Head of the UGCC: Youth is not a problem: it simply needs answers to complex questions
Tuesday, 02 October 2018
Youth is not a problem. It is a very important, wonderful period in the life of every person. Everyone remembers with nostalgia his youth when the whole world seemed to be full of life.
This was stated by the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church His Beatitude Sviatoslav in the “Live TV” interactive program “Open Church” on the topic “Youth: the Way to the Church”.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav believes that young people need communication, attention. Young people need help finding answers to complex questions when it comes to making vital decisions – how to understand your vocation in life, whether I am called to create a family, how can I recognize which person should I marry? Young people are very concerned about the issue. And they wait for an answer.
“Therefore, I continue to fulfill my promise,” said the Head of the Church, “which I gave during the first press conference, when I became the Head of the Church. I then promised that the youth would be the absolute priority of my pastoral attention. Therefore, whenever possible, I am looking for a meeting with young people. Visiting parishes all over the world, I ask that a compulsory point of each visit was a meeting with the youth, so that we could just chat and give the young people the opportunity to ask in an informal atmosphere difficult questions to the Head of the Church.”
According to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, at such moments he feels that the youths see in the Church not a cold institution, but the mother community of people who want to be close and accompany them on the way to God. “When I’m offered to do a selfie, I try to be accessible in this way. I have no problems with this. If for young people this is an important emotional moment that they want to capture in a photo, then share it with others, then why not?!”
The program outlined statistics that 84 percent of young Ukrainians call themselves believers. But only 15 percent of them pray frequently. And 43 percent go to church only on big holidays. And almost every tenth calls himself an atheist.
The Head of the UGCC noted that there are different statistics on the number of practicing young Christians in Ukraine. “But every young person seeks perfection, eternity, eternal love and fullness of life. We have many religious youths, but perhaps their religiosity, according to our categories of thinking, is unconventional. Man searches for God, looks for answers to questions in Him, builds his relationship with God not like his grandmother, grandfather, mom or dad. Very often young people do not know our traditional prayers, but communicate with Him in their own way,” says His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
Young people, according to the Primate, often can not show their religiosity, but, rather, they are spontaneous in communication with God. However, this does not mean that the religious life of young people is less intense. On the contrary, they live an intense life, learn, work … The life of a young person is more intense than, perhaps, in other age categories.
“Even those young people who call themselves atheists, too, respond to it in a religious way. Because the denial of the existence of God is indirectly proof of the opposite that, nevertheless, a certain being, which we call God, is the subject of my interest, my search, and, possibly, my rejection,” said the Head of the UGCC.
“Often, young boys and girls begin to move away from religious communities in their parish. But this does not mean that they have ceased to live a religious life. This means that they have begun a new stage in their religious life. Sometimes young people can ask a very uncomfortable, awkward question, but only because they expect serious responses,” said the guest of the program.
“In any case, young people need, in particular, from the Church, clear moral benchmarks that could be guides for everyday life decisions that they learn to make from the younger age and take personal responsibility for them,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
Department of Information of the UGCC