Meeting and growing up together!

2022-10-16 18:00

On October 11-13, as part of the Ecumenical Formation Program of the UCU Institute of Ecumenical Studies, a series of events took place in Mukachevo and Uzhgorod, which were attended by the heads of the UGCC eparchial commissions on interconfessional and interreligious relations, the head of the MGCE ecumenical commission, representatives of the Orthodox and Protestant Churches of Transcarpathia, seminarians and others interested.

An open ecumenical seminar on the topic “Ukrainian Churches during the war: challenges and joint actions”, which took place on October 12, 2022 in Uzhgorod, in the premises of the Greek Catholic Academy named after Blessed Teodor Romzha, became the main academic event. The following spoke with their reports:

  • Dr. Anatoliy Babynsky, theologian, journalist and employee of the UCU Institute of Church History, he spoke about the principle of the so-called neutral attitude of Vatican to political processes in the world, noting that sometimes this tool does not allow the Church to give its moral assessment of events more clearly . Anatoily also noted the unprecedented mention of Ukraine in official speeches and addresses of the Holy See during the Russian war.
  • Taras Antoshevsky, RISU director, emphasized that the war that is raging on Ukrainian soil is a new type of war, a hybrid one, where the means of military operations are not only weapons, but economy, politics, information, and also religion.
  • Fr. Dr. Ihor Shaban, head of the UGCC Patriarchal Commission for interconfessional and interreligious relations, noted that although the war presented many challenges to Ukrainians, today, more than ever, we experience the power of unity in the struggle for freedom and dignity.
  • Fr. Dr. Vladyslav Ihnatyshyn, head of the MGCE ecumenical commission, spoke about the rich experience of interfaith communication in Transcarpathia. He noted that the joint efforts made by the majority of Ukrainian Churches, fighting the consequences of the war and helping those in need, soldiers and volunteers, are of great importance for society.
  • Pastor Valeriy Fedoranych, rector of the Transcarpathian Christian Institute, told about the social and humanitarian work that Christians of different denominations have been carrying out since the beginning of the war. He emphasized that the war becomes an impetus for us to be active in our Christian faith.
  • Fr. Dr. Roman Fihas, IES acting director, while moderating the seminar, noted that the task facing the Ukrainian Churches today is to be close to people and do everything possible to reduce the sufferings of the Ukrainian people. The voice of Ukrainian Christians in defense of truth and values sounds very powerful today, but openness to cooperation can make the Christian witness in society even more fruitful.

The meeting ended with questions and a discussion.

EFP participants also had the opportunity to meet with the Spiritual Council of Mukachevo city the a half of day before. The meeting took place in a warm and fraternal atmosphere in the prayer house of the Evangelical Church, and most of the active members of the council took part in the meeting. The representatives of the council talked about the history of the creation of the council, the activities they conduct jointly, and the educational and practical visits that have been implemented in Ukraine and abroad over many years. The meeting ended with informal communication and dreams about joint future projects.

The event was organized by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies together with the UGCC Commission for Interconfession and Interreligious Relations, in cooperation with the Mukachevo Greek-Catholic Eparchy with the support of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Limburg.