One of my bishops on the question of Ukrainian autocephaly and the Greek Catholic Church

One of my bishops on the question of Ukrainian autocephaly and the Greek Catholic Church October 12, 2018

Vladyka +Venedykt (Aleksiychuk) – photo credit: Archeparchy of L’viv

My view of my church, the Greek-Catholic Church of Kyiv, may seem radical to those in the imperial churches of Rome and Moscow. However, it is modest.

A few days ago, my bishop in the St Nicholas Eparchy of Chicago, Benedict Aleksiychuk, spoke with a journalist about what autocephaly means for us Greek Catholics. The first point he makes is that we already have it. The second is that Rome guarantees it. The third is that we are not uniates. And the fourth is that we are the only church in the Kyivan tradition with a clear line of succession to the baptism of Kyiv from the time of the Holy Equals-to-the-Apostles Volodymyr and Olha.

The Orthodox granting autocephaly among themselves, Bishop Benedict is saying – and he tells the interviewer that he is not nervous to speak so frankly, which means that those of us covered by his omophor are also free to tell the truth without hesitation – is just the first step. The long game is to recognize that no one gives the Church of Kyiv the right to exist except the Holy Spirit and that our catholicity as a local church is what draws us into communion with the rest of the Body of Christ, including the Successor of the Holy Apostle Peter.

In other words, those who are discontent with my lack of cooperation about ‘submission’ to Rome, my joyful proclamation of my Orthodoxy, and my failure to understand that I am supposed to be a ‘uniate’ can feel free to report me to my bishop. I will enjoy hearing about your discussion with him.

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