The Head of the UGCC kisses the hand of a priest rescued from occupied Melitopol

05.12.2022, 08:42
The Head of the UGCC kisses the hand of a priest rescued from occupied Melitopol - фото 1
"This hand brought God's grace to our brothers and sisters in Melitopol and the surrounding area. This hand was shackled and forcibly taken away from the parish!"- said Patriarch Sviatoslav in his speech.

The invaders destroyed a Greek Catholic parish in Melitopol and detained priest Oleksandr Bogomaz. He was released from captivity. Priest Bogomaz attended the Liturgy on December 4 in the main church of the UGCC in Kyiv.

"Let me make one gesture — to kiss your hand, which has drained and will continue to drain God's Grace on the wounds of our people," the head of the Church said and kissed the hand of the released priest.

The primate noted that the invaders destroyed a Greek Catholic parish in Melitopol. However, everyone is happy today because they managed to free Fr Oleksandr Bogomaz.

"I asked him several times: 'Father, can I save you?“. And he said with tears in his eyes: "No, there are so many people here who ask for confession, Holy Communion, get married, be baptized. Who will serve them if I'm not here?!“. There was special pressure on him during the pseudo-referendum. Seven times they came to him to accept a Russian passport!" said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The head of the UGCC expressed hope that Fr Oleksandr will return to Melitopol together with the Ukrainian army, which will liberate our territories.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav stressed that the enemy is persecuting Greek Catholic priests in the occupied territories. "Our two priests in Berdyansk, father Ivan Levitsky and father Bohdan Geleta, are imprisoned. We know that they are mercilessly tortured. They are being forced to confess to crimes that they did not commit," the head of the UGCC said.

"May the Lord bless all our priests. May he save our Fathers Ivan and Bohdan and give them back to the Church for service," the UGCC Primate added.