The meeting of the UGCC hierarchs with the Pope begins today in the Vatican
The Pope has invited the Metropolitans of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Permanent Synod to a meeting that will take place in Rome on July 5 and 6, 2019. His Beatitude Sviatoslav shares his expectations of the upcoming meeting.
According to the Head of the UGCC, since the Ukrainian Orthodox Church launched new processes, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was subject to a very powerful attack on the part of Russia. They alleged that the UGCC acted deliberately to separate Orthodox Ukraine from the Russian Orthodox Church and, consequently, to bring it to the union.
"I asked the Holy Father for his support. Therefore, Pope Francis will convene a meeting in order to demonstrate on the part of the Vatican that there is no condemnation of the UGCC, no one crosses out neither our existence nor our future. Why? For such a meeting has three objectives: support, consolidation and development,” says His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
He notes that now it is perhaps hard to find in Ukraine a community to explain to the Orthodox the meaning of the service of the Pope, as our Church does. "I have written a separate epistle "Our St Sofia” to explain who we are as Greek Catholics, what our identity in the context of the unifying movements in Orthodoxy is. We have also translated the message into English,” says the Head of the UGCC.
The spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics is confident that meeting with the Holy Father is a unique chance for the development of his Church, and is also a good news for Ukraine. “We have always been paying attention that they often talk about us, but in our absence. I hope this meeting will put an end to this. Why? We are called specifically to speak on our behalf - to speak in modern new realities (in particular, social, political and economic), in order to work out a strategy with us, that is, certain steps and the vision of the Apostolic Capital towards Ukraine,” says the head of the UGCC. “It seems to me that the Holy Father and his collaborators become more aware every time that the key to understanding the state of affairs in Ukraine, that is, the social and church processes, is the UGCC.”
His Beatitude Sviatoslav thinks it is too early to talk about what the next steps may be. “However, we hope that this highest level of attention to our Church, which is now manifested, will have its good consequences,” the Head of the UGCC stresses.