BCS Helps Moderate “Ecumenism as a Peace Movement: the Case of Ukraine”

On Friday, May 20th, the Washington Theological Consortium hosted an ecumenical dialogue in response to the Ukrainian crisis entitled ‘Ecumenism as a Peace Movement: the Case of Ukraine,’ with particular attention on the role of the Ukrainian Catholic as well as Ukrainian Orthodox churches. Byzantine Catholic Seminary Director of Information Services Sandra Collins, PhD, served as moderator.

The distinguished panelist included Archbishop Borys Gudziak (Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia), Bishop John Michael Botean (Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St. George [Canton, OH]), and Archpriest Allessandro Margheritino (Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America), who delivered a message from Metropolitan Tikhon. In addition, Archpriest Andriy Dudchenko, Rector of the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration, joined the panel live from Kyiv via Zoom.

The evening began with a Panichida for all fallen Ukrainians by the Cathedral Rector, Father George Kokhno.

All presenters spoke of the dire need for support for all Ukrainians as well as the need for prayer, for dialogue and for action. Said Archbishop Gudziak, “If the West is now unwilling or unable to help Ukraine sufficiently to stop Russian aggression and defend its national independence, if the West sacrifices Ukraine on the basis of the false illusion that this will save world peace…then this will be an encouragement not only for further Russian expansion, but for all dictators and aggressors around the world.”

Many spoke of the important work of peacemaking not simply as an idea but as an active principle in their churches and communities. Fr. Dudchenko, joining via Zoom, spoke to the group from Ukraine, where it was past 2 am. Based upon Archpriest Dudchenko’s realistic but dire picture of life on the ground in Ukraine for citizens and refugees, the Orientale Lumen Foundation collecting donations that will be shared with the Orthodox and Catholic churches in Ukraine for humanitarian aid of the refugees here:

Ecumenical Aid to Ukraine
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