We are Catholics Not Because of Francis as Pope, but Because Christ Built His Church on the Rock of Peter: Head of the UGCC in the 109th week of the war

March 18, 2024, 16:43 344

Last week, we Ukrainians felt that even the Holy Father Francis was not immune to this devilish weapon. Due to the insidious manipulation by a dishonest journalist—juxtaposing symbolic gestures and signs with misleading verbal explanations—even the Apostolic See fell victim to it. This was stated by the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, on the 109th week of Russia’s full-scale invasion of our homeland.

We are Catholics Not Because of Francis as Pope, but Because Christ Built His Church on the Rock of Peter: Head of the UGCC in the 109th week of the war

The Primate noted that this week was also marked by destruction, the killing of civilians, bloodshed, and tears on our long-suffering Ukrainian land.

The Head of the Church reminded us that on Thursday, we celebrated the Ukrainian Volunteer Day. Therefore, with deep gratitude, we remember in prayer all those who, driven by their conscience and personal goodwill, took up arms to defend their homeland from the Russian aggressor.

“These days, the words we have been repeating for years are becoming more meaningful: Ukraine stands, Ukraine fights, Ukraine prays! Ukraine stands as long as Ukrainian volunteers defend it,” said the spiritual leader.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav pointed out that, apart from missiles, drones, and bombs, the Russian aggressor employs another destructive weapon against Ukrainian society: “information and psychological special operation.” “By resorting to sophisticated information and psychological manipulations, the enemy is seeking to strike at the Ukrainian heart and kill the ability of our people to fight for their future. It is worth emphasizing that the father of lies, the devil, always stands behind such attempts. The primary ‘effect’ of employing this weapon is the surge of emotions inside the victim: fear, hatred, and distrust of oneself and those around. Through these means, the enemy seeks to paralyze the will and obscure the minds of Ukrainians so that we lose sight of the boundaries between truth and lies, unable to discern our true opponent and the real enemy.”

Nonetheless, the Head of the Church calls for us to be wiser and more courageous than our enemy, who intends to paralyze our ability to fight at any cost.

“Regardless of who is holding Peter’s position of authority today—whether it be Francis with his human limitations, like any of us who can be vulnerable to such manipulations, or someone else—Peter’s Rock remains unshaken! We are Catholics, faithful to the Eastern Catholic Church, not because Francis is the Pope, but because it was on the Rock of Peter that Christ founded his Church. And only such a Church will the gates of hell never be able to prevail against,” the spiritual leader of Ukrainians emphasized, adding, “May we be wiser than the wiles and schemes of the enemy of the human race and Ukraine. Only by relying on St. Peter’s Rock amid the stormy sea of life, only with the helping hand of our brothers around the world and the support of the Universal Church, which today stands behind Ukraine, are we capable of winning. And we believe that the Lord God will grant us this victory.”

This week, we enter into Lent, a time of special prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. “We cannot embark on the journey to Christ’s Resurrection so long as we do not free our hearts from evil, hatred, and internal occupation by enemy propaganda. And liberation is possible only through the power of forgiveness and reconciliation with God, ourselves, and our neighbors,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav summarized.

The UGCC Department for Information

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