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Ukrainian Catholic leader sees growth of 'bottom-up' ecumenism

November 20, 2013

Ecumenism is growing “from the bottom up,” the leader of the world’s largest Eastern-rite Catholic Church said in an interview with Vatican Insider.

Major Archbishop Svatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Church said that ecumenism cannot be left “in the hands of diplomats, politicians, or theologians alone; we need to preach it in the parishes.”

In Ukraine, the archbishop said, Pope Francis has given a new impetus to ecumenical work, capturing the attention of Orthodox as well as Catholic believers. He reported that Catholics in Ukraine are “trying to be witnesses of unity amongst ourselves” by encouraging solidarity between the Latin and Byzantine Catholic communities. At the same time Catholics are working to strengthen spiritual ties with the Ukrainian Orthodox community, which itself is splintered into different groups.

“Many Christians are tired of divisions and are asking for unity,” the Major Archbishop said.


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