The bishops of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in Ukraine expressed their support and gratitude to the Ukrainian people and defenders of Ukraine – all those fighting against evil on a global scale. The address of the Synod also refers to the vocation of the Church – to be with its people and a special vocation to the military chaplaincy. The bishops also called on the Russian invaders to repent and lay down their arms.
Source: UGCC Information Department
“Today, we see the great mission of the Ukrainian people. In God’s providence, revived Kievan Rus will rise again and stop the evil will of the aggressor in times of great turmoil and the threat of destruction of Ukraine and many other peoples. We are paying a great price for the liberation of our and other peoples and stopping this insatiable dragon,” reads the statement of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC.
The hierarchs of the UGCC emphasize that the mission of the Church is to be with its people at all times and support them spiritually. The Church must try to keep the seeds of despair from taking root in the wounded hearts of Ukrainians, who defend their homeland and all European nations and their freedom.
The bishops of the UGCC addressed those who stood up in defense of Ukraine with weapons in their hands, calling them soldiers with love in their hearts – a love above which there is none:
“Your heroic feat has already become an example for the whole world. The defender is a warrior with love in his heart: love for his native people, his land, parents and children, and for all those who today need protection from the hellish cruelty and brutality of the Russian aggressor. The blood of our brothers and sisters in Bucha, Mariupol, Irpen, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and hundreds of other Ukrainian communities calls for strength and courage to become defenders of life and humanity… Only by the power of love can we achieve the final victory of good over evil, truth over lies, and human dignity over human meanness.”
The address of the Synod of the UGCC emphasizes the special role of military pastors – chaplains. The Law of Ukraine “On the Military Chaplaincy Service” adopted last year provides an opportunity for the professional organization of pastoral care in the Ukrainian Armed Forces:
Today, we address our military pastors with words of gratitude, fraternal support, and recognition for faithful service. From the first days of Russian aggression and throughout the following years, military chaplains of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church never hesitated to stand by the men and women in military uniform. The Law of Ukraine “On Military Chaplaincy Service” creates opportunities for the effective professional organization of pastoral service in the Ukrainian army. Ukrainian people, we invite our military pastors to sincere service to those holding the fate of our shared future in their hands… Your vocation is to testify to hope in the twilight of human suffering, to be faithful followers of God,” reads the statement of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in Ukraine.
The bishops of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in Ukraine appealed to the Russian invaders, urging them to repent and lay down their arms so that God would give them hope for eternal life:
“We feel obliged to appeal to the Russian military, soldiers and officers who dared to take up arms against the Ukrainian people, killing innocent people, leaving children orphaned, depriving many people of their own homes and hope for the future. The blood of innocent Ukrainian children will testify against you in the Lord’s judgment. Until it’s too late, find the courage to lay down your arms and not carry out criminal orders. Do not allow murderous propaganda to overshadow your mind and incite unjustified cruelty: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn 8:32). Repent and ask God to forgive your crimes against humanity so that He may grant you the forgiveness of sins and hope for eternal life,” the UGCC bishops urge.