Epistle of the Synod of Bishops  of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in 2017

  Prayer in the Life of the Church Epistle of the Synod of Bishops  of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in 2017 to Clergy, Monastics, and Laity “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11: 1) Very Reverend and Reverend fathers! Venerable brothers and sisters in monasticism! Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! Having gathered at the Holy Synod in Briukhovychi near Lviv on 3-12 September 2017, we, the bishops of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, focused on the central aspect of the life of the Church, namely, prayer—both personal and communal prayer. We strive to share with you the fruit of our common spiritual reflections. Although prayer is the natural consequence and manifestation of a person’s faith in God, nevertheless, one must learn to pray, constantly restoring and deepening their ability to communicate with God. The request of the disciples of Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1), is always of relevance to us, because our Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the main teacher of prayer. And today, we as a Church humbly approach Him and repeat the request of the disciples. In the modern world—which, on the one hand, offers a beautiful, unprecedented opportunity to humanity, and, on the other hand, presses on it with an avalanche of information and confuses with pseudo-values and ideologies—this request becomes of particular importance. From the Gospel, we see that Christ teaches prayer primarily through His own life and example. His relation with the Father is manifested continuously, both in public affairs and in personal and intimate communication with Him. Preaching the Good News about the coming of the Kingdom of God, Jesus...

ENCYCLICAL

ENCYCLICAL  OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS  OF THE MAJOR ARCHBISHOPRIC OF KYIV-HALYCH  OF THE UKRAINIAN GREEK CATHOLIC CHURCH  CONCERNING THE DANGER OF GENDER IDEOLOGY Dearly Beloved in Christ! Introduction 1. In the twentieth century, the people of Ukraine suffered from a godless Soviet regime that attempted to forcefully tear people from the roots of faith and impose an atheistic worldview. Presented as the only “scientific” one, this worldview denied human persons’ freedom of conscience and deprived them of the right to freely profess their religious beliefs. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the world stands before similar challenges, which, however, are not accompanied by open and bloody persecution, but rather are served by hidden ideological means of destroying Christian faith and morality, as well as universal human values. Some of these challenges relate to areas of human sexuality and family life, and are not new to Ukraine; rather, they are accented or presented in public consciousness in a new manner. Others are entirely new and even far removed from the Ukrainian context, but certain forces are attempting to artificially impose them upon us. 2. In particular, gender theories are a significant threat today, attempting to destroy the perception of human sexuality as a gift from God that is naturally linked to the biological differences between man and woman, as well as introducing a dangerous disorder to human relationships and attacking the foundations of interpersonal communication. The concepts of human dignity and freedom are undergoing extensive manipulation and the true meaning of these essential moral categories is being displaced and distorted. All these efforts are being implemented very actively,...

STATEMENT ON BILL C-14 BY THE CANADIAN CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS

Today, the Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying). This proposed legislation, which responds to the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in early 2015, will make euthanasia and assisted suicide legal and more accessible in our entire country. The Supreme Court decision and current legislative efforts are in stark contradiction to the endeavours of individuals, families and communities to counteract the dangers and sufferings of suicide – as we have seen this week in Attawapiskat, Ontario.   The teaching of the Catholic Church and the stance of the Catholic Bishops of Canada affirm the sacredness and dignity of human life. Suicide and euthanasia are contrary to the most profound natural inclination of each human being to live and preserve life. Furthermore, they contradict the fundamental responsibility that human beings have to protect one another and to enhance the quality of health and social care which every human life deserves, from conception to natural death.   Bill C-14, no matter how it may be amended, is an affront to human dignity, an erosion of human solidarity, and a danger to all vulnerable persons — particularly the aged, disabled, infirm and sick who so often find themselves isolated and marginalized. Moreover, it is a violation of the sacrosanct duty of healthcare providers to heal, and the responsibility of legislators and citizens to assure and provide protection for all, especially those persons most at risk.   As our country faces this new moral and social threat, the Bishops of Canada renew...

