Greek Catholic Priest: Catholic Church Isn’t Going To Annex New Eastern Churches

Стасевіч

A Greek CAtholic priest Siarhej Stasievich, the pastor of London Belarusian diaspora, by whise initiative the first Belarusian church abroad is being built, states that the joint declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill wasn’t a surprise to him, especially an unhappy one.

“I haven’t heard anything new in comparison with the thing discussed in the Orthodox-Catholic dialog in the time of John Paul II. It where the accusations of the Uniate church as the way to Christian unity that made me doubt the path which I chose during my studies in Rome… Wait, what am I doing here now then? But everyone who made such remarks didn’t either understand our Belarusian context or were deliberately misrepresenting the truth, which means they are enemies of Belarusian and Ukrainian local churches”, – the priest writes in his Facebook account.

“So many time had I to argue that the Moscow Church is not our mother (and, especially, not mine), that Belarusians have their own ecclesiastic history independednt from Moscow (and history on the whole)! In dialog with Rome, under Moscow jurisdiction or as an autocephaly in emigration – Belarusians always had their won local Church in different foems of its existence”, – father Stasievich is sure while adding that “first of all, the Church consists of people, of Christians”.

While making a short digression to the recent past, the priest reminds that “Greek Catholics are a religious community well established in Belarus and which had been recognized as a separate confession even by a Lukashenko regime”.

“We have a Uniate past which we are proud of, present and future”, – the priest concludes and argues that the fact that Pope Francis has signed the Declaration implies that “the Catholic Church is not going to annex the new Eastern Churches which hadn’t yet been annexed by the Pope’s predecessors”, hence “Moscow has nothing to fear”.