Ukrainian Catholic leader: ‘The world begins to rediscover the criminal past of the Russian empire’
September 06, 2023
CWN Editor's Note: As the synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church began in Rome, the Eastern Catholic church’s head said that “in recent days, the whole world is beginning to rediscover the criminal past of the Russian empire, is beginning to hear the re-enactment of history on Ukrainian lands from the point of view not of an occupier and colonizer but an oppressed people.”
Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk’s comments follow Pope Francis’s off-the-cuff tribute on August 25 to “the great Russia of the saints, of kings, the great Russia of Peter the Great, of Catherine II, the great Russian empire, cultured, so much culture, so much humanity.” The Major Archbishop lamented the Pope’s remarks: he stated that the Pope’s words “caused great pain,” and that “the words about ‘the great Russia of Peter I, Catherine II, that great, enlightened empire—a country of great culture and great humanity’—are the worst example of imperialism and extreme Russian nationalism.” (Indeed, Catherine II forcibly united 1.5 million Eastern Catholics to Orthodoxy.)
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