Otherness as a gift: challenges of modern life in Europe and Ukraine

2013-10-23 11:15

At the beginning of the event, the following people gave welcome addresses: Rev. Bohdan Prakh, Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Valeriy Pyatak, Deputy Head of Lviv Regional Council, Vasyl Kosiv, Deputy Mayor of Humanitarian Affairs, Oksana Yakovets, Deputy Chief of Social Welfare Department at Lviv Regional State Administration, Bohdan Morklyanyk, Vice President for Academic Work and Social Development at Lviv Polytechnic National University. Also, Cardianl Lyubomyr Husar sent his address to the participants of the 6th Ecumenical Social Week.

At the plenary session, the participants listened to interesting speakers, in particular, the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine, Archbishop Thomas Edward Gallikson, President of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University Rev. Ivan Datsko, Advisor for Culture and Cooperation of the Embassy of France in Ukraine Eric Tosati, Ambassador of Austria to Ukraine Wolf Dietrich Heim, Vice-Chancellor of Austria (1991-1995) Erhard Busek and lecturer of the Hellenic Open University Dr. Eleni Kasseluri-Hatsivassiliadi,.

Archbishop Thomas Edward Gallikson pointed out: “The basic catechism motivates my choice or obligation to see the other as a gift not on the basis of our ‘otherness’, but because we are more similar than different. I honestly fear that there are many things that prevent – even today in our enlightened world – real and proper respect for differences. A smart social project requires the commitment of all parties to seek the other, to make a step to the other and establish something common with the other.”

President of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University Rev. Ivan Datsko said that it was necessary to talk about heterogeneity, not about differences. “We are conducting the Ecumenical Social Week in the festive year of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, which very clearly started talking about unity in variety. The Church spoke both about the universality and the locality. Both the Ukrainian Church and the Ukrainian government should be united in their particularity,” said Rev. Ivan Datsko.