Archbishop Gallagher meets with Patriarch Sviatoslav in Kyiv
While visiting the Patriarchal Cathedral of the resurrection of Christ, the Secretary for Relations between the Holy See and the States, accompanied by the head of the UGCC, descended into the dungeons of the cathedral, where hundreds of civilians were hiding from Russian bombs and Rockets during the period of active hostilities around Kyiv (February-March 2022). The Archbishop asked in detail about all the moments of these most difficult days. This is reported by the UGCC Information Department.
Archbishop Gallagher also visited the crypt where His Beatitude Lubomyr (Husar) is buried.
During a meeting with the Secretary for Relations between the Holy See and the States, His Beatitude Sviatoslav told how the UGCC responds to the circumstances of the war from its first minutes, in terms of the humanitarian crisis, and how they serve civilians and the Ukrainian army.
The ministry of military chaplains was also discussed. "Today, the institutionalization of military chaplaincy in Ukraine opens up opportunities and demonstrates the need to create a separate military ordinariate for proper care of military personnel," the head of the UGCC said.
In addition, His Beatitude Sviatoslav shared with Archbishop Gallagher the expectations of Ukrainians regarding the role of the Apostolic See in the current situation of Russia's war against Ukraine. According to the head of the UGCC, the role of the Vatican is, on the one hand, to give a proper assessment of this war from the point of view of both international law and Christian morality, and on the other – that the Holy See, in particular through diplomatic service, played its role in stopping aggression, so that the Russian aggressor left the Ukrainian land and that justice was restored, and therefore peace in the territory of our homeland.
The head of the UGCC thanked Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher for his visit to Ukraine, noting that today the whole world pays attention to Ukraine – Heads of State, Diplomatic Representatives, and government leaders come to the country. The Primate of the UGCC noted the importance of the fact that now such a figure as the secretary for relations of the Holy See with states, in fact, the Minister of foreign affairs of the Vatican, is in Kyiv.
"This is a very powerful diplomatic sign of the Apostolic capital's support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. We hope that this visit will bear proper fruit," His Beatitude Sviatoslav said.
In Kyiv, the Secretary for Relations between the Holy See and the States also met with a delegation of the Catholic Church episcopate in Poland, which is currently on a solidarity visit to Ukraine. During the joint meeting, Archbishop Gallagher, His Beatitude Sviatoslav and Polish archbishops Stanislaw Gondecki, Wojciech Polyak and Stanislaw Budzik exchanged views on the international level of support for Ukrainian refugees and on the response of the international community, in particular the Catholic community, to the humanitarian needs of Ukraine, which, as the head of the UGCC noted, "are not decreasing today."
"Apparently, the humanitarian challenge is just beginning to show its real size. The worst times in humanitarian terms are probably still ahead of us," His Beatitude Sviatoslav stressed.
The Secretary for Relations between the Holy See and the States, Paul Richard Gallagher, had a three-day visit to Ukraine from May 18 to 20.