Ukraine prelate on China: Dialogue ‘at all costs,’ but respect clandestine voice

Light of truth

As the Vatican appears to be on the brink of an historic deal with an officially atheistic and Communist regime in China hostile to religious faith, the leader of a Church in Ukraine that has suffered more under Communist control than any other religious body on earth says he now embraces a philosophy of “dialogue at all costs.”

“We need to pursue dialogue at all costs,” said Major Arch-bishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine in a Feb. 27.

“That can seem a bit crude, but really, what alternative is there to dialogue? Only confronta-tion, a war of sorts,” Shevchuk said.

“Today’s world doesn’t know how to dialogue, it only knows how to write on Facebook. Dialo-gue is mystery, it’s a sacrament of encounter. Dialogue is some-thing to which I’ve been comple-tely converted,” he said.

At the same time, Shevchuk said he deeply respects the per-spective of clandestine and under-ground believers who’ve paid a price in blood for their fidelity to the faith.

“I have to say that in these situations, the clandestine church has a hard time understanding,” he said. “Its suffering flesh isn’t capable of running behind these initiatives. That’s not only under-standable, but I’d say it merits respect.”

“I don’t believe the Holy See is indifferent to the suffering of the clandestine church [in China], but it also can’t negate the possi-bility of pursuing whatever dialo-gue it can with the authorities and the Patriotic Church.

I have to say that in these situations, the clandestine church has a hard time understanding. Its suffering flesh isn’t capable of running behind these initiatives. That’s not only understandable, but I’d say it merits respect.

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