Key to the unification of OCU and UGCC rests in Rome and Constantinople, OCU primate says

The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy, said that together with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church they plan to develop a certain road map for future cooperation. However, it is too early to speak about the unity of the Churches.

The head of the OCU was reported by Lviv Portal as saying this on September 12 at a meeting held at the National University “Lviv Polytechnic”.

“We, as the unified recognized Ukrainian Orthodox Church, are willing to further maintain good, warm and friendly relations with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. In fact, we see that we are moving in the same direction, we all want to see a successful, integral independent Ukrainian state. Our Church, as well as the Greek Catholic Church, stands on patriotic principles. We have had recurrent meetings with Archbishop Sviatoslav at which we discussed our future cooperation. We must seek common ground that unites and not divides us. The history of the coexistence of our Churches contains different pages, but now we must look for what unites us, look for what in the future can develop into good cooperation. Repeatedly communicating with His Beatitude Svyatoslav, we reiterated that together we should draw up a road map of our future cooperation, as it can develop into a certain dialogue,” Metropolitan Epifaniy said.

The Primate of the OCU also noted that it is too early to talk about a certain unity of the Churches. However, the head of the OCU is happy that the UGCC positively received the Tomos on autocephaly and recognition from the Ecumenical Patriarch.

“This testifies to the fact that all of us in Ukraine want to be unified as a nation, we want to do good together, everything for Ukraine to be a strong state. After all, we see on the part of our northern neighbor that he seeks to divide us from within. He saw it is impossible to enslave us that physically and with weapons because the Ukrainian people showed that they are spiritually strong. And if we are spiritually strong, then any weapon will not be able to enslave and destroy us. Therefore, there are attempts on the part of the aggressor to set us at variance from inside, especially on religious grounds. Therefore, I think in the future, good and warm relations between our churches, which are to develop, will prevail,” the first Hierarch said.

According to Metropolitan Epifaniy, the key to the unity of the two Churches is not in Ukraine.

“This key rests in Rome and Constantinople. After all, Ecumenical communication evolves there. In the future, our relations here in Ukraine will depend on it. But these relations are good and I believe that in the future they will only improve,” explained the head of the OCU.