The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP), Patriarch Filaret, has repeatedly spoken critically of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), but he does not say anything offensive about Metropolitan Volodymyr (Slobodan), Primate of the UOC-MP, the Orthodox Church Info Blog reports today (August 19, 2013).
"A long time ago, I removed from my heart the grudges I had against His Beatitude Volodymyr. When we meet, we feel fine. I do at least. We haven't had a chance to sit together for tea because he is forbidden from meeting with me. But I would like to," Patriarch Filaret said in an interview to RISU (Religious Information Service of Ukraine).
"At other times, of course, it was different. Once upon a time it was difficult to forgive. Now it is easier. With age, it is always easier to do. One understands that unless one forgives, one will not enter the kingdom of heaven. As Christ said, if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins," notes the UOC-KP hierarch.
The Ukrainian Christian Church was split into several divisions after Ukraine gained its independence resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. The three major divisions -- which exist today -- are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), which conducts Greek Orthodox-oriented church services, but comes under the jurisdiction of the Papacy in Rome, not the Patriarch of Constantinople.