The Hierarchical Synod of the UGCC addressed Ukrainians on the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor
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The Appeal of the Hierarchical Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine on the Ninetieth Anniversary of the Holodomor-Genocide
To the Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics,
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
In Ukraine and throughout the world:
... Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).
Peace be with you in Christ the Lord!
Together with the entire Ukrainian people, in mourning, we bow before the memory of over seven million Ukrainians who were exterminated during the Holodomor-genocide perpetrated by the godless Kremlin regime 90 years ago. We pray for every soul, every family, for every lineage. Across time, we extend our hearts to the frozen hands of our brothers and sisters. We commemorate shattered destinies—the infinite losses of our people. Unattainable threads for anyone to mend, uncountable, ungraspable...
Ninety years ago, Ukraine was cold-bloodedly murdered by the direct order and calculated plan of the totalitarian communist regime led by Stalin, whose aim was to annihilate our people and their identity and forever put an end to their hopes for a free life.
The genocide of Ukrainians by the totalitarian regime at that time was not a random deviation from Moscow's historical tradition. On the contrary, it became the bloodiest embodiment of the centuries-old ideology of Russian imperialism, perpetually burning with hatred for Ukraine, scornful of every neighboring nation, and greedily coveting world expanses. Insatiable Russian imperialism is the main culprit of the Holodomor and the same enemy of humanity as Nazism, racism, fascism, and any other manifestation of hatred for human rights and national, cultural, and religious identity.
The method of killing by famine was chosen deliberately. To humble a multi-million nation, bayonets and tanks were not enough. To establish long-term domination, a weapon of mass destruction was needed, capable of instilling fear among generations and, like a radiation strike, causing genetic transformation, their escape from language, culture, memory, and belonging to their native land. It was a millennium earthquake meant to engulf our people and our land...
The Holodomor of the Ukrainian people is one of the greatest human catastrophes in the history of human civilization. Saint Pope John Paul II wrote in his letter to Ukrainians about the Holodomor that this wound struck at the foundations of all humanity (cf. Letter on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Holodomor in Ukraine).
The empire failed to kill Ukraine 90 years ago. But the descendants of the murderers, driven by malice, envy, and hatred, decided to complete what their predecessors failed to do. Russia's unprovoked, cynical, genocidal war against Ukraine has the same goal that the Kremlin had during the Holodomor: the liquidation of the Ukrainian people, the destruction of their freedom and future, the absorption of their children by a soulless, oppressed by eternal demons, unrepentant, boundless in its cruelty, unfaithful, and desperate totalitarian system.
Continuing its unchanged imperial strategy, Russia has once again audaciously challenged Ukraine and the world. Ninety years ago, the world silently, cynically, self-assuredly watched the killing of millions of Ukrainians. Soon after, international helplessness provoked another ominous totalitarian regime, whose aggression led to a planetary explosion and the deaths of tens of millions of people worldwide.
The impunity of evil never goes unnoticed. At the moment of truth, the lack of courage and willpower, disguised as moderation, indifference, and cynicism masquerading as profound thoughtfulness, calculation, and self-interest, leads to catastrophic consequences.
Then, 90 years ago, except for a few journalists, only the Ukrainian Church did not remain silent. Thanks to the righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky and the bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the global community learned the truth about the famine in Great Ukraine. On July 24, 1933, the hierarchs of our Church wrote a pastoral letter, 'Ukraine in Its Death Agony,' in which they asked 'all Christians of the world, all believers in God, and especially all workers and peasants, above all our compatriots… to join this voice of protest and pain and spread it to the farthest corners of the world.' The clergy of the UGCC not only informed the world, urging the Ukrainian-language press in Galicia and the Catholic press in the West, to write about the millions of Ukrainians dying from famine but also collected money and food for those starving.
Similarly, today, our Church, now together with the majority of Ukrainian religious communities united in the UCCRO, calls upon the world to support Ukraine in its confrontation with the same enemy that is again attempting to destroy our people. Like in the 1930s, the voice of our Church, with words bearing witness to the truth, resonates across all borders, convincingly explaining the crucial importance for the future of all humanity of resolute global solidarity with the Ukrainian people and the global fight against Russian aggression. The memory of the Holodomor is an integral part of this struggle, its symbol, driving force, and support.
Hunger can distort human nature. Those who use it as a weapon seek to deeply impact human consciousness and subordinate it to their influence. That is why Moscow, with such cynicism, uses all possible means to take hostage and keep in tension all needy peoples and lands as a consequence of its aggression. Today, grain becomes a weapon again to subjugate peoples. But we remember the words of blessed memory Patriarch Lubomyr Husar, that 'power fears freedom in hearts much more than a hungry rebellion. Because a hungry one can be bought, but a free one can only be killed.' No one can take away from us the freedom given by God, the right to live in our native and free country, even under the threat of a starving death.
Just like in those dire times, in the name of the millions of Holodomor victims and in their memory, we call on our faithful and all people of goodwill to show solidarity and mutual assistance in confronting the fierce enemy. We ask for more active dissemination of the truth about the war in Ukraine worldwide so that the propagandist falsehoods of the enemy find no place in people's hearts. For serving the truth, restoring and affirming justice is the common denominator of all our actions.
The uncompromising stance against evil, solidarity in the fight against it, and significant and selfless help to everyone in need of rescue from physical and spiritual hunger — this is our most important response to all threats and challenges posed by the centuries-old Russian war against Ukraine and human and national freedom.
Ukraine did not die 90 years ago. From the seeds hidden in the palms of our brothers and sisters, freedom has sprouted. No evil can plunder this harvest. Our people protect it. Humanity protects it. The Lord protects it. May eternal be the memory of the innocent victims of the Holodomor genocide. 'For the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever' (2 John 1:2), may our Victory come as soon as possible.
The Lord's blessings be upon you!
On behalf of the Hierarchical Synod of the UGCC in Ukraine,