UGCC Head met with Lutsk Mayor and clergy of the Lutsk Exarchate

Wednesday, 27 March 2013, 15:35
As part of his visit to Volyn, on March 26th, UGCC Head His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) met with Mykola Romaniuk, Mayor of Lutsk. His Beatitude Sviatoslav began by expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to meet with the local administration – something essential for both sides.

As part of his visit to Volyn, on March 26th, UGCC Head His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) met with Mykola Romaniuk, Mayor of Lutsk. His Beatitude Sviatoslav began by expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to meet with the local administration – something essential for both sides.

“At first, I would like to express the respect of our faithful who reside here in the city of Lutsk.  According to our statistics, some 20% of Lutsk residents have Greek-Catholic roots.  Therefore, our Church has some history in this city.  Here are the remnants of the 14th century Basilian monastery and other churches,” he stated.

“We want to be with our people and to build brotherly relations with other confessions, especially those who consider themselves inheritors of the Kyiv Church.  We yearn for a unity of Churches in Ukraine.  Therefore, we seek all sorts of opportunities in which to serve the community.  Our Church considers itself a part of civil society; we do not partake in political battles.  We are with the people and our attempts are directed at educating people to become responsible, mature citizens.  In this way we would like to serve the community and society,” stated His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

He invited the city mayor to participate in the ceremonies taking place on August 17-18 in Kyiv, on the occasion of the blessing of UGCC Patriarchal Cathedral on Dnipro Left Bank, which will be attended by clergy from many countries, especially Canada and USA.   In summary, he expressed his hope for continued constructive meetings in order to together serve God, the country and the community and presented Mayor Romaniuk with a copy of the Buchach Gospel that was written in Lutsk.

“In different regions our Church had varied histories, as did our Ukrainian people.  And when our people lost their independence and the possibility of self-determination, then the Church also lost the same. Perhaps, the Church’s loss even preceded the general one. In no way do we aspire to be included in any political acts and we do not support some particular party; above all, we are with the people,” emphasized His Beatitude Sviatoslav in his conversation with the Lutsk mayor and added, “Our presence in all regions of Ukraine testifies to our pastoral responsibility towards our faithful.  However, in no way are we attempting to lure people from other Churches – an act worthy of condemnation.”

Also UGCC Head noted the great benefit of having a Council of Churches in the Volyn region, something which does not exist in any other region of Ukraine.   His Beatitude Sviatoslav considers this collaboration between Churches in the Volyn region as a worthy example for all Ukraine.

That same day, in the main church of Greek-Catholics in Volyn, a meeting of the exarchate clergy and His Beatitude Sviatoslav took place.  As part of the canonical visit, UGCC Primate focused on three issues: the development of the exarchate and parishes over the next decade; the UGCC strategy of development, “The Vibrant Parish – a place to encounter the living Christ”; a helpful tool for the Church and its parishes to develop and flourish, the catechism Christ is Our Easter.

After the initial greeting, the pastors of the exarchate shared with His Beatitude their perceptions of development and impediments.  At the conclusion, his Beatitude thanked all for their services and appealed for zealous work.  At 6 PM in St. Basil the Great Church in Lutsk, a meeting of youth with His Beatitude Sviatoslav took place, on which we will eventually report.

Photo courtesy of Lutsk City Council

UGCC Department of Information per materials from www.volynnews.com та www.lutsk.ua

 

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