Ukrainian Catholic bishops in 1933: Ukraine is struggling with death

23 November 2017, 16:22 | UGCC | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Ukrainian Bishops to All Men of Good Will, Lviv, 24 July 1933. Printed in "The Holy See and the Holodomor" ed. Athanasius McVay and Lubomyr Luciuk, p. 33–34

The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Halych to all men of good will in the matter of the events in Great Ukraine.

Ukraine is struggling with death. The people are dying of hunger. The deadly system of state capitalism, based on injustice, deception and infidelity, has brought the country, once so rich, to complete ruin. Three years ago, the supreme head of the Catholic Church, Pope Pius XI, launched a solemn protest against everything that in Bolshevism is contrary to God, to Christianity and to human nature. Together with the whole Catholic world, we adhere to the protest of the Holy Father. Today we see the consequences of Soviet domination: this frightening situation is getting worse, day-by-day. Faced with these crimes, human nature falls silent and blood curdles in the veins.

 Although powerless to extend material aid to our dying brothers we appeal to the faithful of our Church with the ardent request to help them with prayer, with sacrifices, with other good deeds of Christian charity and to seek the desired help from heaven — because there is no hope on earth of obtaining the help of men.

Before the whole world we protest against the mistreatment of the children, the poor, the weak and the innocent and raise our voice before the tribunal of God in public accusation against the perpetrators. The blood of workers who, tormented by hunger, cultivate the black earth of the Ukraine cries for vengeance from Heaven, and the hungry peasants raise their voices to God.

To all Christians of the world, and in a special way to our peasants, we address this request, that all will adhere to this protest and sorrow and bring it to the whole world. We invite radio stations to send it [this protest] through the blue skies so that perhaps it will reach the hovels of our poor dying brothers. That they may know, in their horrendous hunger and faced with a terrible death, that their brothers, knowing their fate, suffered with them, cried for them and prayed to God for them. This will give them strength and comfort in their sorrow.

And starving brothers, filled with suffering, raise your gaze to the Merciful God, to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Support your terrible torments with patience because death accepted from the hands of God is a holy sacrifice, united to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. These sacrifices will reward you with Heaven and the nation with redemption. Our hope rests in God.

Given at Lviv on the day of St. Olga, the 24th July 1933

Andrew Sheptytsky, Gregory Khomyshyn, Josaphat Kotsylovsky, Nykyta Budka, Gregory Lakota, Ivan Buchko, Ivan Latyshevsky


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