The Head of the UGCC: “Churches and religious organizations must play the main role in reconciliation in Ukraine”

Wednesday, 22 April 2015, 09:03
The Head and Father of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav stressed on it, speaking at the international conference in Kyiv “Reconciliation in Ukraine and the future of Europe”, organized by Ukrainian Catholic University, held on 21st of April.

The Main Archbishop of the UGCC pointed out that today it can be traced the tendency of lowering the voice of Churches due to the social processes. Up to his mind, it is connected with some newest seductions and difficulties of the religious surroundings in Ukraine, especially considering the matter of the reconciliation.

“Primarily, it is caused by a seduction to concentrate exactly on yourself and your inner points, as a real danger to the religious peace in our Ukraine really exists. Yesterday our opponents could not divide Ukraine by language characteristics so now they are trying to do this on the religious basement”-, - told His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The speaker also paid attention to the fact of a clearly seen seduction of populism in the Ukrainian society. “The language of aggression is more popular than language of a pacific person and callings for the reconciliation. The one, who is aggressive and does not attack his opponents, often seems to be weak, not colorful and everything he does or says does not make news and does not have a social resonance”, - pointed out the Head of the UGCC and added: - Today the Church leaders do not always dare to speak about love for the enemies and forgiveness. Reconciliation sermon is not popular today. If clerical leaders don’t rise the prophetic voice in this field, they will not accomplish their mission, given from God till the end.”

The third seduction for Churches that causes the lowering of their voice, - it is a tendency to drift from social discourse and dialogue with a society, being completely concentrated on a pastoral service, in particular helping concrete people in the context of a humanitarian catastrophe, caused by military actions.

“These challenges often exceed a real opportunities of Churches to help people in need and those who suffered, absorbing their attention and efforts to such an extent that many decide rather to act more than to talk, affirming God’s love and reconciliation with the acts of sacrifice and serving a fellow”, explained His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

He mentioned that UGCC frequently was not popular with things it had been doing and teaching, being faithful to its Christian testimony. “We are not afraid to be unpopular. But if the media does not support us, it doesn’t mean we are silent”, - said the leader of the Greek-catholics.

The main Archbishop reminded that this year is passing the tenth year of a memorable reconciliation between the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and Roman Catholic Church of Poland and it had a great significance for Ukrainian-Polish reconciliation. “Thus, in cases of the reconciliation our Church has an experience. I promise you that, from our side, we will be working diligently upon it. We have not an easy tasks in front of us”, - thinks His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The Father and Head of the UGCC noted that socializing with people, talking to their consciousness about the reconciliation, he saw several serious problems. Someone, by his words, thinks, when we are speaking about the reconciliation, we deny a struggle, active struggle against the aggression. Another one thinks while we are speaking about the reconciliation, we appear to be a weak side, as though the reconciliation means the readiness to put up with an evil, to agree with an injustice from the aggressor’s side. On the other hand someone thinks that to reconcile is possible only after the end of war, as we will know a winner of it.

“I think we cannot agree with any of these thoughts. Thus, it is impossible to start a process of reconciliation, forgetting the truth, losing own historical memory. As said st. John Paul II, healing and clearing of memory is important. We are called for discovering the truth as it exists. We need to acknowledge even a painful truth in order to search for ways of reconciling a man with God. A word of forgiveness, especially in modern circumstances, is a word of what is humanly impossible. But what is impossible for human beings is possible for God and only a reliance on Him, a power of His grace and of our faith in Him give us hope for a healing God’s love what is a source of our reconciliation”, - accented the Head of the Church.

Department of Information UGCC



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