- On Sunday, September 3, the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in 2023 began in Rome, with the central theme “Pastoral Support for Victims of War.” The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in St. Sophia Basilica, concelebrated by UGCC bishops from around the world, was presided over by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father and Head of the UGCC. The prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Catholic Churches, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, arrived to greet the synodal fathers.

The first sign of hope is that the synodal work is the moment of the descent of the Holy Spirit: “Whenever the Church or the people have undergone some rough moments in their history (in modern times, we would describe these as moments of crisis), the Church has convened local synods or even Ecumenical Councils. For such an assembly of the apostles of our time, our bishops, is a special moment of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Church and the people.”

His Beatitude Sviatoslav regretted saying that today, many people would live happier and more peaceful lives if Ukraine, its people, state, and our Church did not exist. He recalled an Argentine saying: “I am a pebble in the shoe,” and noted that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is such a “pebble in the shoe for those who would like to get on with their earthly things, despite God’s call to the Heavenly Kingdom as it really is.”

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