The Head of the UGCC on Day 44 of the war: In Bucha, I understood what it means to love your neighbour

Friday, 08 April 2022, 22:40
To love one’s neighbor means to become aware of your humanity, to experience it, and to express it. Therefore, every Christian, -- whether they are German, Italian, or Australian, -- on seeing the atrocities perpetrated by the occupiers in Bucha, says today: I am a Ukrainian, feeling united with the human race, with those innocent victims. Such were the thoughts of His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, expressed in his daily address on the 44th day of the war.

The Primate stated that yesterday, on the Feast of the Annunciation (Julian Calendar), he had the opportunity to visit the tragically infamous town of Bucha, which is like an open wound in the body of Ukraine, and there, standing over an open mass grave and seeing mutilated breathless bodies, prayed for their eternal rest.

“During that prayer I asked myself, I asked God, ‘God, what does it mean to love You and love one’s neighbour?’ Standing at this mass grave, seeing the lifeless arms of our murdered brothers and sisters, I realized an important thing. To love one's neighbor means to be bound together with them - to feel that we are human, belonging to the same human race,” said the Head of the UGCC.

“And there,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav added, “where he or she lies resting in the mass grave, I can rest there as well. We have a common vocation, a common fate. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we belong to the same human race.”

According to him, the reason that the occupier is waging war, is to put you and me into that mass grave tomorrow.

“But let us love God,” the spiritual leader continues, “Who is the source of life, not death. We ask our loving God that we may truly feel our oneness with our brothers and sisters, even to learn to love our enemies. And to love the enemy means to stop his murderous hand, to take away his weapons, not to give him the opportunity to kill. Let us ask, that in the circumstances of hatred and murder, we know how to love God and our neighbor, and remain human.”

As we have reported, on April 7, His Beatitude Sviatoslav visited Irpin, Bucha and Hostomel, towns recently liberated from Russian occupation. In Irpin, the Primate visited the UGCC Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in Bucha, over one of the mass graves, he prayed a panakhyda memorial service for the innocent Ukrainians killed by the occupiers. 

UGCC Department of Information 


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