His Beatitude Sviatoslav visited the II UGCC Migrant Forum in Rome dedicated to youth
Monday, 08 October 2018
The youth should be at the center of special attention of all the institutions: the Church, our communities and also the Ukrainian State, with which, in one way or another, we must jointly take care of the children of Ukraine who are outside the borders of the Motherland.
Because if we can not create maternal communities for our youth – we will not fulfill our duty to the end. Such an opinion was expressed by the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav during his speech at the Second Forum of Migrants organized by the UGCC. This year’s forum continues in Rome and is dedicated to young people.
“I am pleased to welcome you here, in the Patriarchal House, in Rome. This is a special place for our Church. I remember the words of Patriarch Josyph Slipyj, a Confessor of Faith: ” If there is a house – people will come.” The Patriarch built this house for the Ukrainians here in Rome, and he probably looks at you from heaven and rejoices that this house is full,” said the Head of the UGCC.
He noted that next year, the Synod of Bishops will come here to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the consecration of the Holy Sophia Cathedral. “This forum is a good start to the golden jubilee of both the cathedral and this house,” added His Beatitude.
The Father and Head of the UGCC said that he had come to the Forum from the Pontifical Synod, which is taking place in Rome these days and is also dedicated to youth. “At the Holy Synod, the Holy Father repeatedly emphasized that this meeting was the moment of listening. And I would very much like this Forum to become a space for mutual listening and communication, so that each of you, the delegates of this Forum, can speak on behalf of the community that you represent. Only when we are able to listen to each other we will be able to find answers to questions that concern our communities, our people,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
The Head of the UGCC stressed that one of the central tasks of the communities of the UGCC, in particular on the European continent, should be the special attention to the youth.
“Young people are the focal point of the Papal Synod. When I was listening to the youths from different parts of the world, I began to understand more deeply about how difficult it is today to be young, because young people face enormous challenges. What profession to choose, how to live in a world that does not look very friendly, how to build relationships with other people? It is difficult to answer these questions today to young people,” said the Head of the UGCC.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav said that each delegate asked his youths before the Pontifical Synod: what should I say about you in the Synod? And in most cases, young people asked to say that they needed a community. “At first, the community of the family, the presence of the father and mother. They need a Church that is a parental community, not a cold institution that fights for its survival or solves only its problems. And this is the task of our Church, especially here, on the European continent, where our new diaspora is. If young people do not find a community that would take responsibility for them – be sure they will leave both that Church and that community,” stressed the Head of the UGCC. “And I would very much ask that the issue of taking care of the youth be at the center of special attention of all the institutions: the Church, our communities and also the Ukrainian State, with which, in one way or another, we must together take care of our children, the children of Ukraine who are outside the borders of the Homeland. Because if we can not create maternal communities for our youth – we will not fulfill our duty to the end.”
He noted that young people want to see the Church as a community that accepts them, does not condemn, ready to help them, listens to them.
The Father and the Head of the UGCC also noticed that today, very often immigrants, and young people in particular, feel rejected in the societies where they come. “It may happen that our young people and the children of the emigrants are the stones that the builders reject, and the Lord God will make them the cornerstone,” he added.
The Head of the UGCC also assured the Forum participants that the UGCC “has always been, is and will be your mother. And this ministry, especially for Ukrainian migrants, representatives of the new diaspora, is considered one of our pastoral priorities.”