His Beatitude Lubomyr about the patriarchal order of the UGCC in an interview for “Dzerkalo Tyzhnya”


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This week His Beatitude Lubomyr gave an interview to "Dzerkalo Tyzhnya," which was published on October 31, 2009. One of the central themes of the talk was the question of the patriarchal order of the UGCC.

"We are on our way, though the process is difficult and slow due to both external and internal reasons," stated the head of the UGCC. According to His Beatitude Lubomyr, in particular the internal situation complicates the situation because the UGCC is not exclusively on the territory of Ukraine, but functions all over the world. Its structures are in North and South America, Western Europe, and Australia. "Presently there is a task before us to provide internal unity of those different parts in Ukraine and beyond the borders... To be a patriarchate is to carry a general responsibility for all, wherever they may be. We get accustomed to, consider, what it means to be a patriarchate," said the head of the UGCC.

Talking about the external difficulties, the head of the UGCC noted that according to the law of the Catholic Church patriarchates are established by the Universal Council, or if it does not, by the name of the Church, the Pope of Rome. "Unfortunately, the discussion of the status of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church at the Second Vatican Council did not produce the proper procedures. The question was never resolved. New legislation - approximately 20 years since the church's new code of rights appeared - also does not resolve this question. It confirms the source of decision - the Universal Council or the Pope - but the question about when, how, and why this status is given, remains unclear," His Beatitude Lubomyr explained.

The head of the UGCC did not avoid the question of "external influences" in relation to the question of the patriarchate: the position of the Moscow Patriarchate and other Orthodox churches which, according to the head of the UGCC, "would not gladly see the patriarchal status for the Greek Catholics." "They do not know what to do with us, how to behave toward us. Because we are a paradox for them. A miracle. By something unnatural... I had small meetings with Russians, and I came to the conclusion: they are sure that if you are Russian, you have to be Orthodox. And vice versa - if you Orthodox, then you are indeed Russian, or in our case, Ukrainian. And if you are Orthodox, you are not Catholic. All is simple enough. For them a Catholic is Latin, of the Latin rite. Thus, "not ours." It is not correct. And we with our existence deny these simple postulates. We, see, are both Orthodox according to tradition, and Catholic, incorporated with the Apostolic capital in Rome."

Completing the theme of the patriarchal status in the interview, His Beatitude Lubomyr said: "When we talk about the patriarchal status for Greek Catholics, we do not want it to become a separation from Orthodox brothers. For us the patriarchate is not the completion. For us it is the means to achieve a more serious purpose - the unity of the Kyivan church, as it was at the beginning. The patriarchate is the way, but not the crown of dreams."

Information Department of the UGCC