Today in the Vatican, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI met with Patriarch Sviatoslav in his residence at Mater Ecclesiae Monastery. During the conversation with the Pope Emeritus, the Head of the UGCC told him about the situation in Ukraine and presented his Italian book “Tell me the truth”.
At the beginning of the conversation, His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked Pope Benedict XVI for his support of Ukraine and the UGCC during his pontificate. The Holy Father immediately touched the theme of the war in Ukraine, calling it a “great tragedy” for Europe. He assured the Head of the UGCC on daily prayers for peace in Ukraine, pointing out the need to make every effort to prevent the wartime events from happening again. The Head of the UGCC noted that Ukraine is “the eastern gate of Europe, so if these gates can not withstand Russian aggression, other European countries will be its victims.”
Pope Benedict also was interested in the life and development of the UGCC in Ukraine and in the diaspora. In this context, His Beatitude Sviatoslav mentioned the bright figure of Patriarch Lubomyr, “whose day of birth today is commemorated in Ukraine.” His Holiness called him “a man of great wisdom,” and His Beatitude Sviatoslav pointed to the nation-wide dimension of the moral authority of the deceased.
During the conversation, His Beatitude Sviatoslav told the Pope Emeritus about the contemporary religious situation in Ukraine and described the role of the UGCC in the ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. At the end of the meeting, the Head of the UGCC presented him with his “Tell me the truth” book, which was recently published in Italy in a publishing house that has the right to release the books of Pope Benedict XVI. During the conversation, Pope Benedict XVI repeatedly emphasized that he was praying for peace in Ukraine and assured that he would continue to “accompany the Ukrainian people with his prayers.” On parting, the Pope presented the Head of the UGCC with a commemorative medal issued in honor of his papal ministry.
Secretariat of the Head of the UGCC in Rome