2006-07-10 14:23:00

Greek Catholics can set up patriarchate only by seizing churches by force - Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Kiev, July 10, Interfax - The Ukrainian Orthodox Church does not exclude a possibility that the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC) may establish a patriarchate of its own.

The Ukrainian issue of the Kommersant daily has reported Monday that the recognition of the UGCC Patriarchate of Kiev and Galicia was considered at the Uniate Synod session held from June 25 to July 5 in Rome.

‘The Greek Catholics will never have a patriarchate, except that they seize churches by force and thus seek to establish a patriarchate’, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church press service commented on the UGCC’s intention.

However, according to the daily, the Vatican approves of the Greek-Catholic intention to set up their own patriarchate as an important step towards the creation of one Church in Ukraine.

As a Vatican source informed Kommersant, the UGCC patriarchate ‘will help elevate the status (of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic - IF) Church and make it possible to unite the Orthodox and the Catholics in Ukraine, to unite the Churches’.

Bishop Gleb Lonchina, apostolic visitator for the Greek-Catholic Ukrainians in Italy, Spain and Ireland, also stated that Pope Benedict XVI himself had approved the idea of a UGCC patriarchate.

UGCC Supreme Archbishop Lubomir Husar is expected to publicize the results of the Synod on Monday. In case of a positive decision, the Church will be granted administrative independence and the powers of its head will become considerably broader.