Head of Ukrainian Catholics thanked Catholics in Lithuania for support during times of Soviet persecution
Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), following the demand of the Greek Catholic priests and bishops who were serving in times of persecution (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was liquidated in 1946 by Soviet regime and operated as underground Church for more than 40 years), thanked the Lithuanian Catholic Church for their support at the time of the communist regime.
Words of gratitude Head of the UGCC delivered after the consecration of the Cathedral in Kyiv to the papal legate - Cardinal Audrys Juozas Bačkis from Lithuania.
"I take advantage of this opportunity to accomplish a will of bishops, priests, monks and nuns of our persecuted Church. They bequeathed on behalf of our Church to express a gratitude to the Catholic Church of Lithuania ", - he said.
Patriarch Sviatoslav said that Lithuanians were showing the true Christian solidarity to Ukrainian Greek Catholics in times of persecution in the Soviet Union.
"How many of our bishops went there in order to become stronger in faith and how many books - spiritual literature, catechisms, prayer books were printed there in order to feed with the Word of God the faith of Ukrainian people. And now is the best moment in history, when we, on behalf of the whole Church, would like to say "Thank you."
He also thanked the papal legate for his presence at the dedication of the cathedral, adding that the visit to Kyiv of Lithuanian Cardinal also has a symbolic meaning, because "this year, Ukrainian eyes will look to Lithuania, Vilnius." Head of UGCC meant the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius which is to be held in November.