Internationalen Kongresses Renovabis
vom 3. bis zum 5. September 2009 in Freising
Einheit suchen – Vielfalt wahren.
Ost und West im ökumenischen Gespräch
Your Eminence, Cardinal Kasper, Metropolitans, Archbishops, Bishops, Reverend Fathers, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen!
Let me begin by expressing my deepest gratitude to the organizers of the congress in Freising and the colleagues of the Renovabis foundation. Ukraine belongs to the circle of those countries, where your help and your experience in creating a climate of mutual trust is deeply appreciated. The spirit of genuine Christian solidarity and long-term cooperation has created a solid tradition. Renovabis has made possible the fulfilment of a number of large and small-scale ecumenical projects and has brought to life new initiatives. This has helped strengthen our hope and consolidate groups of active and open-minded Christians. You very well know how difficult this is in our extremely atomized society. Later I will mention several concrete examples of successful projects, especially those connected with St. Clement’s Centre. Now I would like to emphasize again how important the spirit of gratitude and trust is for us, with which we associate this name – Freising – and our new meeting here[1].
A really significant conference unites a lot of people for a continuous period of teamwork. Like a long journey, a well-planned conference comprises no less than three stages:
1) Hopes, ideas and arrangements of upcoming events (contacting scholars, preparing reports, presentations);
2) Carrying out the events of the conference;
3) Recording memories of shared experiences and cooperation in publications, photo- and video materials.
Who knows which of those three stages is more important?
Threads of various stories, tracks and ideas get interwoven at each of them, and a consecutive linking of a series of conferences gives a chance for a shared design to appear. The canvas of those events in your country and in Ukraine creates a positive context for all levels of dialogue between Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
Meetings at the highest level in the new ecumenical context
Now let me draw a few examples of ecumenical dialogue at the highest level between Catholic and Orthodox Churches in Ukraine. Those examples demonstrate an already established tradition of joint initiatives and the readiness to cooperate further.
In December 2007 Cardinal Kasper inaugurated the ecumenical St. Clement’s Center in Kyiv. He was accompanied by the Archbishop of Lviv Mieczysław Mokszycki and the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič. The Orthodox participants of the inauguration were the Archbishop of Poltava and Myrhorod Filip and the former Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations Archimandrite Cyril (Hovorun). In the middle of winter people heard spring news. The sun was shining, as if giving a special blessing to that time in December when days were the shortest in the year.  A testimony of love among Christians in the “hot spots,” in which it was quite unexpected, disproved the stereotype of the “ecumenical winter,” which emerged at the end of the last century. It reminded mankind about the fundamental relation between the Christmas Star and the spring Easter Tree.
During his visit, Cardinal Kasper visited the Holy Assumption Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Accompanied by Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič and the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Fr. Milan Žust (S.J.), he saw the sights of the complex of the Upper Lavra and attended the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary. There he met its Rector, the Bishop of Boryspil Anthony, and the students. He also visited the famous Lavra Caves, where he venerated the holy relics of the Venerable Fathers of the Caves and of the Great Martyr St. Clement, the first Pope of Rome. Afterwards, Cardinal Kasper met the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), Metropolitan Volodymyr, in his residence.
During his visit, Cardinal Kasper also visited the National University of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,’ where he was awarded the title of Honorary Doctor. On this occasion, he addressed the students and professors with a speech entitled ‘The Church on the Way to Full Communion.’

Describing his experiences in Kyiv, Cardinal Kasper said: “In these days I have seen signs of good will, signs of progress in our inter-Church relations, signs which give reason for hope, hope for the Church and hope for this country. I had a very brotherly meeting and encounter with Cardinal Husar and with Metropolitan Volodymyr. With the blessing of both, steps have been taken to establish and initiate a small, but – as we think – important ecumenical centre, called St. Clement’s, which can become – as we hope – a point of reference, of communication, of dialogue, of study and of brotherly encounter between the Churches. It may be a small plant, but with the help of God, with your prayers and your support it can grow and bear good fruits”.

