-government demonstrations. They were invited by the leaders of the opposition. Churches condemn the streets on the violence and call on politicians to find a peaceful solution to the social crisis.



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