We Lament the Degradation of Church Life in Russia: Head of the UGCC in the 114th week of war

April 22, 2024, 13:40 89

To all those who echo the clichés of Moscow’s propaganda, we assert: where the Russian occupier comes, dignity and freedom, especially religious freedom, disappear. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, said this on the 114th week of the great war that Russia brought to our peaceful Ukrainian land.

We Lament the Degradation of Church Life in Russia: Head of the UGCC in the 114th week of war
Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, photo from open sources

The Primate noted that the war has been raging in Ukraine for 11 years, claiming new lives every day. This week was again marked by the tremendous crimes of Russians against humanity on Ukrainian soil.

The Head of the Church expressed gratitude to all rescuers, paramedics, and doctors who save human life: “We were deeply moved by the words of the Chernihiv paramedic who, pulling out the wounded body of the boy, prayed loudly to the Lord God, pleading for his life. Once again, we express our sincere gratitude to those who save the lives of Ukrainians and proclaim to the whole world the words that are familiar to everyone, but so important to us: Ukraine stands! Ukraine fights! Ukraine prays!”

His Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasized that religious representatives in Ukraine carefully listen to everything said by state leaders and politicians of certain countries about Ukraine.

“This week, Christians, Jews and Muslims of Ukraine,” the spiritual leader noted, “were appalled by the words of some American congressmen who believe that the Russian leader is defending Christian values in the modern world. They claim that Russia is now almost the last stronghold of traditional values, the Church, particularly in Ukraine.”

His Beatitude Sviatoslav stated that a return to the Soviet methods of influencing the Church, which Russia is currently exerting, would mean slavery for the Church, regardless of denomination, for any religious community.

“We, the Greek Catholics,” he added, “remember well when in the Soviet Union we were deprived of legal status and existed in the catacombs, we were the largest public opposition to the Soviet regime in the twentieth century.”

“Occupying Ukrainian lands,” says the Head of the Church, “Russia primarily destroys religious freedom. More than 600 churches of various denominations were destroyed in the occupied territories.”

According to him, the Russian Orthodox Church is ceasing to be a church, turning into a part of the state machine with peculiar religious decorations.

The Primate explained that the Russian Orthodox Church first labels the collective event as satanic and declares a metaphysical war against it. Subsequently, it attempts to justify crimes, murders, and violence against Christians, including the Ukrainian people, promising eternal life and absolution for their atrocities committed in Ukraine. We have recently learned that this war, initially termed the national liberation war of the Russian people, has now been declared sacred.

“So, the one who presents himself as the last defender of the Church and traditional Christian values becomes a blasphemer. For by calling the war sacred, he commits a crime not only against man but against the Lord God — he commits an act of sacrilege,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav summarized.

The Head of the UGCC thanked those who have the courage to confront the truth, which liberates and without which there is no justice, no true freedom, neither in Ukraine nor in Europe, North America, nor any other country in the world.

The UGCC Department for Information

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