"We have come to learn from you the depth of faith and spiritual life," - delegation of the German episcopate in Kyiv

02.06.2022, 20:55
Ukraine and world
"We have come to learn from you the depth of faith and spiritual life," - delegation of the German episcopate in Kyiv - фото 1
On June 2, the Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, congratulated the delegation of the German Episcopal Conference headed by Bishop Bertram Mayer, who is visiting Ukraine these days, at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv

Together with Bishop Bertram Mayer, Bishop of Augsburg and Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Episcopal Conference of Germany, the Chairman of the Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Germany on Migration, the Chairman of the Commission on Social Assistance, and the press secretary of the German episcopate arrived in Ukraine.

"It is such a small miracle that now, after the difficult time of the Russian war, everyone comes to Kyiv as the spiritual capital of the world," the head of the UGCC said, welcoming the delegation from Germany to the Patriarchal Cathedral of the resurrection of Christ.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav stressed that it was Catholic bishops in different countries of the world who took a clear pro-Ukrainian position from the beginning of the full-scale Russian aggression. In Germany, he said, Catholic bishops are a prophetic voice before German society and the German political world.

"Welcome, Your Excellency! Thank you for your presence, and for your visit. On behalf of the people present here, we express our gratitude to you, our fellow bishops and all Catholics in Germany for your support and cooperation. Welcome to Ukraine," the Head of the UGCC added.

In his speech at the end of the Liturgy, Bishop Bertram said that they came to Ukraine with great joy, and the visit itself has a double meaning: "first of all, it is a visit of solidarity, because we [together with His Beatitude Sviatoslav. – Ed.] are brothers in the bishopric united around the successor of the Apostle Peter. Since we are not politicians, but above all believers, our solidarity is to support each other in spirit, to support each other with prayer."

"Together we are the two lungs of the One Church of Christ," he added, recalling the words of St. John Paul II that the Catholic Church breathes with two lungs – Western and Eastern traditions.

At the same time, Bishop Bertram noted that the Catholic Church in Germany is rich and wants to share what it has. The Church in Germany, he added, through its entities such as Renovabis, helping the Church in need, Caritas Internationalis and many others already supports various projects in Ukraine.

"But the most important thing is not money, not finances, but that your church is a school of spirituality. And we come from Germany to you to learn the depth of faith and spiritual life. The first lesson your priests give us. Today, during breakfast, we talked about the importance of the presence of priests among their people, in particular during the war. This is a very strong message – when everyone runs away, the priests stay and stay with their people. Dear fathers, thank you for this," said the head of the German delegation.

He also noted the role of the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, which, as he noted, is used not only for solemn liturgies but also as a shelter, a bomb shelter during the worst moments for people who were seeking rescue from Russian bombs.

"Thank you for your testimony of courage and Christian faith. We came here to learn from you. And we will be very happy if we can help you,¨Bishop Bertram Mayer summed up and added:" From the bottom of my heart, I wish you peace, peace for your hearts, peace for your church communities, but most of all – peace for this country, for Ukraine. God bless you all!