UGCC Patriarch: our veterans are a great force that can rebuild the entire society
Patriarch Sviatoslav of the UGCC noted it in the program Open Church.
“Our veterans are an immense treasure of Ukrainian society with a huge potential for construction. People who know the value of life and death, who have seen the destructive power of war, would like to defend the country in a peaceful life, by rebuilding it. This is a great force of our society, capable of transforming and rebuilding society,” he said.
“I recall the words of Christ, who said to Christians:’ you are leaven.’ The Kingdom of Heaven is like a leaven placed in a dough that can lift all the dough. And that is why, I think, our veterans are the leaven of the new Ukraine: they will raise it, not let anyone sleep – neither the Church, nor the authorities, nor politicians. Veterans are a huge potential for the development of our society. They feel the need for a concrete cause in peaceful life, they feel their vocation to give life and their mission to build,” the hierarch added.
The head of the UGCC noted that all Ukrainians, not just the military, should defend our state.
“It is absolutely not moral to assign responsibility for the defense of our state to only one group of people, the military. Today we must remember that it is the sacred duty of every citizen and citizen to protect their country. And we have no right to neglect this duty, disown it, or shift it onto the shoulders of someone else – this is my and your responsibility. I think that these values, which are basic for a country that is waging war and defending itself, should form the basis of our attitude towards veterans – respect for them, support for all those who fought, a certain state program for their rehabilitation and re-socialization. And, obviously, this is the basis of the pastoral ministry of the Church,” Patriarch Sviatoslav emphasized.
The head of the UGCC also noted that since the beginning of the war, the Church stood behind the defenders of Ukraine – from the Revolution of Dignity till nowadays. Military chaplains are present in virtually all military units and divisions. Pastoral centers for military personnel and their families have been established under the dioceses of the UGCC, the monasteries host rehabilitation centers and pilgrimage centers. One of the largest such centers is in Zarvanytsia, where last weekend a great pilgrimage of veterans took place and military chaplains.
According to him, the main task of the Church in relation to our defenders is to help them stand up spiritually, to rediscover the meaning of life to people wounded by the war.