We always associate peace with truth and justice, — Head of the UCCC at a meeting with Vaticanists in Kyiv

December 9, 2022, 19:34 3

On Friday, December 9, Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, welcomed at his residence in Kyiv a delegation of Vaticanists who arrived in Ukraine to see with their own eyes the consequences of full-scale Russian aggression.

We always associate peace with truth and justice, — Head of the UCCC at a meeting with Vaticanists in Kyiv

The Head of the Church told the journalists of ACI Stampa, ANSA, La Croix, National Catholic Register USA, and Vatican News about the suffering of the Ukrainian people and the ministry of the Church in wartime. He also answered whether Ukrainians celebrated Christmas and explained peace in Ukraine.

Speaking about the suffering of the Ukrainian people and the ministering of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church during the war, His Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasized that the Church strives to be close to the people. It manifests itself in several areas of her service, such as setting up shelters for internally displaced persons, evacuating people from the most dangerous regions, and preparing and delivering food packages.

“With winter onset, hosting people forced to flee war becomes even more critical because they need warmth to survive. There is a need to provide heating means for those who remain in their own homes,” said the Head of the UGCC.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav also spoke about the Patriarchal Foundation “Wise Cause,” which is a manifestation of the solidarity of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. “Such a foundation is the ‘Patriarch’s emergency aid’ that promptly responds to needs. As soon as we receive a request, we immediately send a car with the most necessary things for survival. In this context, we cooperate with various social, humanitarian, and volunteer organizations whose activities are coordinated by the UN humanitarian service.”

The Primate noted that the Church was unprepared for the lack of electricity and the need to warm and feed so many people. But, having realized this need, she began to equip kitchens that could prepare hot dinners. One of the concrete manifestations of the closeness of the Church to the people is the Patriarchal Cathedral, which in the first months of the war became a bomb shelter, and now the residence of the Head of the UGCC will have a kitchen where hot meals will be prepared and distributed.

The journalists thanked the Head of the UGCC for the daily video messages, which enable them to follow the war and are a window into Ukraine for us every day. Hence, they wondered what he would talk about on Christmas Day.

As for Christmas, he said that Easter was a celebration of the victory of life over death, and Christmas would be a celebration of hope for peace.

“Undoubtedly, we will sing carols in every shelter and apartment for displaced people. We will celebrate Christmas, perhaps in the cold or dark, among new challenges, but with heavenly joy. It will allow us to feel the Holy Family’s experience. And we are preparing for this holiday,” said the Primate.

At the end of the meeting, the Vaticanists asked the Head of the UGCC how he defines the term “peace.”

“We always associate peace with truth and justice. We Ukrainians are very sensitive to pacification, which means peace for Russians”, answered His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

“Peace means liberating our territory, people, and those who are in captivity. For us, peace means allowing living. But, instead, we are forced to fight for our existence — we have no other choice.

Peace is also about healing wounds, for we are all wounded by war. In addition to psychological injuries, many people received physical injuries at the front.

Peace is also about the absence of war. How to achieve this goal? Obviously, it means to win, that is, to drive out the enemy. Peace for us now is to condemn war crimes. The first step to real peace is for Russia to stop killing us.

At the same time, peace is something much deeper than the absence of war. Are you talking about winning? So. But it is not just about winning the war. The war itself, and its causes, must be defeated.”

The UGCC Department for Information

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