3. The Moscow Patriarchate’s continued misrepresentation of ecclesiastical events in Ukraine.
Frequently, the free and legitimate desire of Christians in Ukraine to choose which Church they belong to, is portrayed by the Moscow Patriarchate as the seizure of her parishes by “illegitimate,” and even “violent,” means. Ukraine does not have an established Church or religion. Its legislation in this area is fully pluralistic. Consequently, attempts by the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine to gain privileged status run counter to the separation of church and state in Ukraine. In fact, it is the Moscow Patriarchate’s false or exaggerated accusations of violence that engender hostility among Christians who might otherwise resolve these issues of ecclesial allegiance with far less rancor. The Moscow Patriarchate should be apprised of the fact that in Ukraine her desire to maintain the kind of privileged status that it enjoyed under Communism is harmful to its own interests – not to mention the proclamation of the Gospel.
4. The Moscow Patriarchate’s claims against the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Since the emergence of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) from the underground in 1989, the Moscow Patriarchate has consistently made mendacious accusations against the UGCC. These began with claims of “violent take-overs” of parishes in Western Ukraine and continued with false reports of proselytism, which have never been substantiated. Meanwhile, the parishes that chose to break with Moscow in the early 1990s were all parishes that had been part of the UGCC until 1946. In that year the Soviet government, with the complicity of representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate, forcibly liquidated the UGCC throughout the USSR. The unwillingness of the Moscow Patriarchate to honestly discuss these matters is another impediment to the healing of memories, promoted so eloquently by Saint John Paul II. Moreover, every time that the Moscow Patriarchate has been asked to provide a list of the victims of violence – with medical reports etc – it has failed to do so.
Next month marks the 70th anniversary of the Pseudo-Synod of Lviv of 1946. It was at that gathering that the Soviet government declared the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church illegal. This led to the forced deportation of tens of thousands of Catholics and the countless deaths of those who refused to leave the Catholic Church and join the Russian Orthodox Church. In view of the constant misrepresentation of these events by representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate, last year the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies invited an academic institution with ties to the Moscow Patriarchate to cosponsor an international conference on the events of 1946. The conference would have provided an excellent opportunity for both sides to objectively and fairly study the facts. The request fell on deaf ears.—SI source/link