CWN - The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) has welcomed a statement signed by 22 Orthodox priests and laity on the so-called Synod of Lviv, the 1946 meeting in which the UGCC was absorbed into the Russian Orthodox Church.

“We assure the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of our solidarity, of our prayers for all the innocent victims of this Church who were imprisoned, tortured, deported and assassinated by the Soviet government with the complicity of the Patriarchate of Moscow,” the Orthodox Christians said in their March statement. “We humbly ask their pardon for all the injustices they have suffered under the cover of the Orthodox Church and we bow down before the martyrs of this Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.”

“We sincerely admire your courage, because it is difficult to be the first-- and it is even harder to remain alone,” stated a response signed by the head of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and bishops, priests, and scholars. “Our answer can best to put into words as: ‘We forgive and ask forgiveness.’”

The response offered strong criticism of the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church:

Of course, it is hard not to notice that the official position of the Church that was an instrument of persecution of the Greco-Catholics in the hands of the godless totalitarian regime is still a position of overt reluctance to accept the facts and of denial regarding historical reality.

The history of the persecution of the UGCC continues to be falsified following the example of Stalinist secret directives and becomes an instrument of neo-imperial ideological propaganda, and even of a hybrid war waged on the territory of Ukraine by those who build their so-called “Russian World” (“Russkiy mir”) by assuming a monopoly as the sole voice of “Orthodox civilization.”

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Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

St. John Chrysostom