Pope Francis greeted Ukrainian bishops and pilgrims in Rome
February 18, 2015
Holy Father was joyfully awaiting the “ad limina” visit of the Ukrainian Episcopate February 16-21, 2015. This gave an opportunity to be directly informed about the situation in the country, to console the Church and those who suffer and to look for reconciliation and peace.
At St. Peter's Square, during general audience, Pope Francis welcomed Ukrainian bishops of the UGCC and RCC, who came to the Vatican for “ad limina” visit, as well as pilgrims from Ukraine, with a traditional Ukrainian Christian greeting "Glory to Jesus Christ!" and wished peace to this country.
"I sincerely congratulate bishops from Ukraine: “Glory to Jesus Christ!” “Слава Ісусу Христу!” I also direct this greeting to pilgrims accompanying them. Brothers and sisters, I know that among many wishes you pray these days, there is a request for peace in Ukraine. In my heart I also have the same aspirations and I join your prayers for lasting peace in your homeland. May God bless you! "- said Pope Francis.
On February 17, the bishops of the UGCC Synod visited the Vatican State Secretariat. At the meeting with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, State Secretary, the Patriarch Sviatoslav told about the real situation in Ukraine and pastoral challenges facing the Church in war. In his address to the Vatican diplomatic representatives, the Patriarch also stressed the need to tell the truth and defend the truth in any circumstances.“This is what the citizens of Ukraine expect today from the Holy See as the highest moral authority.”
At the Divine Liturgy at St John Lateran Basilica the Patriarch said, that the bishops came to Holy Father to tell him the truth about aggression against Ukraine. “Once my predecessor, Metropolitan Hryhoriy Tsamblak came here to tell the Christians of the West about the Mongol-Tatar invasion and today we deem it our duty to tell the world the truth about what is happening in Ukraine.”