«Ми їм прощаємо і просимо в них прощення…»

Ця Святоюрська гора, в дивний містичний спосіб, стала горою Оливною. Тут, вдивляючись в майбутнє своєї Церкви та свого народу, обливався кривавим потом та сльозами праведний митрополит Андрей Шептицький, у молитві перед Отцем стояв наш великий попередник Патріарх Йосиф Сліпий, знаючи, яку гірку чашу мук та страждань має пити його народ та УГКЦ.  Сьогодні ми з вами стоїмо в тому самому храмі, на тому ж місці, де сімдесят років тому відбувся львівський псевдособор. Скільки людських драм, поцілунків Юди, відречень тут відбулося. Та саме цей псевдособор став моментом, в якому Господь прославив свого Сина, а з ним і Його розіп’яту, а згодом воскреслу, Церкву. Сказав Глава і Отець УГКЦ Блаженніший Святослав 8 березня під час проповіді на Архиєрейській Божественній Літургії  в архикатедральному соборі святого Юра, що у Львові, 8 березня з нагоди 70-річчя львівського псевдособору. Чому УГКЦ спогадує цей день? «Цього дня ми прагнемо подякувати Богу за  те, що зробив саме нашу Церкву інструментом спасіння і воскресіння українського народу та держави. Дякуємо за те, що саме в УГКЦ було багато учнів Христових, які на заклик нашого Спасителя, чували і молилися. Вдячні Богу за мучеників та святих ісповідників Христової віри УГКЦ, які терпіли страждання за близкість із намісником апостола Петра на землі, зокрема в другій половині XX століття після цієї сумної події. Дякуємо сьогодні за те, що можемо свідчити правду про Бога і нашу історію. Ми дякуємо усім тим, які несли тягар  мук і страждань Церкви в роки переслідування», – пояснив Глава Церкви. На думку проповідника, Господь і сьогодні прославляє УГКЦ через новітні атаки ворога, щоб ми ставали праведними: «Учора увесь світ сколихнула вістка про те, що велике число священиків-інтелектуалів Православної Церкви,...

«I do not expect that much will change» – His Beatitude Sviatoslav on the Meeting of Pope Francis with Patriarch Kirill

“I do not expect that the meeting of Pope Francis with Patriarch Kirill, planned for February 12, will bring any particular changes. Although it is good that the meeting will take place and I am happy that finally there is an understanding on the part of the ROC {Russian Orthodox Church} that meetings are necessary,” remarked His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, on the announcement of the meeting of Pope Francis with Patriarch Kirill in Cuba. The Head of the UGCC noted that for many years the ROC refused to participate in such a meeting and named the UGCC as an obstacle for dialogue. “The meeting cannot be an end in itself, but must rather be an instrument, a necessary means for honest and open dialogue. I am, therefore, pleased, that we are no longer considered an obstacle and aren’t being used to justify one’s unwillingness to engage in such dialogue,” said the Primate of the UGCC. He emphasized that the meeting between the two primates will take place practically days before70th the anniversary of the Lviv Pseudo-sobor, during which the UGCC was forcibly liquidated. “The Russian Orthodox Church, unfortunately, to this day has not condemned this act of coercion, perpetrated by the Soviet authorities. We hope that the meeting of the Pope and the Patriarch will create a new context for movement in the direction of historical justice,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav. The Head of the UGCC also hopes that the very meeting will change the rhetoric on the part of radical individuals within the ROC, who do not recognize the Catholic Church as a...

Statement Regarding Meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill in Cuba

February 5, 2016 Statement of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies Regarding the Meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in Cuba FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, welcomes the announcement of the Holy Father’s meeting with Patriarch Kirill in Cuba this Friday, February 12. We consider this an opportunity for Pope Francis to raise important issues that have been of grave concern to Eastern Catholics and many others for more than two decades. Among these issues, beginning with the most recent, are the following: 1. The support by representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate for the Kremlin’s aggression in Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. The violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine is contrary to all international law, in particular, the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 to which the Russian government was a signatory. We believe that as a Christian institution the Moscow Patriarchate is obliged to challenge the Russian government’s violent activity in Ukraine, activity that has led to the death of thousands of innocent civilians. 2. The Moscow Patriarchate’s promotion of the notion of a “Russian World” (Russkii Mir). This notion has provided an ideological foundation for the Russian government’s aggression in Ukraine. The idea of a “protectorate” to be exercised by Russia within Ukraine and other sovereign countries has hampered inter-ethnic harmony and understanding. It evokes the Russification policies of the USSR. 3. The Moscow Patriarchate’s continued misrepresentation of ecclesiastical events in Ukraine. Frequently, the free and legitimate desire of Christians in Ukraine to choose which Church...