The Holy Father invites the Metropolitans of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Permanent Synod to a meeting to be held in Rome on July 5 and 6, 2019. His Beatitude Sviatoslav spoke of what preceded this agreement, as well as expectations from the forthcoming meeting.
According to the Head of the UGCC, since the Ukrainian Orthodox Church began new processes, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has been under a very powerful attack on the part of Russia. The reproaches were that the UGCC acted deliberately to separate Orthodox Ukraine from the Russian Orthodox Church and, consequently, to bring it to the Uniate church.
“I asked the Holy Father that we need him for support. Therefore, Pope Francis will convene a meeting in order to show on the part of the Vatican that there is no condemnation of the UGCC. Such a meeting has three objectives: support, consolidation, and development,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
He noted that now it is probably difficult to find in Ukraine a community that would explain to the Orthodox the purpose of the Pope’s ministry, as our Church does. “I wrote a separate epistle “Our Saint Sophia” to explain in the context of the unifying movements in Orthodoxy who we are as Greek Catholics, what our identity is. We also translated the message into English,” said the Head of the UGCC.
The spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics is convinced that a meeting with the Holy Father is a unique chance for the development of our Church, and is also a good news for Ukraine.
“We have always been paying attention that people often talk about us, but without us. I hope this meeting will put an end to this. Why? We are invited specially to speak to us about us. To speak in modern new realities (in particular, social, political and economic) in order to work out with us a strategy and vision of the Apostolic Capital in relation to Ukraine,” noted the Head of the UGCC. “It seems to me that the Holy Father and his collaborators understand more and more that the key to understanding the social and church processes in Ukraine, is the UGCC.”
His Beatitude Sviatoslav said that it was too early to talk about what the next steps would be. “However, we hope that this highest level of attention to our Church, which is now manifested, will have its good consequences,” stressed the Head of the UGCC.
As we reported, on May 4, it was reported that His Holiness Pope Francis invited the Father and the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, members of the Permanent Synod, and the Metropolitans of the UGCC, to hold a joint working meeting with him and the Vatican Curia.
In the official communique of the Roman Curia it is said: “In the delicate and difficult situation in which Ukraine is now, the Holy Father Francis decided to invite the Supreme Archbishop, members of the Permanent Synod and Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to Rome on July 5-6, 2019.
The meeting will also be attended by the heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia.
With this meeting, the Holy Father wants to show the sign of his proximity to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which carries pastoral ministry both in the Motherland and in different parts of the world.”
The UGCC Department for information