President of the Episcopal Conference of Italy called on to fill the ignorance about the history of the Holodomor, the genocide of the Ukrainian people.

Monday, 19 November 2018

On Sunday, November 18, the Ukrainian community in Italy commemorated the 85th tragic anniversary of the Holodomor. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Head and the Father of the UGCC, led the memorial events in the Cathedral of Naples. On this occasion, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Italy, wrote a letter to the Ukrainian community, and in the churches of Italy on that day the faithful prayed for the victims of the Holodomor.

 

“I will unite in prayer with the entire Ukrainian community in Italy, which today assembled in the Cathedral of Naples at the Divine Liturgy headed by the Head and Father of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav together with the Ukrainian and Italian priests, in order to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the genocide of Ukrainians — Holodomor,” wrote in his letter the head of the Italian Church. The opportunity to pray in the main church of the Archdiocese of Naples” is a manifestation of fraternal hospitality and genuine solidarity” of the Italian people with “the Ukrainian community that mourns their compatriots.”

In his letter, Cardinal Bassetti emphasized that “recollection is one way to be close: I know, I understand your suffering, therefore I pray with you and for you. This is the leitmotif that unites us with the Jews, the Armenians, and the people of the Rohingya.” In his view, the memory about the Holodomor is necessary in order to prevent such tragedies in the future: “not forgetting is not only a look back, but also the transfer of previous experience to future generations in order not to lose memory of the horrors of the past. It is necessary to fill in the “ignorance of history” and the events of the past should become a lesson for all peoples who, starting with the testimony of those who bear the scars of the past atrocities, will be able to recognize the gift of free confession of their faith. This is relevant even in our time when Christians still go through persecution and martyrdom.”

Secretariat of the Head of the UGCC in Rome

Addendum:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I will unite in prayer with the entire Ukrainian community in Italy, which today gathered in the Cathedral of Naples at the Divine Liturgy headed by the Head and Father of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav together with the Ukrainian and Italian priests, in honor of the 85th anniversary of the genocide of Ukrainians — Holodomor.

The good reception of your community by the diocese of Naples and personally by His Eminence Cardinal Crescencio Sepé is a manifestation of the deep unity and heartfelt feelings that relate us with the Ukrainian community that mourns their loved ones. It is about sincere fraternal hospitality and true solidarity.

The history of our Churches, from its origins, is animated by the faith of the martyrs: their testimony strengthens us and helps us to realize that our view should be constantly appealing “to Jesus, the Chief and Executor of the Faith, that instead of the joy that was before Him, he endured the cross without paying attention to shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God “(Ep 12.2).

Brothers, we experienced the ecumenism of blood (living ecumenism), so dear to Pope Francis, which really means “to be close.” So, remembering is one of the ways we have to “be near”: I know, I understand your suffering, so I pray with you and for you. This is the leitmotif that unites us with the Jews, the Armenians, and the people of the Rohingya.

Thus, not forgetting is not only a look back, but also the transfer of previous experiences to future generations in order not to lose memory of the horrors of the past. It is necessary to fill in the “ignorance of history” and the events of the past should become a lesson for all peoples who, starting with the testimony of those who bear the scars of the past atrocities, will be able to recognize the gift of free confession of their faith. This is relevant even in our time when Christians are still are experiencing persecution and martyrdom.

Today accept our heartfelt feelings of communion, unity and solidarity in the painful remembrance of the inhumane sacrifice of millions of people, the death for the “destructive effectiveness of ideology,” as St. John Paul II called it.

Gualtiero Card. Bassetti

 

President of the Bishops’ Conference of Italy

http://news.ugcc.ua/en/news/president_of_the_episcopal_conference_of_italy_called_on_to_fill_the_ignorance_about_the_history_of_the_holodomor_the_genocide_of_the_ukrainian_people_84496.html

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