THE HISTORY OF THE UKRAINIAN GREEK CATHOLIC CHURCH (UGCC) IS A HISTORY OF COURAGEOUS ENDURANCE AND HEROIC RESISTANCE – PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE
9 March 2016 | Religious Information Service of Ukraine | risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/state/church_state_relations/62756/
President of Ukraine Patro Poroshenko issued a special statement on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Lviv pseudo-synod – the event that liquidated the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
“Contrary to the will of the clergy and the faithful, its suppression was announced at the ‘Lviv Sobor (Synod)’ of 1946. Ancient churches were taken, bishops imprisoned and sent into exile, believers were forced to abandon the ecclesial tradition of their ancestors. The totalitarian empire could not accept the existence of a spiritual community that, for centuries, has shaped and maintained a Ukrainian national identity and, simultaneously, opened contacts for Ukraine with the world”, reads the statement.
The President Poroshenko believes that the Church’s spirituality strengthened the nation, it helped it in the twentieth century assert it right to statehood and lead a heroic liberation struggle that did not stop until independence had been achieved.
He emphasized the role of the Church leaders such as Andrey Sheptytsky and Joseph Slipyi. “Forbidden, the UGCC functioned underground, brought a new generation of authentic Christians and Ukrainian patriots. The History of the Ukrainian-Greek Catholic Church in the second half of the Twentieth century is a history of courageous endurance and heroic resistance, indestructibility of spirit and unwavering faith in the triumph of good over evil”, wrote Poroshenko.
In his opinion the example of the UGCC is important today, when our nation bravely defends their homeland from the foreign aggressor that brings enslavement under the slogan “Russian World”.
“Today, as always, it is with great honour that we bow our heads before the memory of the martyrs and confessors. We express gratitude to all who resisted and continue to nurture our citizens in the spirit of Liberty, to those who stand on the side of divine Truth and human dignity, examples, models and sources of inspiration, which are so necessary for building a new future of Ukraine, so that it can take its place in the family of free European nations”.