All of us are sinners, even though only a small percentage of us are criminals, - His Beatitude Lubomyr about the Day of special pastoral care and prayer for prisoners.

Monday, 21 February 2011, 15:43
The Sunday of the Prodigal Son, which this year falls on February 20th, Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has defined as a day of special pastoral care and prayer for prisoners. Specially for this day His Beatitude Lubomyr wrote on January 14th 2011 a pastoral letter to clergy, laity of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to and to all people of goodwill.
The Sunday of the Prodigal Son, which this year falls on February 20th, Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has defined as a day of special pastoral care and prayer for prisoners. Specially for this day His Beatitude Lubomyr wrote on January 14th 2011 a pastoral letter to clergy, laity of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to and to all people of goodwill. “I would like to draw your attention to the fate of our compatriots who we try not to mention. Even if we do think about them, we do it in a not very benevolent way. I am referring to those men and women who are now serving sentences in prisons, or are being kept in detention confinement cells; in short, I speak of those who are imprisoned for committing a crime or suspected of wrongdoing. It is often said about these people: it is their fault, they have what they deserved.” – makes a preface to his letter the spiritual leader of the UGCC. According to His Beatitude Lubomyr, there is no country in the world - even among the most developed ones – where no crime is committed. Likewise, there is no person - even among those who want to keep all God’s commandments - who does not sin. “All of us are sinners, even though only a small percentage of us are criminals. Crime is an indisputable fact of our reality. However, we do not always understand and know how to treat it, how to treat criminals or how criminals themselves should consider the state of their souls,” – explicates the Major Archbishop-emeritus. “Even if these people are justly convicted because they made a big mistake, stepping on the wrong path, they are facing sufferings. They need our help, in the words of Jesus Christ - our compassion” – expounds His Beatitude Lubomyr. Thus, when we have an opportunity – let us visit them, especially when it is related to our relatives and friends. His Beatitude also highlights the importance of the prayer: “For all of them, without exception, we should lift up our prayers to God praying that the time when their freedom is limited would become an opportunity for them to reconsider their lives, to feel sorry for their wrongdoings and to make a firm decision not to repeat the same mistakes.” In addition, the spiritual leader of the UGCC invokes to remember in our prayers and support chaplains, clergy and volunteers “who work with great dedication to provide spiritual support for prisoners, helping them to step on the right path.” Let us not also forget about workers of the Penitentiary system of Ukraine “who perform difficult tasks, because every day they witness the sufferings of damaged human souls”.   Information Department of the UGCC
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