18 October 2018

Today, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Patriarch Sviatoslav, spoke at the Pontifical Synod which is taking place this month in the Vatican. He told the fathers of the Synod about the pastoral experience of the UGCC in the context of the war.

“For the fifth year, Ukraine has been the victim of the military aggression of the Russian Federation. It is the young Ukrainians of different ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious affiliations who die every day for our Motherland, protect it as true heroes and protagonists of the transformation of our society,” said the Head of the UGCC.

In his speech, His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that “it was the young people who asked me to bring to the attention of the Synodal fathers that they needed the Church which would be their mother. “They are not looking for an institution but for a community of people with authentic faith. Young people feel some dislike for the Church who view themselves as a cold institution fighting for their own survival and geopolitical interests. They say that such a Church will never be young. That is why today’s Ukrainian youth are asking the Church to understand to what extent it is an institution,” said the head of the UGCC.

The head of the UGCC also noted that for the pastoral service among the youth, the Church needs “really mature people”. “Not always adults, or those who have completed higher education or studied in the seminary, may be considered mature people. Often, a young man who experienced some suffering, stared in the face of death on the battlefield, or saved civilians from the death during bombing, gained a huge life experience, understands the price of life better than an arrogant priest or a kleptocratic politician. Not spiritual dignity, but human, spiritual and professional maturity are necessary to help a young man recognize his own human and Christian vocation,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The speaker completed his speech to the participants of the Synod on behalf of the Ukrainian youth, “Do not think about what you should do for us, but think about what we have to do together.” It is reported by the Department of Information of the UGCC.



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