UGCC organized a meeting of the president of the Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe and the Prime Minister of Ukraine

19.07.2022, 16:40
UGCC organized a meeting of the president of the Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe and the Prime Minister of Ukraine - фото 1
On July 18, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal met with the President of the Council of episcopal conferences of Europe, Archbishop Gintaras Grušas, in Kyiv with the participation of the head of the UGCC Sviatoslav.

The meeting was held at the request of the Greek Catholic side, the UGCC Information Department reports.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine thanked Archbishop Gintaras Grušas for his visit to Ukraine. He noted that such visits are an important sign of support and solidarity with Ukraine, particularly regarding the European episcopate and all members of the Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE).

Mr. Shmygal expressed special gratitude to Lithuania's entire Lithuanian people and Catholics for their support of Ukraine. He also noted the important role of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in serving the Ukrainian people suffering from war.

"This service is comprehensible, multi-faceted, extremely important to save lives and be close to those who suffered the most in this war," Denis Shmygal stressed. The Prime Minister thanked the president of the CCEE for the solidarity expressed by the Rada in its various appeals or messages. Shmygal stressed that it is very important today that Catholics in Europe and the world know the truth about what is happening in Ukraine.

For his part, Archbishop Gintaras Grušas assured that European Catholics pray for Ukraine, and this prayer unites all bishops globally because the CCEE community includes not only Catholics of the European Union but also other countries, in particular post-Soviet ones.

"Prayer, on the one hand, is a manifestation of solidarity, and on the other — one of the ways to support and awaken the sensitivity of Catholics in Europe to the tragedy that is taking place on the territory of Ukraine," Archbishop Gintaras Grušas said.

He noted that in life, one often needs to fight fatigue. According to him, Ukraine is struggling with such fatigue today as the war aimed at attrition continues. The CCEE President expressed regret that such exhaustion also affects Europe, and we are already seeing that the topic of war is beginning to disappear from the main pages of various information publications. "That is why through prayer, through spreading the truth about the war in Ukraine, attention to Ukraine and solidarity with your people are maintained," he assured.

Separately, the parties discussed the acceptance and support of Internally Displaced Persons, and humanitarian aid provided by various structures of the Catholic Church to Ukraine. Among these structures, a special place belongs to the Caritas of Europe.

It is important that a historic agreement was signed this morning between Caritas of Lithuania, Caritas of Ukraine and Caritas-Spes. After all, this is also one of the ways that European Catholics are trying to support Ukraine by praying and proclaiming the truth about Ukraine and by real humanitarian aid.

The conversation also focused on the role of military chaplaincy because Archbishop Gintaras Grušas is a military bishop who heads the military ordinariate in Lithuania.

As patriarch Sviatoslav noted, a military pastor is needed to morally support the army and eventually heal the wounds of war. "Those who survived the fighting, especially military personnel who were wounded, need both physical and spiritual rehabilitation," the Head of the UGCC stressed.

The conversation did not ignore the biggest challenges that Ukraine will have to meet over the next six months, in the autumn-winter period.

They also noted the importance of working on the concordat between Ukraine and the Apostolic capital, where many issues, particularly military chaplaincy, can be fixed at the interstate agreement and international law level.

Finally, they discussed joint work to ensure that the visit of His Holiness Father Francis, which is very important for Ukraine, takes place in Ukraine. The Archbishop expressed hope that the Pope will have the strength and health to make his historic visit to Ukraine after his visit to Canada.