“A lack of spiritual dimension and spiritual prayer are some of the reasons for slowing down a theological and ecumenical dialogue,” Rev. Dr. Ivan Datsko

2013-10-25 11:15

Their thoughts with those present shared Rev. Dr. Ivan Datsko, President of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University, Bishop Venedyct (Aleksiychuk), Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv Archeparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Antoine Arjakovsky, the founder of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies and co-director of the Department “Society. Freedom. Peace” at the Bernardine College (France), Ihor Derzhko, Doctor of Philosophy, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Economy at Lviv National Medical University, Hubert de Gabori, Secretary General of L’Oeuvre d’Orient, Helen Zorgdrager, Professor of Systematic Theology at the Protestant Theological University of Amsterdam and a fellow of the Department of the Mission of Protestant Church in the Netherlands, Oleksandr Dobrouer, Director of NGO European Institute of Social Communications.

Rev. Dr. Ivan Datsko in his report plunged into the history of the establishment and development of the ecumenical movement in the world, closely connecting it with the situation of inter-faith relations in Ukraine. “We must know what unites us rather than separates. However, we are looking not for godly things but only for human things in our lives, not the Lord’s grace, but power and money, and it is not in tune with the teachings of the Gospel. The lack of spiritual dimension and spiritual prayer is one of the reasons for slowing down a theological and ecumenical dialogue,” said Rev. Dr. Ivan Datsko.

Antoine Arjakovsky in his report highlighted the difficulties of interfaith dialogue, because “there are too few of those who believe in the power of truth, the reality of the unity of God and the Church of Christ. After all, churches don’t work much with independent university structures. These difficulties, whatever they may be, are significantly smaller than those with which churches have to face in the future, with the powerful influence of secularization, the fragmentation of society and new ideological ambitions of states.” The main directions for further regular joint interfaith meetings should be work with historical sources, joint pastoral (educational) work and social improvements.