Rorate Caeli

Head of Ukrainian Catholics: "It is with great pain that we learned of Pope Francis' words" praising Russian despotism

Pope Francis spoke with the Catholic youth of Russia online on August 25, 2023, as part of the 10th All-Russian Meeting of Catholic Youth held in St. Petersburg.

 Statement of the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church on the discussion around some of the statements of Pope Francis at a meeting with Catholic youth in Russia

It was with great pain and concern that we learned of the words attributed to His Holiness Pope Francis at an online meeting with Russian Catholic youth on August 25, 2023 in St. Petersburg.

We hope that these words of the Holy Father were spoken spontaneously, without any attempt at historical assessments, let alone support for Russia's imperialist ambitions. However, we share the great pain they have caused not only among the bishops, clergy, monastics, and faithful of our Church, but also of other denominations and religious organizations. At the same time, we realize the deep disappointment in society that they have caused.

The words about "the great Russia of Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, that empire - great, enlightened, a country of great culture and great humanity," are the worst example of imperialism and extreme Russian nationalism.

There is a danger that these words may be perceived as support for the nationalism and imperialism that has caused the war in Ukraine today - a war that brings death and destruction to our people every day.

The examples cited by the Holy Father actually contradict his teaching on peace, for he has always condemned every form of imperialism in the modern world and warned of the dangers of extreme nationalism, emphasizing that it is the cause of "the third world war in parts."

As a church, we want to state that in the context of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, such statements inspire the neocolonial ambitions of the aggressor country, although we should categorically condemn this way of "being Russian."

In order to avoid any manipulation of the intentions, context and statements attributed to the Holy Father, we expect the Holy See to explain this situation.

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, together with all citizens of our country, condemns the ideology of the "Russian world" and the entire criminal way of "being Russian." We hope the Holy Father will hear our voice.

In a few days, the bishops of our Church will gather in Rome for the annual Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. We will have the opportunity to meet His Holiness and personally convey to him the doubts and pain of the Ukrainian people, trusting in his fatherly care for them.


[His Beatitude Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk]



Blog Note: This is a huge development. Perhaps never a Patriarch -- because that is the position occupied by Major Archbishop Sviatoslav in all but name (ironically, not made a Patriarch precisely due to Vatican cowardice, or the existence of Kompromat, regarding Moscow) -- has made such a strong statement against a Pope. Francis is a permanent factory of horrors.

We stand with Ukrainian Catholics and the thousands of Ukrainian Catholic martyrs. This horror must end. This horror MUST END.