Shevchuk: The UGCC’s task is to convince Ukrainians that the Pope is for us
The head of the UGCC is convinced that Ukraine must restore friendship with the Pope, since “the country will not survive without global international support.”
The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Sviatoslav Shevchuk, stated in an interview with the Polish publication eKai that trust in the Pope has been undermined in Ukraine, while the task of his church is to restore it.
According to him, Pope Francis assured UGCC bishops that he stands with Ukraine. Shevchuk emphasized that their task now is to persuade Ukrainian citizens of this message and convey it effectively.
Responding to the statement by the spokesperson of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podolyak, that the Pope is "pro-Russian", Shevchuk referred to the opinion of Ukraine's ambassador to the Vatican, Andriy Yurash, who considers Podolyak's position to be "his personal opinion" and not the position of the Ukrainian government.
Shevchuk is convinced that through the Pope, Ukraine may garnish global support from the international community, which is crucial for the country's survival.
While assuring journalists of the unconditional unity with the pope, Shevchuk stated that Catholicism in Ukraine is a "survival force" for their nation.
At the same time, the head of the UGCC acknowledged that the "public image of the Pope in Ukraine is shattered" and that this is a real problem for the Catholic Church in Ukraine.
Previously, it was reported that the Office of the President of Ukraine excluded the Vatican from mediating with Russia due to the pontiff's pro-Russian position.