The Church, even under complete lockdown, must carry out her pastoral duties, Head of the UGCC
“It is a great grace of God - that we can be together. Today, in these circumstances, we especially feel the price of the meeting. We feel how important it is for us, the bishops, to meet, to communicate,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav, addressing the Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic bishops of Ukraine, who have been participating in a joint retreat for the past three days.
The Head of the UGCC thanked the organizers of the meeting, in particular Archbishop Mechyslav Mokshytsky and those who provided the technical aspects for its organization. Most bishops have participated in the retreat online.
The Head of the UGCC also mentioned two Roman Catholic bishops who had passed away in the last year. These are Cardinal Marian Jaworski and Bishop Jan Nemec. "We entrust them to God's mercy," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav, “and ask them to be heavenly patrons of our annual fraternal meetings.”
Given the current circumstances, His Beatitude Sviatoslav called on the Catholic bishops of Ukraine to reflect on the role and place of the Church, her ministry in the modern world: “We feel that the world has changed. We will never be the same again. Pope Francis tells us that we can and must become better, learn something, come out of these circumstances ready to serve as witnesses of Christ."
According to the Primate of the UGCC, the bishops of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC also ask themselves about the role and place of the Church in the new circumstances. "As a Church, even when there is a complete lockdown, we must be with people, must accompany them, must be able to perform the Holy Sacraments," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
At the same time, the Head of the UGCC said that a very intensive dialogue and communication with the state authorities is taking place at that time, and noted that there was a certain evolution in these relations. "In the spring, when quarantine restrictions were introduced, the Church was seen as a danger, as an environment for the spread of the disease. But now we see that the state expects cooperation from the Church, seeing her as a partner."
We remind you that from November 24 to 26, 2020 in the RCC recollection house in Lviv-Briukhovychi, an annual joint retreat of the Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic bishops of Ukraine was held. Spiritual guidance this year was given by Bishop Mykola Luchok, bishop-assistant of RCC Mukachevo Diocese. In addition, today, after dinner, after the completion of spiritual exercises, there was a fraternal meeting of the Catholic hierarchs of Ukraine, during which His Beatitude Sviatoslav addressed its participants.