Head of the UGCC: It is vital that each of us contribute to this holy and great deed – for our victory.

Monday, 28 March 2022, 09:05
“This war is not one in which only the Ukrainian army is fighting; it is not a war in which the enemy is fighting against the president, or the government of Ukraine, with a certain premeditated motive. The Russian aggressor is waging war against the entire Ukrainian people,” stated the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, in his daily wartime address on the 28th day of the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine.

“It’s already the 28th day of the Way of the Cross, our Golgotha, -- this war which Russia instigated against the peaceful Ukrainian people,” said the hierarch.  In his words, we are experiencing a painful, tragic time, but such times give birth to heroes, who out of love for their people and country are ready for intense sacrifice, even the sacrifice of one’s own life.

The Church Head noted that in his encounters with countless people – with volunteers, clergy, military, public authorities and government officials at various levels, especially with central government administrators -- he senses that our Ukrainian people have truly united in order to endure this struggle.  “We used to talk so much about unity – about church unity, national unity, even political unity – about unity, as if it were some kind of dream.  And today, this dream has become a reality.  We see how the country is united in the goal of defeating the enemy that is pounding Ukrainian soil.  We see that everyone feels the mandate of his own conscience, to stand, endure, and be victorious,” observed His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The entire Ukrainian nation has risen in defense of its homeland during this patriotic war.  “When we say ‘our country’, we mean all of the inhabitants of Ukraine, regardless of their national, ethnic, church, or religious affiliation, or even if they live within the borders of Ukraine, or beyond them.  We feel that victory is a joint effort.  And in this national unity we sense a foretaste of victory,” emphasized the spiritual leader.   

His Beatitude Sviatoslav also brought attention to a unique event which took place in the Holy Land.  On March 21, 2022, through the initiative of the inter-religious and international “Eliach” Institute, an international, inter-religious, inter-church prayer for peace and victory for Ukraine took place in front of the Russian Orthodox church in Jerusalem.  Among the participants in this prayer service were the Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, as well as representatives of the Melkite and other Greco-Catholic churches, and Protestant, -- especially Anglican, communities, intellectuals, leading religious activists from the Jewish community, Islamic pundits and spiritual leaders.

“I am thankful that this prayer took place, and that a corresponding declaration was signed to stop the war in Ukraine.  Jerusalem and Kyiv have a spiritual relationship.  Kyiv was built as a New Jerusalem.  May this prayer and this movement against the war extend to other centers of religious and spiritual life throughout the world.  Let us pray together!  Let us pray in front of the Russian Orthodox cathedrals and churches of the world, for peace in Ukraine.  We will see that the Lord God will hear our prayers, and that this war will be stopped.  May the Lord God bless all of us!” concluded the Head of the UGCC.  

The UGCC Department of Information


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