Patriarch Sviatolav revives his peace initiative via World Youth Day
A travelling WYD with events in various cities. Not only Cracow, but maybe also nearby Lviv in Ukraine and Belarus. Back in 2011, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, had this idea with some Polish friends. Now that the winds of war in Eastern Europe continue unabated, he raises the proposal again. Because peace can only begin from the bottom (the people).
Major-Archbishop Sviatoslav: "The idea of a World Youth Day in Belarus, Poland, and Ukraine was born in Rome, at the John Paul II Institute in Via Cassia. Following the thought of St. John Paul II that pointed to the encounter between people to break down the walls, we conceived aninitiative that could really break down walls: a WYD which take place in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland. A little but like the WYD in Cologne, when events were also held in surrounding cities. "
This idea, and the discussion that followed, happened in 2011, long before the Maidan movement and the beginning of the never-ending conflict [with Russia]. The idea was well received by intellectual circles. "A social, academic discussion was initiated. we also did a meeting at the Diplomatic Academy in Kyiv. But the project has stalled for now, as look for a face with which initiate this dialogue. "
Still, Major-Archbishop Shevchuk is optimistic because "the idea of reconciliation is being noticed. The process of reception of the idea has begun. Many intellectuals say that we must speak of a just peace, not ia reconciliation with evil. We must seek the truth to be reconciled with truth and justice." For this reason, Shevchuk has made another appeal for reconciliation and peace, the second in two years. But while last year's call has went unanswered, because "all political leaders and were too focused on domestic violence," but now there is a new spirit afoot. "We are all aware that there is no military solution to the conflict in Ukraine. It is not a civil war. Ukrainians do not need not reconcile between ourselves. Our purpose is to launch an appeal to the Russian people, to say: enough violence, enough of the war. The future is what we want to be good neighbors, brothers and sisters in Christ, "said the Major-Archbishop.
He later added: "It's hard to say how deep is the desire of reconciliation, but people are tired of war. All Ukrainians say: enough with the violence, enough with the war. People are tired of war. " The new appeal therefore has "a social base to accept it," although "a simple sentiment is not enough to achieve peace." And maybe this social base could be widened if some of the events of World Youth Day could also held in the territory of Ukraine or Belarus . For now, this is just a dream, but we can' say that it won't become a reality.
Original in Italian E se la pace in Ucraina passasse per la GMG?
Translation by Rev Athanasius McVay