In his Easter sermon the head of the UGCC called Christians to unite


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His Beatitude Lubomyr Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in his Easter Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on April 4 in the St. Basil the Great Church in Kyiv expressed the importance to consider the division in the Christian world and to find a way to overcome the separation.

"This year according to all Christian calendars the feast Christ's Resurrection is celebrated on the same day. But, unfortunately, this does not mean that we, Christians, celebrate it together," stated His Beatitude Lubomyr.

"Unfortunately, dearly beloved in Christ, we behave not as Jesus Christ wanted," the head of the UGCC remarked. "Unfortunately, today we are divided. We each celebrate in our own corner. We are divided into confessions. Into groups. We look at each other with a crooked eye. We reproach one another. We are afraid of each other."

The head of the church gave an example of how Christ behaved to his offenders: "In our translation of the Holy Scripture, maybe, it is not very correct to use the word which Jesus Christ said to them. We often hear: ‘Grief, grief, grief, to you!' But this word which in its Aramaic original rather means: ‘I regret that you do this!' Not a word of disgrace, but a word of sympathy." As explained by His Beatitude Lubomyr, Jesus Christ teaches us by his knowledge, by his behaviour, how those who call themselves Christian, that is the Disciples of Christ, should act.

"Today, when we celebrate this great holiday, we have to think what we can do in order to overcome the division and find a way to each other. To truly unite before the Lord. Because this is what he wishes. He teaches us to love one another. He tells us to be united. And to pray to the Universal Father so that we may be as one," said His Beatitude Lubomyr.

"Today we witness that God's force is greater than the force of death. Jesus Christ overcame death. For us, dearly beloved in Christ, this is very important. Because, humanly speaking, it seems impossible to heal the division. But with God's help it can be overcome," noted the head in his Easter sermon.

"Instead of a monopolistic rule over Christian Ukraine, which was a characteristic sign of the past epochs, we propose communion unity in the already divided Kyivan Church. However, in order for this unity to bring peace and understanding to Ukraine, it must grow from within, in the bosom of every branch of the Kyivan Church. This process began in 1989 and became the determining milestone in the life of both the Greek Catholics and the Orthodox in Ukraine. This will not be easy, there will be oscillation and possibly retreats; however, as our history certifies, it is inevitable, because it has experienced sacrifice and martyrdom, the strength of spirit and height of thoughts, fire of faith and sincerity of prayer," responds the Synod of Bishops to the problem of interconfessional division in a Synodal message on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the legalization of the UGCC, the 16th anniversary of the death of Metropolitan Andrey (Sheptytskyj), and the 25th anniversary of the death of Patriarch Joseph (Slipyj).