«Jesus Christ said: ‘Love each other and be one.’ And we say: ‘I will not pray with you, because you dislike me…’»: The Head of the UGCC
«The most important theme is a lack of unity between people, especially between believers in Jesus Christ. If we are not able to live with each other in peace, are we indeed believers? Jesus Christ said: ‘Love each other and be one.’ And we say: ‘I will not pray with you, because you dislike me, you are not the same as I am.’ What kind of Christianity do we have?» His Beatitude Lubomyr, Head of the UGCC, posed such a question in an interview for the magazine «Ukrainian Week». Issue # 20 of the magazine, with an interview with the Head of the UGCC entitled «The Holy Trinity as the ideal of unity,» was published on May 22, 2009.
The interlocutors (His Beatitude Lubomyr conversed with Olena Chekan and Viktor Yelens’kyj) returned repeatedly to the question of unity among Christians. A separate section of the interview was dedicated to this. Speaking about whether the Head of UGCC has hope for the unity of at least the Ukrainian Churches, His Beatitude Lubomyr answered that it should be so, but asked: «Will we live at that moment when it happens?... » «Unity is also a gift of God. But it seems to me that all wish to accept it on their own conditions. Nobody wants to change, to talk – let the entire world change, but do not make me change,» said His Beatitude Lubomyr.
Then the interviewers asked the Head of the UGCC what he thinks about the mission of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. His Beatitude Lubomyr answered using the word «identity.» He said that he understands identity as that to which someone is called. «The Lord God created me and called me to something; He did not reject me. I, carrying out my vocation from God, am myself, but in community. This makes me myself. It is similar with nations. And similar with Churches sui juris. The Lord gives us the ideal of unity – the Holy Trinity, one God in three persons. Humanity is the same; it lives in a great number of manifestations, but should be one,» the Head of the UGCC explained. Thus His Beatitude Lubomyr said that he sees the mission of the UGCC in «showing people that the so-called Catholic and Orthodox worlds can be together; in fact our Church unites the elements of two great cultures, Latin and Byzantine, allowing each to remain itself,» he said.
The Ukrainian-language interview of the Head of the UGCC can be read on the web page of «Ukrainian Week» at: www.ut.net.ua/art/166/0/2559/
Information Department of the UGCC