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Ukrainian Greek Catholics Saddened by Pope's Resignation

14 February 2013, 10:08 | UGCC | 

Бенедикт-Святослав.jpgThe Information Department of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) published a letter by Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk saying that the clergymen of the UGCC were sad to hear about the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

“On one hand, we feel orphaned because the faithful of our Church always viewed Your Person as the Father who repeatedly addressed with a fatherly word our nation in its tongue during various events in the Apostolic See. On the other hand, we would like to assure Your Holiness of our kinship and filial faithfulness,” reads the address of the patriarch.  

On behalf of himself and the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, clergy, monastics and laity and all Ukrainians, Patriarch Sviatoslav expressed sincere gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI for “the bold testimony of the faith, wise leadership of the Universal Church and full commitment to the work of Christ.”

In particular, the head of the UGCC on behalf of the faithful thanked the Pope for “fatherly care for the development of our Church and due attention paid to the development of its structures in Ukraine and abroad” and for giving his blessing for the establishment of three new metropolitanates in western Ukraine.

“Most Holy Father, having declared the Year of Faith, You gave everyone an extraordinary lesson of the faith by Your humble act. Your courageous choice inspires and encourages us to fully trust our Lord Who takes good care of His Church,” reads the address.

Peace and Resurrection are Yours!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down Death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

You descended into the tomb, O Immortal. You destroyed the power of Death. You arose as a victor, O Christ God. You announced to the women bearing ointment: “Rejoice!” You gave peace to Your apostles and resurrection to the Fallen. (Kontakion)

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing, confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica

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