A significant confirmation of the ‘spring tendency’ on the Orthodox side was the meeting of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on December 21, 2007. The mission of the Church in the modern world and the unity of Christians as the main condition for this mission was the leitmotif of the keynote address of Metropolitan Volodymyr, who opened it. Fifty bishops headed by the Metropolitan made a number of very important decisions, among them those concerning the changes to the Statute of the UOC.
One of the key topics of the meeting was the need for profound reform of theological education, as well as for the introduction of theology into secular universities. Those goals go hand in hand with the mission of St. Clement’s Centre. To achieve them, we are preparing a series of publications, including those on the main personalities and ideas of Christian Doctrine – Bibliotheca Clementina. Another project of the Center aims at filling in the lacuna in our university libraries in the field of Christian ecumenical periodicals from different countries of the world, as well as the basic theological sources of Vatican II. This will be achieved by creating the Ecumenical Electronic Library, which will combine Internet resources and library networks outside Internet. I will return to those two projects at the end of my speech.
On May 25 2008, during his official visit to Ukraine, the Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone met Metropolitan Volodymyr in his residence in Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Cardinal Bertone was accompanied by the former Archbishop of Lviv Cardinal Marian Yavorskyi, the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine Ivan Jurkovič, and the actual Archbishop of Lviv Mieczysław Mokszycki. At the meeting, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church  was represented by the Archbishop of Bila Tserkva and Bohuslav Mytrofan, the Rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary Bishop Anthony of Boryspil, the Bishop of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi Alexander and Archimandrite Cyril (Hovorun). Cardinal Bertone gave a kiss of veneration to the head of the Great Martyr Clement of Rome in the domestic church at the residence of the Primate of the UOC. In the course of the discussion that followed, the parties exchanged their assessments of the religious situation in Ukraine and the problems of church-state relations. Metropolitan Volodymyr shared his vision of the problems that the Church faces in carrying out its mission in Ukrainian society. Among them, he singled out the fact that the Church still lacks the status of a legal entity and cannot get back the property confiscated during the Soviet time; besides, it does not have full access to schools and higher educational institutions. Cardinal Bertone noted that those problems present a significant obstacle for the spiritual mission of the Church. According to him, this mission is especially important today, when the Church should play the key part in the process of Ukrainian society’s return to its spiritual roots.
Later, the leaders of the UOC held a series of fruitful meetings with Cardinal Martino and Cardinal Lajola, and in December 2008 the UOC Delegation visited Rome, where a lot of important official meetings took place.
The words of Pope St. Clement still remain of vital importance for us: “Wherefore, having so many great and glorious examples set before us let us turn again to the practice of that peace which from the beginning was the mark set before us; and let us look steadfastly to the Father and Creator of the universe, and cleave to His mighty and surpassingly great gifts and benefactions, of peace. Let us contemplate Him with our understanding and look with the eyes of our soul to His long-suffering will. Let us reflect how free from wrath He is towards all His creation” (The First Epistle to the Corinthians).
Ecumenical initiatives of St. Clement’s Center
Now let me bring to your attention another dimension of the ecumenical dialogue, the one which is less official but no less important for solving our problems. For a long time, the post-Soviet space has been deprived of any substantial publications by western theologians and of the main ecumenical documents. Here I shall just recall briefly the modest attempts of St. Clement’s Centre and the Research and Publishing Association ‘Dukh i Litera’ (Spirit and Letter) to overcome this state of affairs.
  • Immediately after publishing the book Tomos Agapis (2001), we published a Ukrainian translation of the fundamental monograph Jesus Christ by Cardinal Kasper. Its presentation, in which its author participated, took place in Kyiv in 2002. It was the first time in Ukraine that conservative critics of ecumenical projects met the head of the Pontificate Council for Christian Unity and … discovered that the Cardinal’s Christology was Orthodox! The reception given to our publications of such modern Catholic philosophers as Charles Taylor[2] and Alasdair Macintyre[3] was equally positive. A matter of great importance was our common project with Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) – a publication of the main ecumenical documents of the twentieth-century by Roman and Greek Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants: «The Signs of Times»[4].

