“My main message could be expressed in the words of the Resurrected Jesus Christ: Peace to you!” UGCC Church Head on the eve of his visit to Poland

Monday, 24 June 2013, 16:48
During June 26-30, the Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) will be paying an official visit to the Republic of Poland (RP). In particular, on June 27th, UGCC Primate will participate in the Panakhyda [Requiem Service] commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Volyn tragedy, at which there will also be present Archbishop Józef Kowalczyk, Polish Primate, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, Metropolitan of Warsaw, and Bronislav Komorovsky, the President of Poland. After the service, UGCC Head will have a personal visit with the President of Poland.

During June 26-30, the Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) will be paying an official visit to the Republic of Poland (RP). In particular, on June 27th, UGCC Primate will participate in the Panakhyda [Requiem Service] commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Volyn tragedy, at which there will also be present Archbishop Józef  Kowalczyk, Polish Primate, Cardinal Kazimierz  Nycz,  Metropolitan of Warsaw,  and Bronislav Komorovsky, the President of Poland.  After the service, UGCC Head will have a personal visit with the President of Poland.

On the following day, June 27th, the Major Archbishop will have an official visit with the Marshal of the Sejm, Ewa Kopacz, and a separate meeting with Bogdan Borusewicz, Marshal of the Eighth Term Senate.

On the eve of the trip, UGCC Head informed the Polish media that at first the visit was planned “a strictly pastoral one” in order to visit our faithful to the south of the Peremyshl- Warsaw Archeparchy, on the occasion of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Ukraine-Rus. “However due to circumstances  (the 70th anniversary of the Volyn tragedy) and new accents in the issue of Polish-Ukrainian relations, our visit has taken on a new character.  It has the status of a state visit from the Polish side.  During this visit I will for the first time meet the President of Poland, the Marshal of Sejm, and the Marshal of the Senate.  “My main message could be expressed in the words of the Resurrected Jesus Christ: Peace to you!” stated the Father and Head of Greek-Catholics.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav intends “to place the Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation on a totally new plateau.”  “This issue is expressed in simple words, first written by the Polish bishops to the bishopric of Germany, immediately after the end of World War II: we forgive and ask for forgiveness,” noted UGCC Primate.

“We do not command our history.  It is complicated.  Today, we should be mature enough – both from the Ukrainian and the Polish sides – in order to have the strength to look into the future.  In contrast to the past, we are empowered to shape our future. I am convinced that we – Poles and Ukrainians – two brotherly European nations are called upon to together build our European future,” he said.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav believes that if we approach the issue of the Volyn tragedy “simply humanly” then we will always end up “in a blind corner.”  “Because, in human terms, when the victim today cannot express one’s forgiveness, then that forgiveness no longer exists, that is, no one can speak in that victim’s name.  Thus, we delve into despair, because it means that forgiveness as such is not possible.  However, from the Christian viewpoint, we have a totally different paradigm, because both the victims and their offenders were Christians – members of the Church of the Body of Christ.  The Church can and should be today their voice…  Only a Christian has the ability and strength to forgive.  Undoubtedly, the Church should today become an example both for the politicians and the extreme nationalists or chauvinists who find it difficult to say to their enemies “I forgive and I love.”  Wounds still exist.  And we cannot expect that their healing will come from the political field -- it can only from that which we call Christian forgiveness,” convincingly states UGCC Head.

UGCC Primate will be accompanied on his visit to Poland by four metropolitans:  Ivan (Martyniak), Peremyshl-Warsaw Metropolitan; Ihor (Vozniak), Lviv Archbishop and Metropolitan; Volodymyr Viytyshyn, Ivano-Frankivsk Archbishop and Metropolitan; Vasyl (Semeniuk), Ternopil-Zboriv Archbishop and Metropolitan.

UGCC Department of Information

 

PUBLICATIONS

Tragedy confronts our thoughts as to the value of life05 October

The recent tragic loss of life and well-being in Las Vegas and from the terrorism act in Edmonton, Canada, preceded by the loss of life and major...

MEDIA
Prev Next