Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cardinal suggests joint commission to study historical Catholic-Orthodox disputes in Ukraine

Image result for pontifical council for christian unityThe president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity has suggested the creation of a joint commission to resolve historical disputes between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Cardinal Kurt Koch said that such a commission might help with the “purification of memory” that could ease tensions between the two Ukrainian churches. “Without memory healing, it is difficult to imagine a common future,” he said.

Cardinal Koch offered this suggestion at a meeting of Catholic and Russian Orthodox leaders, marking the anniversary of the meeting between Pope Francis and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, which took place last year in Havana.

Russian Orthodox leaders complain frequently about the activities of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which they regard as a source of division in Ukraine and a violation of their “canonical territory.” 

There are also many disputes about the ownership of church properties, which were confiscated from the Ukrainian Catholic Church during the Stalinist era and handed over to Orthodox parishes.

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