With what shall we evangelise?

baptism of kyivan rus'

Another article written for RISU

There can be no doubt that it is when the Church acts as one body, she is most effective at making the beauty and truth of the Gospel known among the nations. As such, it is important for Ukrainian Greek Catholics to examine themselves, and to ask what role they have if they are to faithfully take up their part in the Great Commission – that is, the duty of going out into the world and baptising all people in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Greek Catholics are, after all, called to be the ‘other lung’ of the Church: to represent the ancient, Byzantine tradition alongside the Roman, or Latin, tradition. Yet, at least in some places, this is not well understood. Instead, we succumb to the temptation of acting in an insular way: of behaving more like an ethnic chaplaincy rather than the scintillating and beautiful Church of the East. What then, we must ask, is our purpose, and how should we be going about our work?

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2 responses to “With what shall we evangelise?

  1. Good point about the Liturgy. I believe sometimes Latins think that we are being over ritualistic when strive for the fullness of Byzantine expression. For us it’s not about rituals but rather continuing how we have encountered the experience of Jesus Christ in our traditions.

  2. First of all, it would be nice if priests befriended and tried to educate those Latins who do come to their liturgies via giving them books on the tradition, referring them to resources, etc. When I became Greek Catholic I had to figure out everything for myself, including the fasting rules. The priest just said that what is important in fasting was that we don’t devour each other. But I knew that! I simply wanted to know what the UGCC rules and traditions are. The only time someone talked to me in the parish without me talking to them first in the early days was when a lady came up to me on Holy Thursday (I think I did something wrong) and asked “Are you Ukrainian?” I said no. Then she said “Are you Roman Catholic?” I said yes. And then she asked “Then why are you here?”

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