  • These publications prepared a fertile ground for conferences attended by such institutions as the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary, the University of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,’ CNEWA, and the circle of ecumenically oriented people, who created St. Clement’s Centre. Active participants are the outstanding representatives of the communities of Chevetogne, Bose and Taize. The starting point for those meetings was a general understanding that the post-atheist epoch poses challenges for society in the spheres of social and public life and affects especially deeply the spiritual conditions of human existence. The conferences attracted attention of leading theologians, philosophers and cultural historians. The topic of the first one was The Family after Atheism (2001). It was followed by Education and Family in Post-Atheistic Societies (2002), The Ways of Enlightenment and the Witnesses of Truth. Human Person. Family. Society (2003), Human Person and Tradition: the Encounter of Generations and the Link of Times (2004), Human Being. History. Gospel (2005), The Unity of the Human Person and the Meeting of Cultures (2006), Friendship and its Forms, Ordeals and Gifts (2007), Memory and History: on the Crossways of Cultures(2008), Memory and Hope: Horizons and Paths of Finding Meaning (2009). A collection of materials from these important Christian international forums was published in seven books[5].

  • The tradition of organizing Kyiv Theological Summer Institutes proved to be another positive form of ecumenical cooperation. The first Institute was held in Kyiv-Pechers’k Lavra (2003). The second one, organized in the University of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy’ and on the outskirts of Kyiv, was supported by Renovabis foundation. During the following years KTSI was supported by other sponsors. I am happy to say now that the beautiful tree that we planted together seven years ago brings beautiful fruit now. Last year the participants of the Institute were Father Milan Žust, Archimandrite Cyril (Hovorun) and Dr. Johannes Oeldemann, who are all present here. Professors of religious schools and universities offered intensive courses in Biblical studies, history of the Church, liturgical studies, eucharistic questions, patristics, the history of Christian art, and other disciplines. The activities of the Institute showed that such forms of education are a fruitful laboratory for the discovery of new creative ways of dialogue between Ukrainian clergy, Christian intelligentsia, and the students of religious and secular colleges.     

  • The informal and friendly spirit of the Summer Inastitute passes on to our other activities, such as the Day of Trust, which we organize together with the Taize community (France). This year’s Day of Trust (October 17)  will include prayers and ecumenical seminars at Orthodox, Roman and Greek Catholic parishes in Kyiv. The seminars will be devoted to the relation between church and social activism, church and art, church and the Soviet and post-Soviet experience. They will take place. We expect about 150 young people from the capital and other cities of Ukraine.      

  • Other activities of the Centre, directed to the development of ecumenical dialogue, include the following:

    • studying the documents elaborated in the course of ecumenical dialogue between Orthodox and Catholics after Vatican II and providing access to them for professors and students of secular and religious schools of Ukraine;
    • informing representatives of the mass-media of the key events taking place in the process of bringing the Christians of East and West together and the perspectives of Orthodox-Catholic dialogue;
    • organizing seminars and round tables, dedicated to the problems faced by the Catholics and the Orthodox in the present-day secular Europe (we held a round table “Europe and the Decalogue,” which brought together the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, a professor of St. Thomas Aquinas Institute Father Piotr Oktaba (OP), and many other Catholic and Orthodox scholars).

The Culture of Kyiv as the Context for Ecumenical Dialogue

In describing formal and informal relations between the Churches, I would like to mention the specific situation of Kyiv and its culture, in which those relations take place. Today the city serves as a powerful centre of gravity for many quite different cultural and religious tendencies, which sometimes argue with each other. Two factors increase the effect of this gravitation: Kyiv's status as the capital of a large European country and its rich and continuous cultural tradition, dating back to the 1st millennium AD.

In 1988, the most radical antithesis to the Soviet myth, which claimed to have started a new era of a new world with the revolution of 1917, was the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the baptism of Kyiv Rus during the reign of prince Volodymyr in 988. The death of the Soviet rulers of Brezhnev's generation revealed the futility of their attempts to "cancel" the 1000 year long tradition. 20 years later, on July 28, 2008, the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew and the late Patriarch Alexiy II came to Kyiv to celebrate the feast of St.Volodymyr. This day was announced as the Day of Remembrance of the Baptism of Kyiv and proclaimed a state holiday in Ukraine. Today the interpretation of the tradition of St. Volodymyr may give rise to disputes among the pretenders to its inheritance.   Beyond the disputes, however, remains Kyiv’s identity as this fruitful branch growing among the family of Christian cultures.

