Proud to be Ukrainian Catholic but don’t expect me in Church

Sunday, 08 February 2015, 14:32
Research confirms what we already know. We have many who say that they belong to our church but that does not mean that they feel that they should actually go to the church. We also know that these people have great difficulties describing or explaining the church, the sacraments, salvation, and the role of the priest, the bishop, or the pope. They often disagree with what they feel the church says about moral issues but they have a very strong concern for individual freedom, human rights, tolerance and acceptance of different and various life styles. This may not always be connected with religious belief.

Yes! We all know that this is what the situation is. The better question now is what are we going to do about it?

Christianity and our church are not without its positives and opportunities. It is helpful to know the problem. Those who want to change the Church for the better must commit themselves to a definite plan and vision.

So what should the Ukrainian Catholic Church do? Be it as it may, no one can really live without God. Stressing the unconditional love of God for all of us is vital. Jesus did definitely promise that He can give us a fulfilling life. This is what the church’s mission is and we must preach it. Secular life leads to a fundamental unhappiness. The church through Jesus Christ can change a person’s life.

This can only happen in each person’s life through a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus is alive and present in the world. Our salvation depends on our ability to have a relationship with Jesus. Catholic teaching has a very unique communal nature. We meet God in and through the church.

Youth have heard about the sacraments. They recognize that these moments of contact with Jesus are vital. (Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Marriage etc.). The church must redouble its effort to bring this to the relevance of each member.

The lack of a constant, real, and meaningful relationship with this church hurts a Christian’s chance to receive the strength and grace which one needs to travel towards the spiritual reward one needs and expects.

The role of the church is less about authority and tradition than it is about the church’s ability to witness the love and life of Christ – the community. Young people today want and need guidance but only if it is presented in a meaningful way.

There is much to be admired about the culture we live in. Jesus surely would have used the positives of today’s society to inspire new members to His Church!

Everybody knows that short comings exist in our world. Young people are also ready to understand and to try to figure out that, despite the problems and the lack of connection with the Divine, the journey to the sacred can and should proceed. The Ukrainian Catholic Church is relevant in today’s world.

Article by Bishop Peter (Stasiuk)


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