22.07.2009, [15:08] // UGCC // risu.org.ua
“In relation to what we expect from this decision (recognition of the repression of the UGCC – aut.), it follows to establish the suffering inflicted on the Church morally and spiritually, the widespread destruction of churches as well as priesthood, the repression of the faithful and the clergy. It is also important to note the financial losses the Church suffered, which are not inherently detrimental to the Church because it is not a banking system; however, finances play an important role in accomplishing evangelical tasks. Therefore, if there is an official recognition of the repression of the Church, I hope that there will also be the recognition of a right to certain reparations. In cooperation and with the help of proper state-sponsored commissions, the form and dynamics of recognition can be determined. This recognition process must take place because it is, without a doubt, an element of historical justice,” explained Bishop Bohdan (Dzyirakh), Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, in a commentary for RISU, which he gave during the 37th convention for the Secretary Generals of the European Episcopal Conference. The UGCC website reported this story on July 21, 2009.
Bishop Bohdan further commented that it is utterly necessary to recognize the true history of the UGCC. He said that it is too early to predict what the official statement will be, however it should be a reflection of the “greater understanding, maturity and freedom of our society.”
“We have to work. We have to have a strong faith that the state will understand. During his presidency, President Kuchma said that the UGCC is a very important part of spiritual life and an intrinsic aspect of Ukrainian history from which it was “brutally removed.” This was a moral confession of the guilt of the state before the Church, commented Patriarch Lubomyr, for the web-portal “Religion in Ukraine.” The Head of the UGCC explained that it would be easier to live and work for the Church if it had the appropriate financial support. “If we had the facilities to further build and develop the Ukrainian Catholic University, we would be able to organize houses for the elderly, for orphans, for those who remained single after divorce, among others,” remarked the Head. He added that the Church does not need the money for itself. “A lot of money for the Church would be a curse. Therefore, we need to be extraordinarily careful in financial matters. A surplus of money would make the Church worse off. We require only that amount which is necessary for us,” said Patriarch Lubomyr.
On June 19, 2009, the Ternopil Regional Council acknowledged the repression of the UGCC. Before them, the city councils of Lviv (on December 4, 2008) and Ivano-Frankivsk (on February 27, 2009) officially recognized the repressed status of the Church. The regional councils followed suit, on Decembers 23, 2008 and on March 23, 2009, respectively. On June 4, 2009, the Ternopil City Council acknowledged the status of repression of the UGCC. The Council also appealed to the President of Ukraine and to the Supreme Council to initiate on the national level a “process of establishing historical justice in relation to the UGCC by recognizing its historical repression.”