Address of His Beatitude Sviatoslav to UGCC faithful and all people of good will on the Day of Unity of UkraineWednesday, 22 January 2014, 12:01 Reverend and Excellencies! Reverend and venerable fathers; Dear in Christ, brothers and sisters!
- The Head of the UGCC in Stradch: “Don’t be afraid to be holy since only then we will be able to perform all other tasks of life”
- The Head of the UGCC congratulated the first graduates from Kyiv Three Holy Hierarchs Spiritual Seminary
- His Beatitude Sviatoslav on behalf of the 300th anniversary of Zhytomyr Union: “Even within the UGCC the history of Union Church outside Galicia is little known”
The Feast of Reunion of Ukraine is the celebration of the everlasting desire of a single Ukrainian nation, which was devided by various empires, and its unity was realized and protected in one independent Ukrainian state.
State Reunion reflects the democratic nature of the soul of the Ukrainian people - cultural, spiritual and civilization unity of heirs of the Old Rus Kievan state. This unity, which was transfigured and stated 1025 years ago with the baptism by Prince Volodymyr, gave spiritual Ukrainian people distinctly European identity.
This identity was expressed in the spiritual accomplishment of our first martyrs Borys and Glib, who sealed Christian renunciation of violence committed by their brother by the cost of their lives , and said the holy "no" to violence as a means of nation-building.
European identity of the people is reflected in the respect of other nations, religions and cultures, whose crossroads became ancient Kyiv – the mother of the cities of Rus. Kyiv as the "city of peace of Christ" is the spiritual core of the ancient nation which for centuries was able to peacefully coexist with people of different nationalities who lived here for centuries in harmony.
Unity of independent Ukraine - a catholicity of society's ability to honor the dignity of every person living today in our country. We pray that today holiday of Reunion will pave the road to unity, dialogue and understanding between the government and people of different political forces and civil society organizations.
Unity of religious life in Ukraine is the confession of one God and the moral law given by him . His only law is the foundation of all cathedral legality in our country. Having made man a free person in His own image and likeness, the Creator has given him inalienable and universal rights and freedoms that nobody has any right to take away or deny. State laws should respect them and serve their implementation.
God granted to people reunity should elevate us beyond the facts that can now divide our society. Maybe the celebration of Reunion will help us update the everlasting quest for unity in the name of modern manifestations of a single principle of national being - cultural, civilizational and spiritual unity of Ukrainians as a European nation.
This year's celebration of Reunion of Ukraine overshadowed by tensions and escalating violence in our nation's capital - Kyiv. We observe with concern how long peaceful protests, not heard by the authorities, turned into a wave of violence and bloodshed.
In order to preserve a united Ukraine, for the sake of its future I call on the authorities to concider the demands of its people, stop speak to the people the language of force and the use of repressive mechanisms!
I appeal to the civil society and all political leaders to renounce violence and return to the path of peaceful resistance. Do not let emotions, even justified, overshadow our bright mind and deprived us of the opportunity to start a dialogue!
I appeal to our episcopate and clergy especially watch over the souls of the flock entrusted to you. Let’s speak to the hearts and minds of our faithful gospel of Christ Peace! The Lord told us: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, I give it to you. Let your heart be nor troubled, neither terrified "(Iv. 14, 27). Apostle Pavlo reminds us today saying, "Preach the word, insist on time and out of season, rebuke, threaten, warn with all longsuffering and doctrine" (II Tim. 4, 2).
Let the pray for peace and God's blessing for our nation be constantly heard on this day and in this historical moment in all our churches, religious communities and Christian families! Let the celebration of Reunion become a holiday of united prayer for Ukraine!
"Let the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you become abound in hope of the power of the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 15, 13).
The blessing of the Lord be upon you!
Given in Kyiv
at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ
January 20, 2014, the day of the Cathedral of St. Ivan the Baptist
I authorize all the pastors on Ukraine's Unity Day, January 22, 2014, to serve Divine Liturgy for the Ukrainian people and for their unified state and read this appeal.
Murder of Pavlo Sheremet caused me to ask His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Head of the UGCC, who is a doctor of moral theology, several questions...