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Archbishop Shevchuk: Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops, audience with the Pope next week

Next week, Rome will host a session of the Permanent Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and the Bishops will have an audience with Francis to “show our full, visible communion with the Pope”. This has been revealed by His Beatitude Svyatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, as he met the press in Rome today to speak of the Declaration signed in Cuba by Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill. The archbishop points out that March 8th marks the 70th anniversary of the “pseudo-Synod” of Lviv that in 1946 forcedly decided to suppress the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, thus forcing it to go underground and “starting our martyrdom”. Because of this, the archbishop points out, the meeting of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops with Pope Francis in Rome next week “will weigh more”. As to the Declaration signed in Cuba, Shevchuk says that the Bishops will not ask the Pope for explanations, “because children do not do that to a Father”, and because “we need no explanation. We need communion and a path to walk together for the future”. His Beatitude also answered a question about the chance of Pope Francis visiting Ukraine, mentioning that both the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Latin Church sent a letter of invitation one year ago, and so did the President of Ukraine, both in writing and during his audience in Rome. “We know – Shevchuk said – that the Holy Father received the letters, but he has not replied yet. But speaking of a forthcoming meeting or even of dates would be premature”.

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