On September 2 at 11:30 the bishops of the Synod of the UGCC met with Holy Father Francis at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican (Sala del Concistoro). On behalf of the Synod of Bishops, the Blessed Svyatoslav, the Head and Father of the UGCC, addressed the Holy Father.
“Every time our bishops gather for synodal work, we are aware that our work, our reflections and pastoral ministry are carried out in full and visible unity with the Holy Father,” said His Beatitude to the Pope at the beginning of his speech.
“Usually our communion is expressed in the so-called” letters of communion, “said the Head of the UGCC,” but this time we are experiencing it in the context of a personal meeting, thus proving that this communion is not a dead letter, but a breath of the Holy Spirit, living and living. ; hearing the Word of the Father; the personal experience of the Pope’s parental concern for the Ukrainian Church. “
His Beatitude Sviatoslav introduced to Pope Francis the members of the Synod who “came from all over the world” and the guests who took part in the work of the Synod. He also thanked the Holy Father for the creation of an Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Italy.
Quoting the words of the Holy Father that “it is not enough to have a Synod, but to be a Synod,” which the Bishop of Rome said at a meeting with metropolitans and members of the Permanent Synod on July 5, His Beatitude said: “We came here for this.”
“Each bishop and our community members brought with them to Rome the pain and hope of the people of God entrusted to our pastoral care. We want to be a Synod not only during our working meetings, but also when we return to our communities! ”- said the Head of the UGCC.
This desire to “be a Synod” is blessed by His Beatitude Svyatoslav in “a synodal walk with the clergy, our faithful, men and women, children and youth, who live in different cultures and countries, speak different languages and belong to different peoples.”
“Walking together, however, as the Eastern Catholic Church of its own right, the Church is global, alive and open to all,” – said His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the theme of this year’s Synod: “Communion and unity in the life and testimony of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church today” .
The head of the UGCC assured Pope Francis that our Church is aware that “it is not enough to have a good and rich tradition that preserves the millennial memory of the Church of Kiev, the undivided Church of the first millennium in communion with the Roman Church. It is necessary to live this tradition in an authentic way and to be able to convey to modern man its essence, the heart of the Apostolic tradition is the possibility of a personal meeting with the living Christ, who through the action of the Holy Spirit is still present in the Church today and walks with us the paths of the modern world. “
His Beatitude Sviatoslav also assured the Holy Father that our Church throughout the world prays for him, supports him, listens to him and awaits his visit to Ukraine.
It is also worth noting that after the meeting with the Holy Father Pope Francis, members of the Synod of Bishops visited the altar of St. Basil the Great, which holds the relics of the Holy Martyr Josaphat Kuntsevich, Archbishop of Polotsk. There, the bishops jointly prayed “God, the Great One” for peace in Ukraine and the end of the war, which continues to continue and bring suffering to the Ukrainian people.
Photo by synod.ugcc.ua
Secretariat of the Head of the UGCC in Rome