An international conference, organized by the Ukrainian Catholic University and dedicated to the historical memory of the Kyiv church, has recently taken place inside the walls of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.’ At the round table there (which I had the honour to moderate) gathered representatives of the Orthodox, Roman and Greek Catholic churches. The round table outlined a wide range of questions concerning the history of Kyiv tradition from the 10th to the 12th cc., from the 17th to the 18th cc., on the eve of the 1917 revolution, and afterwards. One of the most important questions remained open for further discussion: what is the relation between the Christian testimony and the contemporary culture of Kyiv? How does this culture correlate with theological discussion about the Kyiv Church? 

Today Kyiv culture is, as it were, the ‘third actor,’ who plays an important part in the ecumenical dialogue. The quality of this dialogue depends greatly on the cultural language and the contemporary creative initiatives which frame it. Let me introduce you to those phenomena of the intellectual, visual, and musical life of Kyiv that by right define the city’s originality.

I will mention three key names now. In philosophy, it is Serhiy Krymsky, in music – Valentyn Silvestrov, and in painting – Halyna Hryhoryeva. Each of them quite peculiarly actualizes their Orthodox identity in their work. The appeal to universality and catholicity is their leitmotif. “God has no need of our hypocrisy,” Silvestrov quotes the words of the Pope Paul VI to explain the journalists the position of Kyiv non-conformists. After the experience of the Soviet isolationism, the openness of their work is a bright invitation to Orthodox and Catholics to engage in a dialogue in Kyiv. 

In this respect, let me bring to your attention one particularity of the iconography of Kyiv. The mosaics and frescoes of the eleventh century St. Sophia Cathedral depict an all-encompassing universe; nowhere, however, do we find the usual scenes of “the tortures of hell” on its western walls. The exclusion of these images of hell from the early iconography of St. Sophia was no coincidence. According to the philosopher Serhiy Krymsky, such a choice was a manifestation of a tradition of that time and place, the Sophia tradition. It seems important that both Krymsky and Hryhoryeva chose such a view of life with a similar conviction. The audacity of this position does not lie in its simplicity, but rather in its refusal to recognize the supposed gap between our own times, and times “when it was easier to love than to hate.”

Kyiv and the world have something to be grateful for to the generation of Silvestrov, Krymsky and Hryhoryeva,. In an era when age-old cultural practices have been destroyed, this generation reveals to us in new forms the permanence of the Sophia leitmotif and opens the liberating lightness of the new look, new hearing and new thought.

Faith, Culture and the University in Post-Communist Societies

After the meditations on the fertility of Kyiv culture for the ecumenical dialogue in Ukraine, I will address a more general challenge, which this dialogue has to answer today. With a special intensity, the post-communist experience raises the question of culture in the area between “Athens” and “Jerusalem,” between Academia and the Church (in the interpretation of Tertullian)[6]. The Soviet system was the most radical historical experiment of excluding the Church from the sphere of culture and education (moreover of excluding it from any sphere of life, physically, too). Eastern Christians keep a vivid memory of severe persecution of Christians, the military and political machine driving them into catacombs. In the West, the tendency to impose a specific ‘counter-culture’ mentality on Christians was softer at the first glance but stiff in its essence; it forced Christians into the “cultural catacombs” sui generis.

As strange as it may sound, the Western “remake” of the Soviet atheistic propaganda now attracts the attention of audiences in Paris[7] and New York City[8]. Here the experience of the 70 year long atheistic propaganda in the USSR since the revolution of 1917 seems either forgotten or not taken into account. However, violence was the main instrument of anti-religious propaganda during the longer part of the 20th century in a significant part of the European continent. Thus, responsible scholars, irrespective of their negative or positive attitude towards faith, should unite to accept that fact. In no case should that become a reason for a triumphal attitude of the faithful; however, the negation of the vast bulk of historical facts puts their opponents beyond intellectual honesty.

