The Head of the UGCC presents the Pope with a piece of the Russian mine that damaged the Greek-Catholic church in Irpin
His Beatitude Sviatoslav reported on the Ukrainian people's suffering and the Church's service during the war. The First Hierarch emphasized the inadmissibility of peace proposals, which include the denial of the right to existence of the Ukrainian people and the state within its internationally recognized borders.
Pope Francis presented the Holy See's efforts to end the war and promote the establishment of a just peace. This was reported by Vatican Radio with reference to the Secretariat of the Head of the UGCC in Rome.
It is noted that His Beatitude Sviatoslav brought a piece of a Russian mine that damaged the facade of the Greek Catholic church in Irpin as a gift to the Holy Father. It is a symbolic gift, for it is a reminder of one of the first "martyr cities", and similar pieces are removed from the bodies of soldiers and civilians, particularly children. Thus, it is a tangible manifestation of the destruction and death that war brings daily.
According to the Head of the UGCC, the Pope assured him that he is with the Ukrainian people through prayer and decisive actions.
The message of the secretariat states that the Pope emphasized the Holy See's efforts to end aggression and promote a just peace.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav said he wished to convey the cries of the Ukrainian people to the Pope. He also told the Pope about the Church's support for the people in times of war and his visits to communities affected by the war in the center, east and south of the country.
The Holy Father was also presented with a pastoral plan for 2023, which focuses on serving the weakest, receiving and supporting displaced persons, and treating the wounds caused by the war. The Major Archbishop pointed out the colonial dimension of the war against Ukraine.
The head of the UGCC thanked the Pope for all efforts to stop the war, mediate for peace, release prisoners and hostages, and organise the Catholic Church's general solidarity in support of the Ukrainian people.