Young people should feel from the Church not condemnation, but understanding, His Beatitude Sviatoslav to youth leaders and pastors

Monday, 11 June 2018, 12:21
There are very few laymen and pastors who are ready to accompany the young person. After all, we can write a lot of texts, think out a strategy, but take responsibility for somebody else, stand next and come along with her all her life - is really difficult.
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This was emphasized by the Father and Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav on Saturday, June 9, during a meeting of the heads of youth commissions of the Roman and Greek Catholic Churches and youth leaders within the framework of the First All-Ukrainian Forum of Youth and Pastoral Leaders of the Catholic Church in Lviv.

"I want to thank you for the fact that such a forum is currently taking place. I think it is incredibly important that it is conducted in conjunction with the RCC, that we are trying to be and think together. I hope we will work together. I came to this meeting not only to speak, but to listen. We know that this year the Catholic Church is preparing for the Synod of Bishops and trying to listen to the youth," said the UGCC Primate, who said that he always tries to meet with the youth and hear them.

"If we talk about the serious challenges that our young people are facing, this is emigration. This is a big challenge! It is worth talking about two forms of emigration: internal and external. Internal emigration consists in the fact that many people "move" within our state ... There is a strong internal migration, which is connected with education, war and work. What is the problem with internal migration? Always someone is "lost" on the way. If someone was an active member of the parish, of the youth movement, when going to study in a neighboring city, "is lost" ... And it is quite obvious that external emigration is when a person travels abroad. In this case, I believe that the number of people who are "lost" along the way is much bigger," believes the Head of the Church.

He noticed that the Ukrainian youth do not escape from the Church. Due to certain circumstances, they move within their country or to other countries, but at the same time they need the Church. They need someone to be interested in them, to accompany them so that everyone knows about them and pays attention to them. Young people need to be together with the Church, with each other.

According to the Head of the UGCC, young people are increasingly learning to pray on pilgrimages, and increasingly less often in families," so that pilgrimages and folk piety become almost the main element of passing down the faith." He also added that young people are keen on live communication, so they need someone to meet with them.

"Our UGCC Commission on Youth Affairs is focused on the internal affairs of Ukraine. However, Ukrainian youth is becoming the youth which belongs to the world, because they are constantly moving. Someone says that there is a pendulum migration, so we have to learn to think in the universal categories," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

"We live on the verge of forming a new global culture. They say that young people (peers) in different parts of the world (for example, Ukraine and Brazil) are more like each other than the culture in which parents and children live in the same country. There are already these "cultural gaps" that reinforce the "gaps of generations," which sometimes exist in families. Therefore, how to communicate, how to answer the question of how to create a dialogue, how and where to go with this youth, what methods of pastoral guidance to use, is a question that we need to find the right answer to," said the Head of the Church.

In addition, he noticed that being young in the Catholic Church is rather difficult. "Young people are afraid that they will be berated because they are young. After all, when the youth comes to the temple, there is a bunch of experts from the last century who will tell them on which knee to kneel and how to live. Instead, there is another message of the Church for youth, which can be absolutely revolutionary: if the youth are wrong, no one will condemn it. I think that’s what the youth really needs," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The Bishop added that we should rethink the appeal of Pope Francis for mercy. We must try to be merciful. Young people should not feel condemnation from the Church, but understanding and mercy. That is why pastors must be with the youth, accompany them in everything.

Bishop Edward Cava, Assistant Bishop of the Lviv Archdiocese of the RCC in Ukraine, met with the youth leaders. "This meeting is a very very positive fruit of cooperation," said Bishop Edward. - And it is very important. I hope that this is the beginning of good cooperation in the context of the pastoral guidance between the UGCC and the RCC in Ukraine."


 Department of Information of the UGCC

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