Patriarch Sviatoslav States in Vatican That Church Identity of Emigrants Should Be Preserved
On January 23-24, in the Vatican, a regular meeting of the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church under the chairmanship of H.E. MSGR. Nikola Eterovic was held. The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), represented the Eastern Catholic Churches as a member of the assembly.
The participants elaborated the text of a new address of the Pope on new evangelization. As a representative of the Eastern theology, Patriarch Sviatoslav made a contribution in a number of theological, pastoral and canonical themes reflecting the tradition, service experience and pastoral challenges of the Eastern Catholic Churches.
In particular, the patriarch stressed on the necessity to foster their own spiritual heritage and pastoral care for emigrants who belong to the Eastern Catholic Churches of their own rite. The head of UGCC said that the testimony of their living faith is an important component of the new evangelization in their new countries of residence.
At the same time, he drew the attention of the participants to the fact that the efforts of the local Catholic Churches to assist the emigrants to integrate into the life of the local Church should not imply their assimilation into the Latin environment by any means. Instead, the support of the emigrants representing the Eastern Catholic Churches should imply the preservation of their identity, pastoral care by priests of their mother church and fostering of connections with it, the Information Department of UGCC reported.