Healing hearts, not ideas: His Beatitude Sviatoslav opens conference “Together Through the Hardships of War”

April 17, 2024, 16:08 33

On April 17, the International Ecumenical Conference “Together through the hardships of war: the experience of post-Holodomor countries and Ukraine” commenced in Lviv. The conference was opened by the Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

Healing hearts, not ideas: His Beatitude Sviatoslav opens conference “Together Through the Hardships of War”

“War is always a tragedy and a crime, more so when someone wages it under the name of God. Then this war turns into blasphemy,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav in his opening remarks. He noted that the experience of war and the healing of wounds are always life-giving. Therefore, he thanked the organizers of the conference, the UGCC Commission on Interfaith and Interreligious Relations, along with the Ukrainian Catholic University, in particular the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, and all the participants who will share their experiences.

“We believe in the victory not only over the Russian aggressor, but over the war itself, over the causes that brought this war to the post-Soviet space,” said the Patriarch. He also added that the Churches of Ukraine, like those of the Balkan countries, will have a special mission to heal the wounds of war. And healing the wounds of war is impossible without Christian understanding.

“We understand that our task is to heal hearts, not just ideas. As Christians, we believe this process is impossible without the power and grace of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the divine force of love that eradicates hatred,” said the Primate. He then recounted how the world paused before the threat of global conflict after Iran’s attack on Israel.

“With the power of the grace of the Holy Spirit, let us do everything to prevent this,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav called. He added: “May the Lord God bless us, may this conference bear decent fruit, may the suffering stop, and may peace and grace have the last and most important word among us today.”

The UGCC Department for Information

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