UGCC Synod Results Announced at Press Conference

September 16, 2023, 15:33 355

On September 14, concluding the work of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, which was held in Rome from September 3 to 13, 2023, a press conference was hosted by the Ukrainian Pontifical College. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head and Father of the UGCC, and Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Metropolitan of the UGCC Metropolia of Philadelphia, spoke to representatives of international media accredited to the Holy See.

UGCC Synod Results Announced at Press Conference

His Beatitude Sviatoslav spoke to the media about the ten working days of the Synod of Bishops in Rome, in particular about the main pastoral task of the Church — “healing wounds in the conditions of war.” “As a Church, we understand that the preservation of our nation depends not only on military or political support but also on our ability to overcome the trauma of war. Each of us traumatized by the war: bishops, priests, monks, so we must also learn to accompany people in a new way in our pastoral ministry.”

Commenting on the meeting of the UGCC bishops with the Holy Father Francis, His Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasized: “We have had an important meeting with Pope Francis. Two hours of fraternal, open, frank, and honest dialog. His Holiness moved the meeting with us forward by an hour precisely to allow our bishops to express their concerns.”

The Head of the UGCC said: “The Pope listened to us attentively and said: ‘Perhaps there is uncertainty about the Pope’s stance, which has caused distress among Ukrainians, but I want to assure you that I stand with you.’ Now our task is to convey these words of the Pope to our faithful.”

In the context of the discussion regarding the role of the Holy See in prisoner releases, special attention was paid to the release of two Redemptorist priests arrested by the occupation authorities in Berdiansk. His Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasized: “We are searching for all possible means to at least inquire about their fate. We have appealed to numerous international organizations to help expedite their release.”

His Beatitude Sviatoslav also pointed out the importance of the mission of Cardinal Zuppi, who recently paid a visit to Beijing. “China is one of the main geopolitical players that has always declared its determination to cooperate for peace,” said the Head of the UGCC. “Now Cardinal Zuppi is in China after visits to Kyiv, Moscow, and Washington. It is clear evidence that the Pope has not resigned himself to the war. The Holy See and the Holy Father are not unconcerned about what is happening in our country and are looking for every opportunity to put an end to this senseless and God-killing war.”

Archbishop Borys Gudziak also mentioned that almost 30 years ago, Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons, “making not only a political but also an evangelical gesture.” “After the collapse of the Soviet Union, our country had the third largest nuclear potential. Ukraine has never prepared for war and through the voluntary renunciation of its nuclear status has demonstrated to the world its intention to build peace in international coexistence,” Bishop Borys emphasized and called on the international community to remember this fact regarding security guarantees for Ukraine.

Secretariat of the Head of the UGCC in Rome

See also