Head of the UGCC in Zarvanytsia: The Russian war in Ukraine is an absolute war crime, but Ukrainians will never come back to living in graves

Sunday, 17 July 2022, 22:07
The whole world is asking what the reason for this war is. Today the Gospel gives a precise answer: just as the presence of Christ is torment for the devil, so the freedom of Ukraine is torment for other peoples who live in slavery. This was said by the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church His Beatitude Sviatoslav during the prayer to the miraculous icon of Zarvanytsia.

“Free Ukraine is torment for all those who, first of all, want to enslave their people, to put shackles on them. If Ukraine is free, then other nations of the former Soviet Union must be free as well,” the preacher notes.

The Primate noted that many people repeated time and again that the struggle we are waging against our enemy today possesses a spiritual dimension.

“It is a spiritual struggle, an invisible struggle between good and evil. But this phrase is not a beautiful metaphor. We see that God is calling us to freedom. And he gives it to us in the same way that he gave freedom to the Church and the people when he broke the prison of the nations – the Soviet Union and all those who were in slavery, in the shackles of that communist ideology, called to a free life worthy of human dignity, called us to freedom.”

His Beatitude Sviatoslav said that at our Synod, which ended literally the day before yesterday, our bishops unanimously felt that in those terrible months of war, the Lord somehow touched Ukraine in a special way. And Ukraine is becoming the hotbed of world, global changes not only in military and political terms, but also changes in the world order, world law, restructuring all international institutions, changes in the economy, even changes in church economic relations.

The Head of the Church believes that it happened only because, Ukrainians said: we will never be slaves again, since we are responding to the call to freedom of our Savior. We want to be free people.

Today we hear in the Gospel that Christ liberates. “And we cannot be half human, nor can we be half free, because freedom is rooted in human nature. We see that wherever Russian weapons reach, blood is shed, innocent people are killed there. Therefore, this war turns into a full-fledged war crime. But Ukrainians will never come back to living in graves,” the spiritual leader emphasizes.

The Head of the UGCC said that Archbishop of Vilnius Gintaras Grušas, who is today the president of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences, came to the Synod with an important visit, and he recalled an inscription that Lithuanians engraved on a memorial bell, which was supposed to commemorate the victims of communist repressions in Lithuania. There were the following words: “He who is not ready to fight for freedom is unworthy of being free.”

“Today we have come to pray for the victory of Ukraine, for the victory that will be the liberation of our land, the liberation of every person from the power of the possession of an evil spirit. We sacrifice everything so that our people will never turn to slavery again,” said the spiritual leader before miraculous icon of Mother of God of Zarvanytsia.

The UGCC Department for Information


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