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Patriarch Lubomyr: “Our desire is to return to the primary unity”

Patriarch LubomyrKiev, Ukraine - “Christ’s Church in Ukraine, when Christianity was finally accepted by Saint Volodymyr at the end of the 10th century, was one. With the passing of time, especially in the last decades, this Church was divided and our desire is to return to the primary unity,” His Beatitude Lubomyr said in an interview for radio “Resurrection,” commenting on the initiative of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, put forth in the synod’s message on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the legalization of the UGCC, the 65th anniversary of the death of Metropolitan Andrey, and the 25th anniversary of the death of Patriarch Joseph. This initiative is shown in the message with such words: “Instead of the monopolistic domain by the Christian Ukraine, which was characteristic of past epochs, we propose the unity of the community for today of the still divided Kyivan Church.”

The process of unity, according to the head of the UGCC, will be long and must be gradual. “We have to find a way to one another, being conscious of our differences; it will take some time, I would say, to get used to each other. We have to learn to respect each other, we must remember that we are divided and that through time this division created distinctions in each branch which we have to consider,” explained His Beatitude Lubomyr.

The synod’s message addresses the patriarchate of the UGCC. Therefore, His Beatitude Lubomyr was asked if the patriarchal order of the UGCC will hinder the development of the model community. “It has to help, because the UGCC has to be original. In the Orthodox tradition it is called autocephaly. In the Catholic tradition – the Church of “sui juris.” The contents of one or another are not the complete dissociation of one from another. The purpose of the patriarchate is certain internal autonomy,” the head of the UGCC said. Thus, His Beatitude Lubomyr stressed that although the Church exists in the patriarchates, in national churches, it is the same Christ’s Church.

Information Department of the UGCC

Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead!

My soul, O my soul, rise up! Why are you sleeping? The end draws near, and soon you will be troubled. Watch, then, that Christ your God may spare you, for He is everywhere present and fills all things.

From the Great Canon of Andrew of Crete

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

St. John Chrysostom
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