Nuncio fears potential Russian persecution of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
August 06, 2014
In an interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, the apostolic nuncio in Ukraine, said that civil unrest in the nation has led to a more serious Christian commitment on the part of many and also expressed fear of a Russian persecution of Greek Catholics.
“The Christian presence in Ukraine is one of the most important ones, I’d say, not only in the former Soviet Union, but probably even in Europe today,” he said. “There’s a sense of the presence of God in the lives of the people of Ukraine, and there’s a Christian orientation.”
“The hardships, the struggle, the danger of this period, has done an awful lot in terms of developing and strengthening a personal Christian awareness of people and has been a positive, almost, despite the questions you could normally ask about where is God in the midst of all of this and so on,” he continued. “But basically speaking it has been a catalyst for good, in terms of drawing people to a more consistent Christian way of living.”
The prelate expressed concern that continued instability might lead to the practical disappearance of a Roman-rite Catholic presence in the nation. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, he said, “may be even more at risk, but for different things, in terms of persecution from the side of Russia and others who have never really accepted the reality of this beautiful church which is there, which is one of our great sources of pride as Catholic people.”