Cardinals Pietro Parolin and Kurt Koch met with the UGCC Synod Bishop

06 September, 11:28
Cardinals Pietro Parolin and Kurt Koch met with the UGCC Synod Bishop - фото 1
On September 5, during the second day of the working sessions of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) in Rome, meetings were held with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Holy See, and Cardinal Kurt Koch, the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity. Speaking before the bishops, Cardinal Parolin announced the creation of a Permanent Interdicasterial Working Group on Eastern Europe, known as the "initiative of His Beatitude Sviatoslav."

Cardinal Parolin highly praised the activities of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and confirmed that the Apostolic See shares the suffering of the Ukrainian people and supports various international initiatives to aid Ukraine, as reported by the Information Department of the UGCC.

Cardinal Parolin referred to the thousand-year history of relations between Kyiv and Rome, which were not severed even after the schism of 1054. He also appreciated the fact that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church considers its connection with the successor of the Apostle Peter as a "constitutive dimension."

The Secretary of State of the Holy See, in evaluating the work of the previous session of the Synod held in July of the previous year in Przemyśl, emphasized: "You did not limit yourselves to theoretical theological considerations but immersed yourselves in concreteness, seeking new ways of closeness and pastoral care for the faithful and all of the Ukrainian people, regardless of their religious beliefs, in order to heal their wounds. You pondered the fundamental question, 'How can one be a Church?' in such dramatic circumstances, and you expressed the conviction that only "a Church close to human suffering and pain is alive and will never become a museum' (see the Message of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, 2022)."

The Secretary of State of the Holy See also mentioned the Redemptorist fathers from Berdiansk, Father Ivan Levytskyi and Father Bohdan Heletu, who were arrested by the occupying authorities in November 2022. He emphasized that the Holy See shares concerns about their fate and does not neglect any opportunity to obtain information about them and secure their release.

Cardinal Parolin acknowledged the "pastoral care for Ukrainian soldiers defending their homeland" and how the bishops have spiritually supported them through prayers. He also highlighted the importance of Ukrainians defending their sovereignty and freedom while remaining vigilant against hatred, which could lead to becoming victims of numerous atrocities.

Cardinal Parolin assured the UGCC bishops of the support of the Holy See, including from Pope Francis, as evidenced by his public appeals, the Letter to the Ukrainian People of November 24, 2022, and the "Pope for Ukraine" initiative.

Cardinal Koch expressed his solidarity with the Ukrainian bishops and his hope for the "establishment of a just peace in Ukraine."