To be human in inhuman circumstances.
March 10, 2015
“To be human in inhuman circumstances – this is the testimony to us today from Metropolitan Andrew” – Head of the UGCC
“As witnessed by his contemporaries, Patriarch Joseph Slipyj, whenever a complicated dilemma came before him, would ask himself, “what would Metropolitan Andrew say about this?” When preparing the pastoral letter on the Year of Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky, we put before ourselves this very question. With Ukraine, living amidst circumstances of military aggression, once again in its history has become the victim of and unjust assailant.”
These observations were spoken by the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav in a video blog for “Living TV”.
Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky lived through two world wars. That is why he felt and understood very well that which occurs in the human soul which in peacetime is unexpectedly immersed into military distress. Quoting from the words of Sheptytsky, His Beatitude said, “Metropolitan [Andrew] clearly spoke about this, that during war even among those that are not fighting and those that have no reason to be divided – begin to pile up an unprecedented amount of misunderstandings, disputes, hostility and hatred. In this manner, friendly social life becomes a ‘war of everyone against everybody’. The result of this is that simple kindness and Christian charity become commodities more costly than butter and lard”.
During war, the human psyche is especially wounded. That is why, according to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, for pastors and all people it is important to promote Christian love and mercy. According to him, only in that way as taught by Metropolitan Andrew will we successfully overcome these difficulties.
“The great Metropolitan counselled us not to succumb to any sort of acts of violence or disobedience, but to maintain levelheadedness and calm, unity and harmony. He counsels us to be guided by reason illumined by faith”, he said, “the law of God must become the principles of our life and our goals. In this manner, this is the best path, by which we can be of service to our country and to the future of our nation. No human thought or predetermination can justify sin against the Commandments of God”.
However, Metropolitan Andrew warns that “waves may come that will counsel us to act against our consciences and the Law of God”, but we must always act as Christians faithful to the Lord’s Commandments.
“To be human in inhuman conditions – is the testament for us from Metropolitan Andrew. In the mind of the Metropolitan, a Christian can and should be a patriot. However, one’s patriotism cannot be hatred and impose obligations that are contrary to the Faith. This is what Metropolitan Sheptytsky would say to us today,” His Beatitude concluded.
Information Department of the UGCC