From the Head of the UGCC in Poltava: Victory calls for victors who are morally superior to our attackers

Sunday, 19 June 2022, 22:35
On June 17, 2022, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, paid a pastoral visit to Poltava.


The Head of the Church’s three-day visit to three Ukrainian cities: Sumy, Kharkiv, and Poltava, ended in Poltava, where the day began with Divine Liturgy in the UGCC Church of All Saints of the Ukrainian People. Although it was a working day, the community gathered in large numbers to participate in the service.

In his homily to the faithful, the Head of the Church noted the importance of overcoming malice in one’s heart. “With His love for us, the Lord overcomes human malice and sin. He extends the same power to Christians. And when we forgive our offender, we defeat him,” he said, and continued:  “By forgiving, we defeat the evil that the offender has done to us. If we respond to evil with evil, then it only increases. And by himself, man will never be able to overcome evil as such. It is not within our power.”

“And even today,” the Primate emphasized, “as we see how the enemy rapes, kills, and destroys, we will not allow our enemy to defeat us on the battlefield of our heart. If in our hearts we manage to destroy the evil that the enemy has perpetrated, we will defeat him. Because victory calls for victors who are morally superior to our attackers.”

Directly following the Liturgy, the Primate met with the Head of the Poltava Regional State Administration, Oleksandr Bilenkiy. The meeting took place in the office of Caritas Poltava, which is actively providing assistance to the area’s war victims, the number of whom ranges from 45,000 to 60,000.

During the meeting, His Beatitude Sviatoslav tried to find out about the displaced persons’ needs, in order that the Church could assist, as much as possible, the regional communities and citizens who were forced to flee their homes because of the war.

“I am very grateful,” he stated, “for all that you are doing for the people who are fleeing the war in your area. Poltava region is a particularly strategic and important place – a powerful humanitarian hub. The collective misfortune that has befallen every Ukrainian unites us.  It is important to maintain the unity of government, the parliament, and its partners. We will look for opportunities and connections to support this extraordinary challenge for the country.”

The Primate also met with city mayor Oleksandr Mamay. During the meeting, the Mayor of Poltava noted the important contribution of Caritas-Poltava as a charitable organization that provides the greatest assistance in the city and its region.

Towards the end of the visit, the Head of the Church visited two Caritas-Poltava departments, which provide direct assistance to the needy.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav expressed his wish that the hands of Caritas volunteers and employees never be empty, and that there always be something to give to the people. He noted, in particular, his duty to work on that.

The UGCC Department of Information


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