"All the activities of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi - is increasing the public good" - Fr. Bogdan Prakh

Sunday, 09 November 2014, 21:01
On the 70th anniversary of the death of the great religious figure - Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Andrey Sheptitskyi, Rector Fr.Bogdan Prakh shares his impressions of the meeting with the visible fruits of his labor.

When I first visited the museum of Oleksa Novakivskyi, this was in 1988, I got the visual proof that without the sacrifice of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi, the modern Ukrainian culture would not be complete. Many talents would not have been able to show themselves. Andrey Sheptytskyi had a great gift - to see God's spark, open talents, convert people to God. Metropolitan Sheptytskyi had seen in people gifts of the Holy Spirit, he never used them, did not manipulate them ... I guess that in this he was different from our contemporaries who want to get rich on someone else's talent.

The world is constantly balancing on the brink of survival. In this struggle the values very quickly become comercial, so - worthless. Metropolitan Sheptytskyi had seen in people gifts of the Holy Spirit, he never used them, did not manipulate them, and in virtue of his capabilities developed these talents. Perhaps in this he differed from our contemporaries who want to get rich on someone else's talent. Metropolitan Andrey bought the premises, organized expeditions to remote Galician villages - because he did not care about his own benefit but for the development of the Ukrainian culture and education of the people.

It seems to me that the Metropolitan was looking at earthly things in terms of God's laws, God's Kingdom, unearthly future. I think that he showed us how we should react to the challenges of today.

Today many people are astonished by the Metropolitan's approach to his matters. It seems that he did not have even thought that  he can do something for himself. All his activities - is increasing the public good, upbringing in Ukrainians love for beauty. Thanks to his perseverance we have National Museum in Lviv, dozens of collections of icons from virtually all the corners of Ukraine.

He thought not only about the Polish-Ukrainian but Ukrainian-Ukrainian reconciliation.

Many people ask themselves why he did it? I tend to think that at the end of World War Andrey Sheptytskyi  came to understand that only the Greek Catholic Church is a force that protects Ukrainian, and he, consequently, is the highest authority that can alleviate the plight of his people. The proof is the fact that the Metropolitan organized meetings with several leaders of the Entente, defended the autonomy of Galicia, had trips to the US, France, for which, in fact, he was interned by the Polish authorities and could not return to Lviv.

The protecting by Metropolitan the Orthodox churches in Kholmshchyna (Chełm Land) shows that he acted not as a religious (in ancient times these churches belonged to the Greek Catholic parishes), but rather as a political figure who protects the interests of the Ukrainian people. He thought not only about the Polish-Ukrainian but Ukrainian-Ukrainian reconciliation.

Metropolitan Andrey knew and understood the reality in which he lived. He understood that Ukrainians would not forgive the Poles the arson of their churches, they would take revenge and kill, do other political crimes, and he, as a good shepherd, could not allow his children to shed their blood.

I hope that by the end of this year, which our church has proclaimed the Year of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi, the Holy See will enlist him to the blessed.

Fr. Bogdan Prakh,

rector of UCU

 

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