UGCC bishop to Berlin, Germany congress participants: In Europe, war between Russia and Ukraine still ongoing
Bishop Bohdan Dzyurah, the secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, spoke at the 22nd International Renaissance Congress on the topic “Memorial and Awakening. Ways to reconciliation in Europe” held on September 26-28 in Berlin, Religion in Ukraine reports, citing the official website of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
During the discussion of the panel speeches of the first day of the Congress -- the general theme of which was “1918 as the starting point for the current kind of Europe -- Bishop Bohdan Dzyurah recalled that, for Ukraine, 1918 was the year of the restoration of statehood – an event marked this year on a state and national level. “At the same time, today our people are forced to once again defend their statehood and their right to independent existence from Russian aggression,” said the secretary of the Synod of the UGCC.
He considers very sorrowful for modern Europe the fact that it was in 2014, when the whole world was reflecting on the horrors that caused the First World War, that Russia attacked Ukraine, occupied part of its territory and is still sowing death and ruin on these lands.
“In Europe, there is an ongoing war, we cannot forget about it," the representative of the UGCC appealed to the audience.
He cited the historical parallels quoting the words from the famous poem of Alexander Oles:
When Ukraine for the right to live.
Fought against murderers, lived and died...
Europe kept silent.
“Perhaps 50 years later, the 57th Renaissance Congress will be held here in Berlin, and the participants will discuss how Europe behaved today, whether it was silent or able to raise a voice in defense of truth, justice, freedom, when blood of the 45-million-strong people flowed in Europe.” said the speaker.
According to him, justice should be restored in relation to the victim of an unjust aggression. So, when the trampled rights of the offended person or people will be restored, and the wrong is amended, we can talk about forgiveness. Forgiveness will suffice for one side. Man or people are forgiving, because hatred, anger, and desire for revenge destroys a person and communities from the inside. Instead, forgiving the enemy, we are freeing ourselves from their devastating dominance over us, we protect the space of our own dignity and freedom. Just then, and given that both sides are ready to take a step forward, it will be possible to talk about reconciliation and take steps towards it.
Since reconciliation is a long process, it is necessary for him to devote a lot of time and also to show great patience, the Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC expressed his point of view.
Referring to the successful post-war experience of the German-French reconciliation, when, according to the speakers, this reconciliation was sought by both the elite and the peoples of both countries, Bishop Bohdan put forward a rhetorical question, “How can one hope for reconciliation and bring reconciliation closer when the “elite” of a neighboring country plans and carries out bloody wars, and 68% of its population supports such a policy? In such a situation, only prayer, prayer for the grace of God and grace of God can help, -- retains the UGCC bishop. Because, ultimately, peace and reconciliation are the gift of God. The representative of the UGCC expressed a wish that the Congress members bring back to their countries and Churches a renewed call for an intensified prayer for peace and reconciliation in Europe.
At the end of the speech, Bishop Bohdan expressed his conviction that Europe should make a moral assessment and a genuine examination of the conscience of the bloody crimes of the Communist system.
Without such a genuine examination of conscience, according to the speaker, Europe will not achieve tranquility, it will not be able to enjoy a true and lasting peace.