November 14, 2016

On November 10, 2016, Pope Francis had a private audience with His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the UGCC, who was participating in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

In an interview with Vatican Radio His Beatitude Sviatoslav said, that in the meeting with the Holy Father he familiarized him with the work of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC held in September of 2016. The main theme of this Synod - DIACONIA, i.e. social service, was in line with the Jubilee of Mercy.

Another issue touched upon during the meeting was the contribution of the UGCC in the works of the International Mixed Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. At the present time this Commission is discussing the issues of synodality (conciliarity) and primacy. It is noted that the experience of synodality of the UGCC may be interesting and helpful for the Ecumenical dialogue. It was also emphasized that our Church wishes not just to be present, but to be an active participant of ecumenical dialogue.

Talking about social work of the Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav highlighted his recent visit to Kramatorsk, the life in the so-called “gray zone” and involvement of the UGCC in the “Pope for Ukraine" initiative. In this context, the Holy Father shared his impressions of his recent Apostolic trip to the Caucasus: Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, in the course of which he faced similar situations to the one Ukraine is experiencing, and said that it is not an isolated phenomenon.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav assured, that Holy Father Pope Francis prays for all Ukrainians and sends his Apostolic Blessing.


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