The fate of Ukraine regards all of us

December 12, 2014

On Wednesday, December 10, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the special representative of the Holy Father Pope Francis, made his visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the legalization of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

After he returned back to Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn wrote the short reflections for the newspaper Zeitung Heute about his visit to Ukraine.

Exactly 25 years ago, in 1989, Mykhailo Gorbachev restored to the right of legal exiatance to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. In 1946, during Stalin's rule, this Church endured horrific repression and was formally forced to survive in the undergound and to endure terrible perseutions. I have the great honour to come to this “Day of the Resurrection of the UGCC” as legate of the Holy Father Francis. Today the UGCC is one of the most active realities of free and independent Ukraine, and I had the great joy to see this for myself.

I was shocked when I visited the National Museum “Memorial to the Victims of the Holodomor in Ukraine,” erected in memory of the millions of people who perished from famine, deliberately caused by Stalin. We knew almost nothing about this “Holodomor” – the death of millions of people from hunger during period between 1932 and 1934. Stalin created this famine artificially, in order to expropriate the property of farmers and, in this way, to weaken Ukraine. During the Second World War many more victims were added by Naziism – Jews and Ukrainians.

Truly, this land has endured great trials through suffering and is drenched through with blood. Today, this country wants to be a free, independent, and democratic state. Will it succeed? Will the West fulfull their promises to help and support? Will Russia abandon it's aggressive politic (the occupation of Crimea and territories in eastern Ukraine)?

What struck me the most during this visit, when meeting people – was their Hope and Strong Will never again to be enslaved, and their deep Faith that the Lord God has not forsaken them! And we shall not forget them, for their fate pertains to all of us!

“Antworten” von Kardinal Christoph Schönborn,

 in der Zeitung Heute, am Freitag, 12 Dezember 2014

Trans. Rev. A. McVay

While in Kyiv Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, prayed for the people who were killed on the Instytutska street during the Revolution of Dignity. He said that the Vatican has been following very closely the developments in the country and expressed the Pope’s closeness to the people who suffer.

The Head of the UGCC, Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, said that: “We are most grateful to the Holy Father for his empathy with the pains of our people and his staying beside us. Today over 5 million of Ukrainians in Donbas have been affected, 500 000 people were forced to leave their homes. We are facing a humanitarian disaster, when people are dying not only from the bullets, but from cold and hunger. We are together with the people and do not intervene in the politics, we are together with the people and share their pain.”

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