Patriarch of the UGCC calls on diplomats and human rights defenders to help free Fr. Ivan Levitsky and Fr. Bohdan Geleta
This is reported by the UGCC Information Department.
Ukrainian clergy were abducted by Russians on November 16 in Berdyansk.
"These two priests decided to stay with their people in the temporarily occupied territories. They served both the Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic communities, giving hope to people under occupation. They were arrested, and then some military items were planted in the church, so these fathers faced charges of illegal possession of weapons. Yesterday, it was reported that they were being mercilessly tortured. In accordance with the classic Stalinist repressive methods, they simply beat out a confession to a crime that they did not commit. They face death any day now, " the Patriarch said.
"I ask everyone, first of all, those who torment and torture, to release them immediately. This is not the fault of Christ's priests. They are guilty only by loving their people, the church, and the people entrusted to them," the head of the UGCC urged.
Patriarch Sviatoslav also asked Greek Catholics in Ukraine and in settlements, all Christians, and people of good faith to pray for the salvation of the arrested pastors.
"Lord, we give fathers Ivan and Bohdan into your hands! Give us all a light understanding of how we can help them, and how to save them. And where it is impossible to do something to a person, Lord, be present! God, may their lives, testimonies, and sufferings be the newest treasure of our church and people!" asked His Beatitude Sviatoslav.