LAST UPDATE: 19:53
By Emilios Polygenis
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew held a meeting with the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic (Uniate) Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, on Monday, September 16, 2019.
The meeting took place at Casa Santa Marta where Pope Francis lives.
According to the Uniate Archbishop’s Press Office, the two sides discussed the situation in Ukraine and the relations among the Churches.
The meeting began with an exchange of gifts. Archbishop Sviatoslav offered the Ecumenical Patriarch a copy of the oldest Slavic manuscript of the Gospel, which dates from 1144.
On his part, the Ecumenical Patriarch offered the Archbishop an edition on the history of the Patriarchate, and a medal issued in memory of Pope Benedict’s visit to the Phanar in 2006.
During the meeting, the Uniate Archbishop emphasized that from the historic moment when the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine was proclaimed, the main interlocutor regarding the ecumenical dialogue for the Greek Catholic Church of Ukraine is no longer the Russian Orthodox Church, but the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
The Uniate Archbishop also proposed to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew that a Joint Committee of the Orthodox Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches should be established “to give new impetus to ecumenical dialogue”.
On his part, the Ecumenical Patriarch referred to the steps that had been taken so that the autocephaly status could be granted while praising the Greek Catholic Church for opening up a channel of ecumenical communication.
Finally, Archbishop Sviatoslav thanked the Ecumenical Patriarch for their second meeting, welcomed the fact that the faithful of the Church of Kiev remembered that their Mother Church was the Church of Constantinople.