26 July 2008, 15:37
Kiev, July 26, Interfax - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has called on the Ukrainian elite to do all it can to unify the Orthodox Church.
"Concern about the protection and restoration of the ecclesiastical unity is our common duty, which outweighs any political or ecclesiastical goals," Bartholomew I said.
"The public, political, clerical, and other leading intellectual forces of the Ukrainian people in general have a common duty to use the gift sent by God as much as possible within acceptable limits," including "for the restoration of the unifying role that the Orthodox Church has played in the Ukrainian nation's conscience," he said.
"The continued confusion about goals incompatible with the church's spiritual nature would negate the unifying force of Baptism and would make the division of the church body even more dangerous," he said.
The existing division "destroys not only spiritual unity but also civilian unity of the Ukrainian people and is fraught with obvious problematic implications for Ukraine's future," Bartholomew I said.
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