Representatives of the UGCC from all over the world declare solidarity with Ukraine during the third session of the All-Church Forum
According to the Information Department of the UGCC, the delegates were greeted by the Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
Today, according to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, "an echo of Ukraine's pain was heard today in different parts of our Church, on different continents of the globe." Delegates from eparchies from around the world - Wroclaw-Koszalin, Olsztyn-Gdańsk, Prudentopol, Edmonton, Toronto, Saskatoon, New Westminster, Chicago, Parma and Stamford - as well as from the Pastoral Migration Department of the UGCC shared their experience of pastoral work.
The floor was also given to a representative of the UGCC Eparchy of Chernivtsi, who said that this eparchy pays great attention to the educational and practical training of priests who pastor IDPs and refugees. The territory of the region was not subjected to any missile strikes or bombing, which makes it possible to work in an organized manner with those in need.
Ivona Marciszak, a delegate from the Eparchy of Wroclaw-Koszalin, said that since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war, about 10 million Ukrainians have crossed the border into Poland. Many parishes have been mobilized to help them meet their basic needs. "Last year, 14 new parishes were created on the territory of the eparchy. A lot of humanitarian supplies and transport were also transferred for hospitals and troops," she said.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked the structures of the Church in Poland for their service, noting that many of our refugees learn the Ukrainian language, culture, and tradition through their work.
Fr. Julian Bilyj, a representative of the Eparchy of Edmonton, said that today there are more than 100 thousand refugees in Canada who receive assistance from the pastoral bodies of the UGCC. The Church in Canada works closely with many Ukrainian organizations in finding housing and material assistance for refugees and their social integration.
Then the floor was given to Fr. Andriy Onuferk, a delegate from the Eparchy of Toronto. He said that since the beginning of the war on the territory of their eparchy, all entities have been mobilized to help Ukraine at the level of eparchial and parish communities. This assistance, taking into account the specifics of Canadian legislation, is cooperated with Caritas partner organizations (Catholic Near East Welfare Association-CNEWA), since there are certain restrictions on conducting financial transactions.
They also discussed significant assistance from the Eparchy of Chicago for the needs of the army, its humanitarian supplies and monetary assistance to Ukraine, as well as support for Ukrainians from the Eparchy of Parma and Stamford.
Delegate Sofia Shchur outlined the solidarity of the clergy and faithful of the Eparchy of Stamford with Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees with the words: "we cry with your tears, and your spilled blood is our blood."
"Thank you for your testimony of unity with Ukraine. Your words that you are crying with our tears, and the bloodshed in Ukraine is your blood, will become evidence of the unity of our church during the war, particularly during our forum. This is a slogan that can be minted on the fortune of our churches," the head of the UGCC said in response to the testimony of the delegates.
Bishop Stepan Sus, representing the Pastoral and Migration Department, informed that the department covers more than 60 priests and many believers living in 18 countries of the world. Today, it is located in Cyprus, where almost 20 thousand more refugees have been added to the community of 5 thousand Ukrainian Greek Catholics, who, having arrived here, discovered three of our parish communities.
Finally, His Beatitude Sviatoslav called on the delegates to convey gratitude to their communities:
"I am confident that the internal forces that we discover in the space of unity of our world community, our global church, are a guarantee that we are invincible. Ukraine has lived and will continue to live. Our Church has been and will continue to be the soul of Ukraine and its people. Thank you for your testimony, for the feelings that you have poured out here, for your emotions, and for the tremendous work you have done and are doing. We believe that life is stronger than death, and truth always wins. Ukraine's victory is being forged before our eyes."