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.