A Christian’s duty is to defend his land during military confrontation, UGCC head addressed young people in Zarvanytsia
A Christian has no right to be an initiator of murder, because it is always evil. But, in particular, in the military confrontation, a Christian has a responsibility to defend his land and their people in the ways and means proportionate to the attack, said His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father and Head of the UGCC, answering questions by young people during this year's Ukrainian Youth Pilgrimage to Zarvanytsya. “In this case, the hierarch said, we do not want anyone to attack and kill us”. “We never fought wars of conquest and now do not attack other people, but we have a sacred duty to defend our country. Sometimes it happens that the wicked invader cannot be stopped other than answering with arms to arms and this is a tragedy,” stated the hierarch.
He said that the one who defends has the right to armed resistance. “He has a right to defend his land. I cannot speak about the right to kill, but a right to protection. And the Church of God will ask for God’s mercy for a man ready to sacrifice his life defending his country, even with radical means, and for the healing of the wound that the murder might inflict to his heart,” assured the Primate of the Church.
His Beatitude was especially touched by another question from the young people. The young pilgrims wondered what is more responsible and what is the greater expression of love: to fight and die for Ukraine or live and work for the family?
The patriarch said it was a tragic choice: to live for Ukraine or to die for her. He said: “I have never wanted any of you to face this choice, and our entire country faces it. I would like to wish everyone “to live for Ukraine”. We therefore ask the Lord God about peace during this pilgrimage, peace and harmony, so that the twenty year old boys lived for their loved ones, for their children. But we must bow to those who are ready for the love of their homeland to die for it. That is who we call heroes”.
According to the Information Department of the UGCC this year the All Youth Pilgrimage to Zarvanytsya began on July 19. Among the visitors of Zarvanytsya were His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the UGCC head, and all the members of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC. Traditionally there is a procession of thousands of people with candles, going from the parish church to the miraculous place, where bishops, priests and faithful serve the Prayer to Our Lady and ask Her for the intercession for the Ukrainian people and the world.
The schedule includes is as follows: Patriarch Sviatoslav meets with youth, presents the awards to the clergy and laity to mark the 25th anniversary of the UGCC’s coming out into the open, serve the burial service for the Heavenly hundred, all soldiers and the innocent dead who gave their lives for Ukraine, proclaim the blessed Basil Velychkovsky the patron saint of the prison ministry.
On the night of July 20 in Spivoche Pole (the Singing Field) the Youth Prayer Maidan will take place.