The creation of a nearly official church that enjoys special privileges given by the regime puts the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) on thin ice, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Liubomyr Huzar, told the BBC Ukrainian service Jan. 19.
According to the Constitution, Huzar argues, all confessions and religious organizations are equal in the face of the law. For many years, the churches coexisted based, more or less, on this principle. No one felt being sidelined. “Now, when we can witness a clearly biased, despite all the assurances to the contrary, attitude of the regime toward a specified church [the pro-Moscow OUC(MP) – Ed.] this favoritism begins to create tensions. That is why not only the UGCC but also other churches and religious organization begin to admit the bias officially. We are against the tension and misunderstanding involving Ukrainians. This is our major goal, and no one is seeking any special favors. However, if someone begins to seek favors and the regime reacts positively, we believe it is dangerous for the nations’ peace,” Huzar stressed.
Moreover, the creation of an almost official church which is granted special privileges by the regime is very dangerous for the church itself. “However, this is the business of the UOC(MP). We are frustrated to see it happen, because we are aware that special favors from the authorities to one of the churches entail risks for this church itself,” the head of the Greek Catholics said.