Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of the RCC advises Ukraine to follow the example of Switzerland in the language issue

03.11.2022, 09:10
Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of the RCC advises Ukraine to follow the example of Switzerland in the language issue - фото 1
Roman Catholic Archbishop and Metropolitan of Lviv Mieczyslaw Mokrzytcki believes it is a mistake to ban the Russian language and the Russian Church in Ukraine. To the journalist's thesis that “the Russian language is part of the DNA of at least half of the Ukrainian people,” the Archbishop replies that this is true and criticizes “the ban on the Russian language at the state level.”

He said this in an interview with the Italian edition Avvenire.

"Just look at most of the refugees who come here to Lviv: they speak Russian, but this does not make them any less Ukrainian. Indeed, in many cases, their relatives and friends are fighting for the freedom of the country at the front. That is why banning the Russian language, as it was decided at the national level, can be dangerous,” he says.

Mokrzytcki notes that “Ukraine could take Switzerland as a model, where there are even four official languages."

He also comments on the journalist's words that in Ukraine, “there is also an Orthodox Church in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate, which unites the majority of Ukrainian Christians.”

In particular, the hierarch of the Roman Catholic Church notes that “after the beginning of the conflict, some transitions of believers to the Autocephalous Orthodox Church (OCU – ed.) were recorded. But the Russian UOC-MP remains the “Church of the people".

"Nevertheless, there are territories where the Russian Church was banned: in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, it disappeared; in Ternopil, public services were banned. Are the Ukrainian faithful to blame for the Kremlin's invasion? As the Apostolic Nunciature in Kyiv also noted, "we oppose any restrictive measures concerning the church sector". Pointing the finger at the tongue or the church can become a source of even more pain for people and fueling unnecessary schisms in Ukraine,” Mieczyslaw Mokrzytcki notes.

The Metropolitan also agrees with the opinion that the pope will be able to “bring Putin and Zelensky closer together.”

"The Pope is the 'Peter of our time', and through his spiritual charisma, he can contribute to changing the hearts of both presidents and both countries," he says.

When asked whether the Ukrainian society wants negotiations, Archbishop Mokrzytcki replied: “Christ requests us to love the enemy, our aggressor.”

"I don't think the people are ready to compromise. He demands justice and a Ukraine that will preserve all its territories, including Crimea. That's why we want to reflect on charity. Christ himself asks us to love the enemy, our aggressor. And forgive him: we repeat this every time we say "Our Father." We need to teach boundless love, which opens us up to a truly free life,” the Metropolitan of Lviv of the Roman Catholic Church notes.

The full text of the interview was translated by RISU.