President of Ukraine expressed gratitude to the bishops of the UGCC and OCU for supporting Ukrainians at the front line and on the home front

May 10, 2024, 14:58 51

Given the occasion of Easter, President Volodymyr Zelensky met with representatives of the bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The meeting took place in the Metropolitan Chambers of St. Sophia of Kyiv. To mark the event, the UGCC bishops performed an Easter prayer service with the song “Christ is Risen” in St. Sophia Cathedral.

President of Ukraine expressed gratitude to the bishops of the UGCC and OCU for supporting Ukrainians at the front line and on the home front

Volodymyr Zelensky extended Easter greetings to everyone and expressed gratitude for their prayers and concrete actions in support of Ukrainians. This was reported by the official website of the President of Ukraine.

“We live, fight, win, and lose every day. Therefore, I would like to congratulate you on the day that Ukrainians are eagerly awaiting, a day that embodies a heartwarming moment. Unfortunately, there are not many of these moments in life. Easter is celebrated in different ways, but it is celebrated on the front lines, in cities, and along the borders,” the President noted.

The meeting was attended by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father and Head of the UGCC, Rev. Vasyl Tuchapets, Exarch of Kharkiv, Rev. Mykhailo Bubniy, Exarch of Odesa, Rev. Yosyf Milan, Auxiliary Bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy, and Rev. Andriy Khimyak, Auxiliary Bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy and Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC.

In his speech, His Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasized that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has always been and will remain a Church involved in the process of state-building, rather than being a Church controlled by the state. This has been the case throughout history, and it remains so during Russia’s war against Ukraine.

The Head of the UGCC noted that God is present in times of war, especially when people suffer the most. Similarly, during these years of war, the UGCC stands with those facing the greatest difficulties. Primarily, it stands with the military, providing support through its military chaplains. These chaplains have been with the soldiers on the front lines since 2014, almost immediately after the events of the Maidan.

Another area of ministry is the humanitarian front. His Beatitude presented multi-level activities in this field, ranging from the central structures of the Church to serving the needy in parishes. Additionally, programs and projects aimed at healing the wounds of war are being implemented. The fourth area is the Church’s advocacy work in the world to spread the truth about the war and pastoral support for Ukrainians who have been forced to leave Ukraine.

“Today, the UGCC has been officially banned in the occupied territories. Our priests are imprisoned, and there are severe persecutions, much worse than during Stalin’s time, because the tools of control over people are now much more effective,” emphasized the Head of the UGCC.

The participants of the meeting also discussed the promotion of the Ukrainian Peace Formula among representatives of the religious community, the expansion of the work of chaplains, and methods to counter the narratives promoted by Russian propaganda.

At the end of the meeting, His Beatitude Sviatoslav presented the President with the book “Ukraine Stands! Ukraine Fights! Ukraine Prays!”, which has just been published by Komora Publishing House. The book includes daily addresses of the Head of the UGCC, recorded in video format every day for a year since the outbreak of full-scale war. American historian Timothy Snyder wrote the afterword for the book, and the foreword was written by writer Oksana Zabuzhko. Metropolitan Epifaniy, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, who also participated in the meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky, received a copy as a gift.

The UGCC Department for Information

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