The World Council of Churches released a statement admitting that its months-long efforts to organize Ukraine Round Table had failed.
The attempt by the World Council of Churches (WCC) to bring together around a round table the two Ukrainian Orthodox churches, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine led by Metropolitan Epifany and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the leadership of Metropolitan Onufriy, linked to the Patriarchate of Moscow, to a dialogue table has failed.
The organization of the round table has included visits to Russia and Ukraine, but none of the Orthodox churches involved in the conflict has agreed to dialogue with the others. Both Ukrainian churches were categorical in their reluctance to talk.
The WCC statement said: “Unfortunately, despite the efforts we have made over the past months, the practical and political obstacles to the participation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) as the main participants in such a dialogue process for now make our plans impossible. We continue to believe that the participation of both the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is an essential basis for the dialogue process we envisage to promote social cohesion among the people of Ukraine on its path as a free and independent nation, and for the broader search of peace in a deeply divided and conflicted world’.
“We pray that God will lead us forward on the path to peace and that circumstances and perspectives will change so that dialogue becomes possible,” the statement concluded.
Photo: Pontius Pilatus (fresco by Zahariy Zograf, monastery of Transfiguration, Bulgaria). The frescoes in the church are the work of the notable representative of the Samokov school of painting and date from 1849-1851.