We are now called to show the hope of the Ukrainian people, His Beatitude Sviatoslav in Stamford (USA)

Saturday, 11 August 2018, 14:04
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is now rapidly growing and developing, and also strives to respond to the challenges and needs of society. However, among the trials and numerous affairs, our Church can share good news with others as we have the power to stand against various misfortunes.
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This was emphasized by the Father and Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav in his speech on Thursday, August 9, during a fundraising dinner on the occasion of a pastoral visit to Stamford (Connecticut, USA). About 200 people came to this prominent event.

It is worth noting that this is the first visit of His Beatitude to Sviatoslav to Stamford as Head of the UGCC. Moreover, the visit of the Primate coincides with the 50th anniversary of the visit to this American city of Patriarch Josуph Slipyj.

"I want to congratulate Stamford Eparchy on the occasion of the 60th anniversary! Thank you to the Almighty for the fact that this diocese during its existence was a good support for each of the Bishops of our Church!"said His Beatitude Sviatoslav joyfully, and also expressed gratitude to Bishop Basil (Losten), Bishop Emeritus of Stamford Diocese, and Bishop Paul (Сhomniсky), the Eparch of Stamford, for their zeal and fruitful work.

In his turn, Bishop Basil (Losten) delivered a greeting, noting that the Head of the UGCC is "the voice and the face of our Church and people" in the international arena. This opinion was supported by the Ukrainian Consul in New York Denуs Semenovуch: "Your Beatitude, one of your speeches is worth the year of the work of diplomats." The words of greetings to the Primate were expressed by representatives of the priesthood, monasticism, various church and public organizations.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav decided to share some positive and good news from Ukraine with the audience. "The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church is now rapidly developing. We have not seen such a rapid development of our Church that we have over the past 5 years since the UGCC's coming out from the underground in the early 1990's. Now, apparently, there is not a single large city in Ukraine, where our church would not be built," said the Head of the Greek Catholics.

According to him, it is now very important for our Church to respond to the needs of society. That is why communities grow in Central, Eastern and Southern Ukraine. In these territories, the same processes that were in Halychyna in the early 1990s are taking place - people are becoming aware of who they are.

"If you want to see the future of our Church and the future of Ukraine, if you are considering where it is best to help the Church in Ukraine - think about the East of Ukraine, Kyiv and about our brothers and sisters who are there," said the Head of the UGCC, adding that we need time for growth and development, and we should ask our Heavenly Father for this.

In addition, His Beatitude Sviatoslav mentioned another important date in his speech. This year Ukraine celebrates the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Ukrainian statehood. Therefore, on this occasion, the Bishops in Ukraine issued the epistle (in Ukrainian and English), since now the Ukrainian statehood is in the same danger as one hundred years ago.

In the opinion of the Primate, a hybrid war is being conducted with information. If we let the enemies sow doubts in our hearts, then they will win. And later he added: "We, in particular, Ukrainian-Greek Catholics, are now called to show the light of hope to the Ukrainian people. Believe me, Ukraine has all the strength to withstand. We understand that nobody will come to defend our Motherland, except for ourselves," he said.

In addition, His Beatitude Sviatoslav mentioned another not less important moment and period for Ukraine - the upcoming elections. "In this difficult time we must pray for our state. This year we proclaimed the Year of Prayer for honest elections in 2019. Every Sunday and holiday we pray for this in all our monasteries and parishes ... I ask you to join us in such a prayer!" asked the Head of the UGCC. According to the Bishop, the spirit of prayer will help us to overcome the threats of populism, radicalization of society, paid votes and rallies, etc.

He did not avoid another extremely important moment for Ukraine - the attitude of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church towards a single local Orthodox Church in Ukraine. His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that the UGCC believes that this process is positive and supports it, but "we do not participate in it, because we are convinced that this is the internal affair of the Orthodox community... We are absolutely against the fact that any denomination in Ukraine should be interpreted as a state religion."

The Primate expressed sincere gratitude to everyone for praying for Ukraine and loving her because "it is a sign of victory."


Photo: Fr. Roman Malyarchuk


Department of Information of the UGCC


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