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Ukrainian Catholics welcome statement on 1946 ‘synod’

April 05, 2016

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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