IES held an online seminar “The Ecumenical Concept of UGCC: From Vision towards Implementation”

2021-03-09 13:30

The Institute of Ecumenical Studies of the Ukrainian Catholic University in cooperation with the UGCC Patriarchal Commission on Interreligious and Interfaith Relations held a two-days online seminar entitled “The Ecumenical Concept of UGCC: From Vision towards Implementation”. The reason for the meeting was the fact that this year the UGCC Ecumenical Concept, which was promulgated on February 23, 2016, expires for a period of five years. The seminar summed up the results of this important document and considered it from the perspective of the perception by other denominations of Ukraine. The seminar was attended by priests, chairmen of ecumenical commissions of UGCC, and by the persons interested in the theme of Christian unity from Ukraine and abroad.

The seminar was moderated by Fr. Dr. Ihor Shaban, Chairman of the UGCC Patriarchal Commission on Interreligious and Interfaith Relations, and Fr. Dr. Roman Fihas, IES researcher.

The online academic event was opened by Fr. Dr. Iwan Dacko, President of the IEC and a longtime member of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Fr. Iwan expressed his satisfaction and joy that IES is organizing this webinar today on such a topical issue for Ukraine. He recalled that many bishops, priests and lay experts have been working intensively on the Ecumenical Concept since the beginning (2001) during the archpastoral ministry of Patriarch Lubomyr Husar.

Fr. Dr. Roman Andriyovsky, Vice-Rector of the UGCC Drohobych Seminary, in his report “Developing the Ecumenical Concept of UGCC”, stressed that the document of 2016 was not the first document of UGCC in the field of ecumenism and recalled previous documents issued by the Church. Fr. Roman presented the structure of the document, emphasizing its “ecumenical language” of openness to other Christian communities.

Bishop Pavlo Schwartz, Head of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ukraine, delivered a report on “What can UGCC and the Protestant Churches learn from each other?” In his speech, he listed the many ways of cooperation that are open before the Protestant and Traditional Churches, in particular in the field of catechesis and social service. He expressed hope that Protestant communities would also develop their ecumenical concepts, which would contribute to the development of theological dialogue between denominations.

Fr. Mykola Bilyak, a Member of the Synodal Commission on Inter-Christian Relations of Orthodox Church of Ukraine in his report “Is a Common Concept of Unity Possible for UGCC and OCU?” stressed the dogmatic differences that still exist between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, but expressed his conviction about the possibility of theological dialogue and the need for joint service between the Churches.

Volodymyr Mamchyn, a doctoral student at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Innsbruck, Franz Leopold (Austria), delivered a report entitled “What Steps Should Ukrainian Denominations Take to Be More Open: The Western Experience”. In it, the speaker confirmed the fact that, in drafting this document, UGCC clearly sees itself not as an object, but rather as an active subject of the ecumenical movement.

After the speeches there was a fruitful discussion and the views’ exchange.

Video Part I (in Ukrainian)

Video Part II (in Ukrainian)


The Ecumenical Formation Program is a long-term educational and formative program developed jointly by IES and the UGCC Patriarchal Commission on Interfaith and Interreligious Relations for priests, members of the UGCC ecumenical eparchial commissions and those interested in the Christian unity, in order to understand better modern ecumenical processes in Ukraine and in the world, and to promote the practical initiatives of inter-Christian dialogue and understanding. EFP is supported in part by the Subcommittee to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.