The delegation of the Catholic Bishops of France arrives in Ukraine on a solidarity visit

18.09.2022, 09:00
Ukraine and world
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On Saturday, September 17, the head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, received Archbishop Eric de Moulin-Beaufort, Chairman of the Conference of Bishops of France, and its general secretary Fr. Hugues de Woillemont, who arrived in Ukraine on a two-day visit.

The meeting was also attended by: the apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of St. Volodymyr in Paris, Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, chairman of the Episcopal Bureau of the diocese Ms. Segolen Mikolenko, patriarchal economist, Fr. Lubomyr Yavorsky and Fr. Mykhailo Dymyd.

The purpose of the visit of the leaders of the French episcopate to Ukraine is to express the support and solidarity of French Catholics to Ukrainians. Archbishop Eric de Moulin-Beaufort said, "I was eager to come both personally and on behalf of the bishops of France to demonstrate our brotherhood, perhaps to give strength to the Ukrainian people in this tragic moment, and then to witness what I will see here when I return to France."

Archbishop de Moulin-Beaufort has assured that the Catholic Church in France shares pain with the Ukrainian people. "We are communicating with the Ukrainian Bishop, who is in France, we have relations with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, so we feel the drama because of the Russian attack on Ukraine in February," he said.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked Archbishop Eric de Moulin-Beaufort and the entire episcopate of France for the support of French Catholics for Ukraine, as well as for the visit of the delegation to Kyiv. "Thank you for coming because you can personally see the epicenter of these seismic tremors to understand what is happening here," the Primate said, adding," We are truly grateful for your solidarity."

Therefore, the head of the UGCC shared the experience of life and service of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in war conditions.

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"The fact that we are currently meeting in Kyiv is a miracle," His Beatitude Sviatoslav said, telling guests from France about the first days of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

He noted that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has stepped up its social ministry, trying to respond to the needs of Ukrainians, particularly in the territories near active hostilities. At the same time, the Church tries to serve people with its word, continuing to stay close and support them, especially on the eve of this winter, which "will be very difficult."

As Fr Hugues de Woillemont said in an interview with Vatican News, the CEF delegation's trip to Ukraine was prepared in collaboration with the volunteer organization "Œuvre d'orient", the Order of Malta, the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) and the organization "Secours Catholique" (Catholic Aid), which help victims of the war in Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees in France. These organizations claim that they have received a lot of donations. This shows that the French people are in solidarity with the Ukrainians.

During the two-day visit to Ukraine, the leaders of the French episcopate will meet with Catholic communities of two rites and with Orthodox ones. During their stay in the Kyiv region, the delegation will visit Bucha and Irpin and the Centers of humanitarian service that Caritas and church bodies are engaged in.