Let me remind you of some of those facts. In the USSR of 1920’s and 1930’s, the war aimed at destruction and systematic repressions against Christianity did not bring the expected results. During the Stalin census of the population in 1937 most people openly professed Christianity (questionnaires were not anonymous and the risk of mentioning religious views in public was obvious). During World War II, in order to motivate the fighting people, the official authority in the USSR let the Church out of the catacombs, at least partially, but after Stalin’s death in 1953, Khruschev began a new cycle of rough repression against the Church in the late 1950s and early 1960s. As they did not bring ultimate victory to the atheistic ideology, right before the ultimate collapse of the communist empire the system of state education was still busy brainwashing the population: it had to impose an “obscurantist” image upon its adversary, the Church. The history of culture was dissected and rewritten to illustrate tendentious answers agreed upon in advance. Above all, negative replies were given to the three key questions:

1) Is Christianity the religion of Logos, reason and new knowledge about man? No, it cultivates an irrational vision of the world, which does not go with the scientific worldview.

2) Has Christianity brought a universal message to all peoples (and for that reason New Testament was written in the most widespread language of those times – Greek)? No, it is a prejudiced teaching for benighted ‘old ladies.”

3) Are the truths of faith directed towards the present and the future? No, they all remain in the far past, which was brought to an end by the scientific Revolution and the proletarian one.

Thus, in the centre of the debate appeared: (1) the reasonableness of the Christian message, (2) its universal character within the space of cultures and nations, and (3) its universal character for any time in all centuries. 

The three points above are the core elements of the “Christian Hellenism” asserted by Fr. Georgy Florovsky. In Christianity, the Greek notion of Logos imparts the highest status to the reasonable, ‘logical’ principle. Thus, the Hellenist form was used to deliver the message from Jerusalem to the Areopagus of Athens, to Thessaloniki, Rome, Alexandria and many other Hellenized cities of the Mediterranean (and soon also to the Black Sea area). The Greek language of the Gospels and the epistles of the Apostles testified to the universality of the message for all peoples and cultures. 

Universality in space opens up further on as far as universality in time is being recognized. Until now, that has been taking place in the history of the Church and diverse Christian cultures for two millennia. The Gospels by both Mark and Matthew say: “What God has joined together, let man not separate” (Gospel of Matthew 19:6, Mark 10:9, NIV)[9].

However, in the course of the 20th century, reductionist tendencies started prevailing even in the best European universities. The dilemmas of “hellenization” and “dehellenization” remain at the centre of discussions about European identity.

An outstanding American historian Jaroslav Pelikan, who studied European culture, opened his Gifford lectures in Aberdeen with the following thesis: “It remains one of the most momentous linguistic convergences in the entire history of the human mind and spirit that the New Testament happens to have been written in Greek – not in the Hebrew of Moses and the prophets, nor in the Aramaic of Jesus and his disciples, nor yet in the Latin of the imperium Romanum; but in the Greek of Socrates and Plato, or at any rate in a reasonably accurate facsimile thereof, disguised and even disfigured though this was in the Koine by the intervening centuries of Hellenistic usage.”[10]

This statement is the antithesis of the historic construction of the German Protestant historian Adolf von Harnack regarding the “hellenization of Christianity.” According to Harnack, dogmas are “the result of the work of the Greek spirit on the basis of the Gospel” in their structure.[11] He considered hellenization the primary challenge and threat. Consequently, he marked Gnosticism as “the ultimate stage of secularization or hellenization of Christianity.”[12] Throughout Harnack ’s many volumes, the concept of hellenization plays a role as an “interpretative principle” for the historical interpretation of further development of the creed.[13] In the 20th century, the influence of the concept spread far outside German universities.

It can be traced back to the age of the scientific revolution of the 17th century. The theme appears in the writings of Blaise Pascal. His famous distinction between “the God of the philosophers” and “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” remains its classic representation. This contraposition was radicalized by the philosophy of Kant and historiography of Harnack. It was then the spread outside Protestantism, and it influenced Catholic theology significantly.

