Games with autocephaly in Ukraine benefit Greek Catholics, – expert

14 August 2018 00:59
Petro Poroshenko and the head of the UGCC in Zarvanitsa Petro Poroshenko and the head of the UGCC in Zarvanitsa

The creation of the Local Church in Ukraine will allow the Uniates to realize their interests, says Viacheslav Pikhovshek.

The idea of autocephaly in Ukraine can play into the hands of Greek Catholics, said journalist and political scientist Viacheslav Pikhovshek on the air of the programme "Subjective outcomes".

According to Pikhovshek, there is no guarantee that the "epic" with autocephaly pursues the interests of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. In turn, the plans of the UGCC can be guessed by recalling some of the statements of the Uniate leader Sviatoslav Shevchuk.

"This April, the head of the UGCC met with Marie Yovanovitch, the authorized US Ambassador to Ukraine. During the meeting, Sviatoslav Shevchuk noted that the establishment of the Local Church is only the first step to achieve unity of the Churches of Vladimir’s baptism," the journalist explained. "The next step is the "ecumenical dialogue between the UGCC and the united Ukrainian Orthodoxy to restore the original unity of this Church".

According to Pikhovshek, if you translate all this into a common language, you can see a clear algorithm of action.

"The first step: the destruction of the canonical Church in the person of the UOC and the creation on its wreckage of the United Local Church, in which in the foreground will be politico-social, but not spiritual values," the expert said. "The second step: the gradual involvement of the new Church with its new political and social orientation into a strategic alliance with the UGCC, which will result in the dissolution of the Orthodox Church in the structure of the UGCC, as a more powerful organization from the spiritual point of view."

In Pikhovshek’s view, this development will solve a number of strategic tasks for Greek Catholics.

"First, by accepting the Single Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the UGCC will finally gain an all-Ukrainian status, going beyond the area of only the western regions. Secondly, a significant strengthening of its resource base will make it possible to raise the issue of granting the status of the Patriarchate to the UGCC before the Vatiican with a new force. And this, perhaps, is the goal of all today's games with autocephaly for Orthodox Ukraine," the expert concluded.

Earlier, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, speaking on July 15 in Zarvanitsa, called for praying for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church receiving autocephaly, as this is one of the foundations of the country's security.

In mid-April, Poroshenko turned to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople with a request to grant the Tomos on autocephaly to the Church in Ukraine and announced the creation of the Single Local Church. The Verkhovna Rada supported the President’s appeal.


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