Ecumenical perspectives of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”


On the web-site of the “Orthodox Christian Studies Center” of the Fordham University which titles “Public Orthodoxy” there was published a text of Director of the Institute of ecumenical studies of the UCU Pavlo Smytsnyuk “The Orthodox Church of Ukraine: Ecumenical Reception”. The text is accessible in English, Russian and some other languages. The editorial board of our web-site has analyzed this text and highlighted three most important quotes.
… Neither the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, nor the Holy See, have formulated their position vis-à-vis the OCU. They all wish to maintain neutrality within the conflict, and continue cooperating with both Constantinople and Moscow. However, the moment the OCU will seek membership within international ecumenical bodies or direct contacts with the Roman Curia, they all will be forced to take a position …
… In Ukraine, the OCU is viewed very differently, and was warmly welcomed by both Catholics and Protestants. The new Ecumenical Concept of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), adopted in October 2021, praises the creation of the OCU as a step towards inter-Orthodox unity in Ukraine, capable of fostering ecumenical dialogue. Ukrainian Greek Catholics, over the past decades, have enjoyed a discrete but cordial dialogue with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, while being constantly under attack from the Russian Orthodox Church. This contrast made Greek Catholics more receptive to the arguments coming from Constantinople, rather than to Moscow’s narrative …
… However, inter-Christian dialogue conducted with the goal of contributing to nation-building in Ukraine — as is often claimed by church representatives — is theologically very dangerous. As with any polemical project, an effort to build a “Ukrainian world” in opposition to the “Russkiy mir”, might end up imitating the adversary one tries to resist. In any case, an overly political understanding of ecumenism, not only secularizes dialogue, but makes churches servants of nationalistic agendas.
You can read the full text of the named article here.