UGCC to Work in Institute of Ground Forces Even if it is Transferred to Odesa
ODESA – On May 11, 2010, the Exarch of Odesa and Crimea of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Bishop Vasyl (Ivasiuk), in his comment on the proposal of Metropolitan Agafangel (Savvin) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate to transfer the Institute of Ground Forces from Lviv to Odesa, stated that the UGCC is going to work in the institute even if it is transferred to Odesa, reported the press service of Odesa and Crimea Exarchate of UGCC.
According to the exarch, in Ukraine at the official level all churches without priority of one denomination over another are allowed to provide pastoral care to the military.
“We do care by whom and how our children are educated as they are the defenders of the motherland. There are simply more military chaplains in Lviv but if the institute is transferred to Odesa, the Greek Catholic Church here will continue its pastoral care to the military. In this sense the transfer of the institute will change nothing,” stressed the bishop.
As RISU reported earlier, Metropolitan Agafangel of Odesa of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate forwarded an open letter to Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych asking to settle the question of returning the Institute of Ground Forces to Odesa from Lviv.
The hierarch backed his request with the following statement: "The western region of Ukraine is a center of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which is under the influence of the Roman Pope. The Catholic Church for centuries has sought and done its best to capture lands populated by Orthodox Christians with arms and forced imposition of the Catholic faith. On the territory of the Academy of Ground Forces (city of Lviv) is the Greek Catholic Church, which influences the worldview and moral and spiritual values of the future officers of the Ukrainian army. There is an Orthodox Church in the Odesa Military Institute."