An example of a negation of this tendency in Germany can be found in the starting point of the academic career of Josef Ratzinger: as a young teacher, in 1959, he read his first lecture on the above-mentioned argument of Pascal. Later, the famous Regensburg lecture of Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 became a resonant return of the theme. We know about the notorious response of Muslims to it. The response of the academic community (to which it was primarily addressed) was left unnoticed. Was the challenge heard in the European universities? Unfortunately, it is not true of the post-communist Academia even though the issue of the correlation between violence, reason and faith, pathologies of religion and pathologies of reason are especially urgent in our part of the world.

Ukrainian Initiatives in Ecumenical Education

Let me now return to Ukraine. A good example of the participation of the Orthodox and the Catholics in academic initiatives, which in their approach combine “Athens” and “Jerusalem,” is the work of the Christian Academic Society in Ukraine (CASU). The Society has existed since 2005. It was created by two partner institutions: The Institute of Ecumenical Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University and the European Humanities Research Center of the University of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.’ Its principal objective is to promote Christian unity. CASU consists of about thirty scholars, who belong to various Christian denominations that trace their heritage to the Kyiv Tradition: the Roman and Greek Catholic Churches of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Patriarchate of Moscow), the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Patriarchate of Kyiv), and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Among the Ukrainian participants of this conference in Freising there are Catholic and Orthodox members of CASU.

 For four years already, the two co-presidents of our Society have been Antoine Arjakovsky and myself. Among the projects that we carried out are successful conferences in Kyiv, Lviv, Mykolayiv, Odessa and Kharkiv, which were devoted to the teaching of subjects on Christianity (Christian ethics and anthropology, among others) with the further publication and distribution of a series of books and handbooks with ecumenical content. We hope to continue our joint work. Two main projects that CASU currently works at together with St. Clement’s Center are the Ecumenical Electronic Library and Bibliotheca Clementina, which I have already mentioned at the beginning.

The Electronic Library project is caused by the need in scholarly theological education for resources of the new type in Ukrainian universities. Especially we need access to modern editions of originals, reference literature (multivolume dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.), periodical issues and specialized scientific literature, not only in theology, but in adjoining areas as well. Since the University of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy’ is preparing to open a theological department, such a library may become of great importance. ‘Dukh i Litera’ editions, as well as the books of other publishing houses in Ukraine and outside could extend the library fund. Moreover, our international conferences and the Summer Theological Institute have already gathered a circle of experts who deal with theology and the development of theological library. Thus, the creation of such a resource could help not only to prepare high-level future researchers in the field of theology, but also to reveal the existing scientific and theological potential in Ukraine. As part of the project, scanning of the books from the pre-revolutionary theological library funds (of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the Kyiv Theological Academy, St. Vladimir’s University, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra) and transferring them into suitable electronic format (DjVu) have already started. We are open and willing to share the results of our work with any interested research structures.

The aim of the project Bibliotheca Clementina is to start a theological library to be made accessible to a wide range of readers from all walks of life. The proposed collection of popular texts on theology will be written in a popular style and will be very important for nurturing a positive ecumenical context. The project has an international perspective with books, authors and topics selected by members of the Academic Committee of St. Clement’s Centre, including representatives from the Chevetogne Benedictine Monastery (Belgium), the Istina Dominican Centre (Paris), the Bose Community (Italy), the Taizé Community (France), and the Adam Möhler Institute in Paderborn (Germany).

The authors of the Bibliotheca Clementina collection are leading Christian theologians from the post Vatican II period. The Centre aims to represent the whole Christian tradition starting from the Church Fathers. Four Bibliotheca Clementina translations to appear in 2010 include: Walter Kasper, Sakrament der Einheit. Eucharistie und Kirche (Herder, Freiburg2004); Yves Congar, Neuf cents ans apres : notes sur le ‘schisme oriental’ (Chevetogne, 1954); Henri de Lubac, Méditation sur l'Église (Seuil, 1953), Jaroslav Pelikan, The Vindication of Tradition: The 1983 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986).

