Mykhailo Dymyd, the priest, theologian, Doctor of Oriental Canon Law, and an active participant in Revolution of Dignity argues that an abnormal state prevails in Ukraine because being normal means being united.
Church’s and society’s disease consist in Christians who are divided and sometimes hostile towards each other.
Despite the fact that this Church exists in different jurisdictions a large number of priests and laity have appeared. They strengthen the unity between the various parts of the once united Church with the help of words and deeds.
Читай українською: ЧОМУ ЩЕ НЕМАЄ ЄДИНОЇ ЦЕРКВИ В УКРАЇНІ?
The most efficient ecumenical instrument is the example and faith of the ordinary Christians. The increase in education level among Christians who wish to discover Church, its nature, and history, becomes one more significant and positive fact.
The Christians’ passivity and lack of faith were the main hindrance to the ecumenical dialogue.
Mykhailo Dymyd said, “Before the events of Revolution of Dignity, there was a statement that ecumenical dialogue has something to do with theologians and only a few things were done for the rapprochement between Christians but the Christians’ actions on Maidan have proved that Ukrainian Churches are on the way to unification. It does not mean that during Revolution of Dignity there were no misunderstandings between Christians of different denominations. Maidan, on the contrary, displayed the pros and cons of Christians’ relations as a mirror. ”
After Maidan, the communion between the brothers on belief does not look like the marginal position of ‘the most ecumenical’ part of Church. It is real but still rare practice in the life of Church.
Ukrainian Churches have become more sophisticated and ready to speak on their own behalf as well as the Kyiv-oriented model has proved its efficiency. The fact that Revolution of Dignity gathered people from different Churches on the main square in Kyiv is a peculiar sign for Christians of Ukraine.
The growth of public awareness together with the volunteering embraced all people of various denominations and religions. The educational programs and public spaces where the intellectual discussion would replace the confrontation between ideological cliches have appeared.
Mykhailo Dymyd added, “At the same time, there are many manifestations of so-called anti-ecumenism.”
The struggle for churches between different denominations goes on. Christians continue to live in the ideological structures created to stir things up between the believers. The personal ambitions of individuals become an obstacle, and the insulting terms concerning other jurisdictions are still used in the official Churches’ statements.
First of all, we should see brothers in Christ in front of us, but very often we see an enemy instead of them.
The so-called ‘political Orthodoxy’ and propaganda influence which can be characterized as an ideological interference became one more negative phenomenon of ecumenical dialogue.
Believers failed to identify themselves with Church. While there is an opinion among Christians that the clerics should resolve all issues, the laity keeps aside. The activity percentage among the laity is growing, but not as fast as we want.
Mykhailo Dymyd said “I hope that we will not find ourselves short of trust and faith, especially faith in God because, without it, we will not manage to overcome the barriers which came between Christians. We should trust each other just like we did on Maidan, having opened up to the fellow men’s needs. In this case, there will be more positive examples of relations between churches and misunderstandings will play a less significant role.”
Church unity depends not only on God but also on us. God enjoys the support of us.
Mykhailo Dymyd, the Doctor of Theology, first Rector and the present Professor of the Department of Pastoral Theology of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) made a presentation on ‘Ecumenism and anti-ecumenism after Maidan’ during the scientific conference ‘Christianity in a globalized world: Ukrainian context’, held in Dnipro Seminary of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate for the first time.