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Pope Francis met head of the Ukrainian Catholics Sviatoslav Shevchuk
11 November 2016, 11:00 | Vatican | 0 | | Code for Blog | |
On Thursday, November 10, 2016, Pope Francis had a private audience with His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Galician, head of the UGCC, who stayed in Rome these days, taking part in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
As His Beatitude Sviatoslav told after the meeting in an interview with Vatican Radio, first of all, he familiarized the Holy Father with the achievements of the Synod of Bishops, held in early September, including the decisions and proposals concerning the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome. It was underscored that the main theme of this Synod - diakonia, i.e. social service, was in line with the Jubilee Year of Divine Mercy, which was an opportunity to sum up his experience with the UGCC.
Another issue touched upon during the meeting was the contribution of the UGCC in the works of the International Mixed Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, which is currently considering the issues of synodality and primacy. It is noted that the experience of synodality of the UGCC may be interesting and helpful for the Ecumenical Church. It was also emphasized that the ecumenical Church wishes not just be present, but to be an active participant of ecumenical dialogue.
Talking about the Gospel witness of his Church in Ukrainian society, His Beatitude Sviatoslav highlighted his recent visit to Kramatorsk, the life in the so-called “gray zone” and involvement of the UGCC in the “Pope for Ukraine" initiative. In this context, the Holy Father shared his impressions of his recent apostolic trip to South Caucasus, in the course of which he faced the situations similar to the one Ukraine is experiencing, and said that that the phenomenon is not an isolated fact.
According to the Head of the UGCC, the Pope said that Ukraine holds a special place in his heart and he prays for all its inhabitants, and sent his Apostolic Blessing.
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