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Ukraine: The Head of the UGCC called on European bishops to ensure the war in Ukraine is not forgotten

16. November 2023

On November 9th in Brussels, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), addressed the General Assembly of the Commission of the Episcopal Conferences of the EU (COMECE). During his address, the Head of the UGCC focused on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and the pastoral challenges involved in the "healing of the wounds of war. This was reported by the Information Department of the UGCC.

Addressing representatives of the EU episcopates, His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked them for their openness to Ukrainian migrants, "about 6 million of whom are in your countries," and emphasized that the rebuilding of Ukraine largely depends on whether they return to their homeland. "The victory of Ukraine lies not only in the return of our territories but, first and foremost, in the return of our people home." Among the main challenges of the coming winter, His Beatitude Sviatoslav named the food crisis, which "we can overcome only through international solidarity." He called on members of COMECE to make efforts to prevent the war in Ukraine from becoming a "forgotten war."

During the discussion on what a just peace means for Ukraine, His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that the first condition for the restoration of a just peace in Ukraine is the recognition by Russia of the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination and subjectivity in international relations. "We cannot negotiate with those who still deny our right to exist." The Head of the UGCC emphasized that Russia's war against Ukraine has a clear genocidal dimension and reminded that "Ukraine's European choice contradicts Russia's neocolonial ambitions. This is the reason for the war."

The Head of the UGCC appealed to representatives of the EU Episcopal Conferences to help Ukrainians integrate into their societies, "guaranteeing, however, our faithful the right to pastoral care of their Mother Church." His Beatitude Sviatoslav presented Bishop Stepan Sus to the participants and talked about the main tasks of the Pastoral Migration Department in pastoral care for the faithful of the UGCC in countries where there are no canonical structures.

The President of COMECE, Archbishop Mariano Crociata, thanked His Beatitude Sviatoslav for setting the example of "inspiring pastoral ministry the entire Catholic world admires."

COMECE is an organization that unites the episcopates of the EU for relations with EU institutions, monitoring EU legislation and policies in accordance with the social teaching of the Catholic Church. COMECE has 26 episcopal conferences of the EU as its members. The organization's secretariat is located in Brussels. (Quelle:, 10. November 2023)