07 February 2013, 10:00
Tensions between Orthodox and Uniates in Ukraine have been eradicated in many ways, the Vatican's representative to Russia believes
Moscow, February 7, Interfax - Apostolic Nuncio to Moscow Archbishop Ivan Yurkovich believes that problems in relations between Orthodox and Greek Catholics in western Ukraine have been leveled out today.
"Those difficulties of the early 1990s today have been eradicated in many ways and there are many contacts, especially of personal and informal character, between the two Churches," he said in his interview published by NG-Religii paper.
The nuncio noted that many people who knew the situation better than he did shared this opinion.
According to Yurkovich, who was the Vatican's representative to Ukraine in 2004-2011, "it is important not to draw attention to the past in nuncio's mission in countries with such a difficult history."
"I have always avoided historical arguments and suggested focusing on plans for the future," he said. "I have always been impressed how many Catholics in Ukraine and Byelorussia live in mixed marriages. It means that ordinary people live together quite naturally, without problems. They know good qualities of one another and are not afraid of marrying, though they remain faithful to their confession and live in confessional diversity."
Tense relations between Orthodox believers and Greek-Catholics (Uniates) in western Ukraine are one of the main obstacles in the dialogue between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Roman Catholic Church.
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