In the spirit of Un unum sint (54) we will continue to work towards the treasured goal when the Church will breathe with her two lungs once again. To conclude, I would like to quote the famous statement of one of the Kyiv metropolitans, which best communicates the spirit of the Kyiv tradition: “The words, which divide us, do not reach up to Heaven.” I consider these words to be the key leitmotif of our cooperation. Thank you for your patience!


Introductory words from Dr. Jennifer Wasmuth

Attorney of the public (Prof. Dr. Thomas Bremer)

I have three questions for Professor Sigov:

- Is it possible in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to participate ecumenically in sacramental acts, i. g. funerals or services without the character of masses? There is the information the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church has prohibited such co-operation. What about the Ukraine?

- We discuss about the situation in the Ukraine where, alas, three different Orthodox Churches exist. Why at our congress is the Orthodox Church represented by a member of the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and not of one from the other two?

- You have mentioned the theology of Tertullian which is different to the actual problems. Please, give some more informations about this point.

Prof. Dr. Konstantin Sigov

Let me start with the third question. Tertullian asked a question, which is still relevant today: What do Athens and Jerusalem have in common? What do the Academia and the Church have in common? The official atheism in the USSR claimed to cancel that question. But the USSR disappeared, and the fundamental question remained. Its sharpness acquired a new form today. What will the universities and academies in the post-atheist world be like? Which place will theology occupy among other faculties? In the universities of Germany, this question is answered differently than in the universities of France. The present-day universities of Ukraine are looking for the ways among possible alternatives…

As for the question of representation, the circle of participants of any conference is defined by its organizers and not by its guests. The choice is usually connected with the topic of the meeting and its place in the row of other conferences that bring together various participants. Such is the experience of the Christian Academic Society in Ukraine. Not so long ago, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy held a conference on the Kyiv tradition, which united different representatives of all branches of Christianity, interested in its theme.  

As for the sacraments, there are no doubts in the mutual recognition of the sacraments by Orthodox and Catholic Churches.  Decisions that are analogues to those mentioned in the second question in respect of Romania  (if I understood the question right) are not made in Ukraine. Beyond liturgical practice, a great variety of approaches is possible, of emphases and practices in different regions of our country. We can discuss them in detail at our workshop.

Thank you for your attention.


[1] With pleasure I am using this chance to express deep personal gratefulness to Father Dietger Demuth, Dr. Gerhard Albert, Dr. Christof Dahm, Dr. Johannes Oeldemann, Dr. Joachim Sauer, Dr. Renata Sink and other members of the wonderful Renovabis team.  

[2] Charles Taylor, «The sources of the self. The making of modern identity», Harvard University Press, “Duh I Litera” (“Spirit and letter”), 2005. – 696 с. 

[3] Alasdeir Macintyre, «After virtue. A study in Moral Theory», University of Notre Dame Press,1984. “Duh I Litera” (“Spirit and letter”), 2002. 

[4] «The signs of time. To the problem of understanding between Churches», Ukrainian-American human rights defence bureau, The Institute of religion and society at Lviv Theological Academy, Centre of European humanitarian studies NaUKMA, Kyiv, Sfera,1999.

[6]See: Fr. Florovsky George, Faith and Culture in Fr. Florovsky George, Christianity and Culture //

[7] Irène Fernandez, Dieu avec esprit. Réponce á Michel Onfray. Paris, Éditions Philippe Rey, 2005, – p. 46.

[8] See: P/ Valliere, Vekhi and the Pathos of Religious Humanism.

[9] Latin: Quod ergo Deus coniunxit homo non separet; Greek: ho oun ho theos synedzeusen anthropos me khoridzeto;

[10] Jaroslav Pelikan, Christianity and Classical Culture: The Metamorphosis of Natural Theology in the Christian Encounter with Hellenism (New Haven, 1993), 3. 

[11] Adolf von Harnack Lehrbuch der, Dogmengeschichte (5th ed., 3 vols.; Leipzig, 1931), 1:20; 

[12] Harnack, Lehrbuch, 1:250; 

[13] Aloys Grillmeier, "Hellenisierung-Judaisierung des Christentums als Deuteprinzipien der Geschichte des kirchlichen

Dogmas," Scholastik 33 (1958):321-55, 528-58. 

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