The following is an excerpt from an interview with Major Archbishop Lubomyr Husar, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Question: But the Orthodox are saying that you (i.e., the Ukrainian Catholics) were latinized in the 18th and 19th centuries. What are the guarantees in the 21st century that you will not lose freedom?
Major Archbishop Husar: It is true that we have been latinized. And this is the great merit of Metropolitan Sheptytsky at the beginning of the 20th century: that he tried to reverse this process. Personally, I consider myself a follower of Metropolitan Sheptytsky, together with many others who would like to get rid of all that has illegally entered into our spiritual, theological, liturgical, canonical heritage. We were told: If you want to be a real Catholic, you have to be Latin. And they pushed us into it. And it is only with Metropolitan Sheptytsky that we could say: Dear brothers from Rome, one can be Catholic without being Latin. And we were attacked on two fronts, Catholic-Latin and Orthodox-Byzantine. And we said: No, dear brothers, one can be Ukrainian, one can be Byzantine, one can be at the same time Catholic. These different elements do not contradict one another. So this is why neither the Latin Church nor the Orthodox Church is very happy with us.
Question: What are the conditions to have eucharistic communion between the believers of the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church? Is it necessary to have the same theology of marriage, of the filioque, of purgatory?
Major Archbishop Husar: No. Our attitude practically is that between the Orthodox and ourselves there are no differences in faith. Questions like purgatory, the Immaculate Conception or the filioque are theological concepts, not faith. And they of course are very different, but they are ultimately complementary. So they do not represent a different faith. They represent a different understanding of the gift of faith. What is our practical stand on intercommunion? If a Catholic finds himself in a position where there is no Catholic church around, he can freely go to the Orthodox church and receive sacraments. The same thing when an Orthodox cannot find an Orthodox priest, we don't deny him the sacraments, especially confession and holy Communion. The only problem is the scandal that it means, not to give the impression that it doesn't make a difference what you are. You are what you are. But the circumstances are such that you are in need and we are open to help you or to being helped.