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“Our Priests Were Previously Tormented by Communists, Now by Ruscists”, Says Head of the UGCC on the 124th Week of War

July 2, 2024, 12:13 122

The freed monks of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer indeed continue the legacy of Bishop Mykola Charnetsky and the heroes of our underground Church, who were tormented by those who were once communists and are now ruscists. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, spoke on the 124th week of the great full-scale war, a war that has brought much misery, grief, suffering, blood, and tears to our long-suffering Ukraine.

“Our Priests Were Previously Tormented by Communists, Now by Ruscists”, Says Head of the UGCC on the 124th Week of War

The Head of the UGCC highlighted a special event and joy shared last week. Alongside nearly 90 prisoners of war, we finally managed to secure the release of our confessors of faith, the passionate martyrs, hieromonks of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Father Ivan Levytsky and Father Bohdan Geleta, from Russian custody.

“The emotions that overwhelm us when we look into the faces of these heroes can be expressed in the words of the Ukrainian poet Oleksandr Oles: ‘Joy embraced with sorrow…’. Joy because our heroes are alive, and sorrow because of the pain we feel when we see what the Russian torturers did to them while in that horrible prison,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The Head of the UGCC mentioned that he had a telephone conversation with the priests. It was agreed that after all the necessary procedures and rules set by the state are completed, a solemn meeting will occur. During the conversation, Father Bohdan thanked everyone for their prayers, noting: “In that isolation, I felt that my Church was praying for me.”


The Head of the UGCC expressed gratitude to all those who did everything possible to make this long-awaited moment come: “On my own behalf and on behalf of our entire Church, I express my gratitude to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who personally participated in the release of our Redemptorist Fathers Bohdan and Ivan. Despite great obstacles, as their imprisonment lasted for more than a year and a half, the efforts of Vatican diplomacy were successful.”

The UGCC Department for Information
photo by the Presidential Office of Ukraine

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