Delegation of Polish hierarchs to make a solidarity visit to Ukraine
During May 17-20, Ukraine will be visited by: Archbishop Stanislaw Gondecki, Chairman of the Conference of the Polish Episcopate, Metropolitan of Poznan; Archbishop Wojciech Polyak, Primate of Poland; Archbishop Stanislaw Budzik, Metropolitan of Lublin. They will be accompanied by Fr Stefan Batrukh, pastor of the UGCC community in Lublin (Poland). During its visit, the delegation will visit Lviv and Kyiv.
A meeting with the local hierarchs: Archbishop and Metropolitan Igor Voznyak of Lviv, UGCC, and Archbishop and Metropolitan Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of the Archdiocese of Lviv, RCC, is scheduled in Lviv for May 18.
The hierarchs will meet with the Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Bishop Vitaliy Kryvysky of the Diocese of Kyiv-Zhytomyr, RCC, and the Primate of the OCU, His Beatitude Epifaniy in Kyiv, on May 19. The delegation will visit St. Sophia Cathedral and the Patriarchal Cathedral of the resurrection of Christ of the UGCC. A trip to Irpen and Bucha is also planned.
The purpose of the visit is to show that the Roman Catholic Church in Poland stands in solidarity with Ukraine and wants to outline a common future and shape the development of interaction between the Churches of the two countries in different areas: religious, spiritual and humanitarian.
In a comment to the UGCC Information Department, Fr Stefan Batrukh, speaking about the planned visit of the delegation of Polish Bishops of the RCC, expressed hope that soon the desired Ukrainian-Polish union will be consolidated and developed into a strong friendship between the two peoples. He noted that due to the tragic circumstances of the modern war between Ukraine and Poland, mutual understanding and mutual assistance have deepened. It is important that this happened not out of order or duty, but voluntarily, as a manifestation of sympathy, mutual support and solidarity.
"What we dreamed of has happened: cooperation, openness and a vision of creating a common future are being established between Ukraine and Poland. A space of consolidation and solidarity is being formed," Fr Stefan stressed. "We feel that soon we will no longer be separated by the border. It is already becoming symbolic. This will facilitate the exchange and various joint actions of our churches: religious, spiritual and evangelistic," the priest hopes.
He also recalled the first meeting of the bishops of Poland and the Synod of the UGCC, which took place 35 years ago in Rome. The pastor noted that such a meeting, which is scheduled for May 19, 2022, in Kyiv, would have seemed a dream 35 years ago. "The prayers of St. John Paul II put an end to communism in Poland and gave rise to Polish solidarity. I am convinced that his prayers for unification between Poland and Ukraine are now bearing fruit, and this is happening in practice," Fr Stefan believes.