The Head of the UGCC on the Solemnity of Pentecost: “Let us go to the East! Since the future of the UGCC and Ukraine is forged where there is war and people suffer”

Monday, 20 June 2016, 11:13
After the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, none of them remained in their place – the Church set out for the New Testament Exodus. Such is the face of the Church the Pope speaks about - when the Church goes out to the needs, cries, and sadness of people in the world because it is called to save it.

It is with these words that His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the UGCC, addressed the faithful on the Day of Pentecost in his homily, June 19, in Lviv’s Cathedral of St. Yuriy. On that day he led the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.  With the Head of the UGCC coserved Bishops of the Synod of the UGCC, the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti , the Roman Catholic Church Metropolitan of Lviv Archbishop Mechyslav Mokshytsky, and Bishops of the RCC in Ukraine.

The special participant of the Liturgy was Cardinal Secretary of State of the Holy See Pietro Parolin who is in Ukraine with the official visit these days.

The Head of the Church observed that the ancient St. Yuriy’s Cathedral for the UGCC is “a true Cenacle room where during centuries the power from heaven descended upon the Church, leading it and performing things which are impossible for the human power.”  Such Church in exodus was the UGCC led by Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky: “Under his guidance, our Church at the beginning of the XX century was small, having only three Episcopates. But led by the Holy Spirit, the Church went to Australia, Europe, and America. And today the UGCC is a Church of the global scale.”

According to the preacher, the Cathedral of St. Yuriy was “the Cenacle for the Church” also in the times of the Patriarch Josyf Slipyj: “Since another exodus began here – i.e. moving of the UGCC for tortures and sufferings to the East. It is from here that Slipyj with his episcopate and clergy went to give his testimony of God’s Word before the infidels of this world, spreading the power of grace of the Holy Spirit to Siberia, Kamchatka, and the Far East.” And now the UGCC has already 15 Episcopates being “the power and driving force of the social life in Ukraine”.

“Where else will the Holy Spirit lead us? The Pope himself shows us the route. This direction was also pointed to us by the Cardinal Pietro who began his visit from the East of Ukraine – Zaporizhzhia, in order to show that the future of the UGCC and Ukraine is forged where there is war and people are suffering. We are begging for peace so much now, but peace occurs not only due to the rounds of diplomacy but it is also a gift of the Holy Spirit. This Spirit bestows it on those who are open to accept His power and in His grace move forward. Let us move to the East where there is such a lack of faith, hope, and love”, called His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

“Brothers and sisters of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church who with great love shared with brothers from the Roman Catholic Church these days of my stay in Ukraine, I wish that under the move of the Holy Spirit you could receive renewed fruits of the blessing which was given to you exactly 15 years ago by St. John Paul II who was a pilgrim on this earth: “Through the intercession of all the Saints and Beati, who gained the crown of justice in this land of Ukraine, may God pour upon your wounds the oil of mercy and consolation, that you may be able to look with confidence to what awaits you, knowing in your hearts that you are the children of a Father who loves you tenderly”, - said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, State Secretary of Vatican, at the end of the festive Liturgy.

In his word the State Secretary of the Holy See told about the purpose of his visit to Ukraine: “I came to you first of all to meet with those who have suffered from the violence of war, embrace them on Pope’s behalf and bring them particular help of the mercy of the Church.”



Photo: Valentyna Yevtushok

The UGCC Department of Information



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