On Independence Day the Head of UGCC Called Faithful “to Follow Divine Orders and Not the Political Situation”


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"What place does prayer have when we mark this great state holiday, or other similar events? Why do we want to pray today?" asked Patriarch Lubomyr, Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) in his Independence Day Address. His speech was read on August 24, on Independence Day of Ukraine, in the Church of the Annunciation to the Holy Mother of God during Hierarchal Divine Liturgy.

"For today's celebration of our statehood, our independence, we need not only look at secular principles of behavior but at the concepts of the holy faith," said the head of the UGCC. According to him, our demeanor, our consideration of civil obligations, should be built on the Divine law. "Our civil life should follow Divine orders and not the political situation," stated the patriarch.

In practice this means every member of the community, regardless of his status, should fulfill his "holy duty to care for the good of his neighbor." "A lack of respect to the rights of neighbors, for whatever reason be it carelessness, laziness, fear, search of the personal benefit is to resist the Divine will, similarly as the insidious use of human weakness through corruption, injustice, manipulation, or deception for the sake of reaching selfish goals," cautioned Patriarch Lubomyr.

The head of the UGCC invites us read about the prophets, especially Isaiah and Jeremiah, in the Holy Scripture. "They at one time as the speakers of the Divine truth showed all the public sins and reminded the authority that such behavior leads to the ruin of a nation," says the patriarch, adding that this is relevant even today. From this we see how important comprehension and the conscientious execution of God's commandments is for us, believing people. "Because, as the prophets taught, God's punishment can be reversed by sincere repentance and appeals to the Lord. Therefore remember that not only secular principles, but the Divine law has to become basis of our demeanor," stated the head of the UGCC.

The Hierarchal Liturgy in the Church of the Holy Mother of God was celebrated by Bishop Bohdan (Dzyurakh), Secretary of Synod of Bishops of UGCC, Bishop Joseph (Milyan), auxiliary bishop of the Kyivan Archeparchy, and priests of the Kyivan Archeparchy of the UGCC. Upon completion of the divine service all jointly prayed to Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky for the Ukrainian nation.

Information Department of the UGCC