From the Head of the UGCC in Kharkiv: We will restore everything, but now we need to save lives

Friday, 17 June 2022, 23:46
His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church paid a pastoral visit to Kharkiv on June 16, 2022.

First, the Head of the Church celebrated the Liturgy in the basement of the future Cathedral of St. Nicholas of the UGCC in Kharkiv. After the service, His Beatitude Sviatoslav spoke with people who came to the church to receive various kinds of help, primarily food, hygiene products, child nutrition.

Afterwards, the Head of the Church met with the Mayor of Kharkiv Ihor Terekhov and the Deputy Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Roman Semeniukha.

During all his meetings, the Primate stressed that he had come to express his support and respect for the city of Kharkiv and the region, which are currently suffering from the war.

The meeting with Mr. Semeniukha took place near the bombed-out building of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration. “We are in Kharkiv, in the shelled premises of the regional state administration, which overlooks one of the largest squares in Europe – Freedom Square. This is where the Russian attack on Kharkiv began. The first Russian bombs and rockets landed here, and destroyed this magnificent palace,” said the Head of the Church.

“We are here today, and this, the Primate believes, is, in my opinion, a great sign that the Lord is sending us great hope that we will rebuild, restore everything, but now we need to save human lives. For only the Lord will bring back the lives of the murdered, the tortured, the fallen ones back to the day of resurrection.”

The Head of the UGCC noted that he came to Kharkiv to express his respect and solidarity with the people of Kharkiv, the inhabitants of this heroic city, to attract the attention of the whole world, because several hundreds of kilometers from here intense fighting is taking place and the enemy is continuing to destroy all living things.

“But we see that Kharkiv residents are smiling and the enemy is scared. Kharkiv residents are rebuilding their city, and the enemy is feeling powerless. But here near the office of the head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration we feel that the Lord is with us and that the victory of Ukraine will be the glory of God, the victory of good over evil, the victory of truth over lies, the victory of Ukraine over the Russian invader,” the spiritual leader assures.

The mayor noted the importance of the visit of the Head of the UGCC and stressed that Ukraine today needs a voice in the international arena so that Russia's war against Ukraine does not cease to be news to the international community. Therefore, it is necessary to constantly awaken the conscience of people around the globe so that the war in Ukraine is not forgotten. And Mr. Terekhov sees in His Beatitude Sviatoslav a voice that will speak to the world.

Mr. Semenukha noted that he had the honor of hearing and seeing the words of solidarity of the Head of the UGCC, who visited Kharkiv today.

“When a cathedral of the Greek Catholic Church was built in Kharkiv, he said, it was an extraordinary event for the region. With the presence of this Church, our faith in Ukraine, in God, has strengthened here. This Church, in my opinion, without exaggeration, is a state-building and nation-building Church. The UGCC occupies an important place in establishing the identity of the Ukrainian people. Therefore, today's visit of the Head of the UGCC is incredibly important for the entire Kharkiv region and all the faithful.”

“The courage of His Beatitude Sviatoslav is certainly inspiring,” added Mr. Semeniukha.

At the end of the visit, the Head of the Church visited the St. Demetrius Church of the UGCC, where Bishop Ihor Isichenko serves. Here the Primate got acquainted with the activities of a large humanitarian hub, where volunteers are constantly receiving, sorting and distributing aid to the needy. Apart from that, there is also a call center where people can call and ask for help.

The Primate was accompanied by Fr. Lubomyr Yavorsky, patriarchal economist and head of the UGCC Anti-Crisis Center, Fr. Oleh Oleksa, personal secretary of the Head of the Church, and Fr. Ihor Yatsiv, head of the UGCC Department for Information.

The UGCC Department for Information


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