Ecumenical relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Eastern-rite Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being stymied because the Moscow patriarchate will not admit its culpability for cooperating with Stalinist regime.The Moscow patriarchate’s unwillingness to acknowledge moral responsibility for cooperating in the persecution is “a serious obstacle to the development of mutual relations. The ability to apologize shows a lively Christian conscience, which is a precondition for the so-called healing of memories- Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Rite.
US CATHOLICS COME TO AID OF EASTERN EUROPEAN CHURCHES
Ukraine was especially hard-hit as oftentimes Russian Orthodox clergy collaborated with communist authorities to root out Eastern rite Catholics. “The government had decimated not just the church buildings, but especially the human capital,” said Spokane, Wash., Bishop Blase Cupich, who heads the subcommittee. “All non-Russian-Orthodox hierarchies were suppressed or killed.” Today, the church in the Ukraine is trying to rebuild and as one can imagine after so many years of repression, the Catholic clergy are very young, including the newly elected patriarch, 42-year-old Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk. In Ukraine and other former Soviet Republics, the Russian government is still trying to exert pressure. “The church is needed not only for the future of the Gospel, but for the future of these countries,” Cupich said – Bishop Blase J. Cupich of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane in the USA
Russian Orthodox should admit cooperation with Stalin, says Ukrainian Catholic leader