Mennonite-Catholic Collaboration

A century old Mennonite church in Ukraine is being restored into a Greek Catholic church with help from Canadian Mennonites. The building fell into disrepair when Mennonites were forced to leave during the Soviet era.

“Observers call the project an example of Mennonite-Catholic collaboration in the spirit of other exchanges over the past decade or so….

“Initially Father Peter was afraid that Mennonites wanted to take back the church,” said George Dyck, treasurer of Friends of the Mennonite Centre in Ukraine, the Canadian-based charity providing partial funding to the project over the past year.
Dyck describes the involvement as a “mutual embrace of returning Mennonites with their former fellow villagers.”

… Darrin Snyder Belousek said the renovation “is the fruit of the renewal of the Catholic Church in Ukraine.” Snyder Belousek is executive director of Bridgefolk, a North American-based movement of Mennonites and Cath­olics with an annual gathering to learn from each other’s traditions.”

Source: Greek Catholics restore Ukraine church building
May 26, 2014 by Ron Rempel and Mennonite World Conference

The common ground for this collaboration is based on past persecution and remaining faithful. However, are these Mennonites remaining faithful, to the gospel or their founder, by building such bridges with the church of Rome? Would their founder, who renounced the teachings of the church of Rome, smile upon such compromise?

“I voluntarily renounced all my worldly honor and reputation, my unchristian conduct, masses, infant baptism, and my unprofitable life, and at once willingly submitted to distress and poverty, and the cross of Christ.”



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