Lviv, Ukraine

Fr Borys Gudziak, Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University

Fr Borys Gudziak has today sent out a letter of thanks in which he pays tribute to everyone for the massive outpouring of public support in prayer and action following his recent meeting with a representative of the Ukrainian State Security Service.

Such solidarity, he says, is extremely important:  "Only through the communion of people of good will can the fear that invisibly envelopes Ukraine be overcome."

“We have before us a moral Chornobyl”, he continues.  “You cannot taste, smell or feel the radiating repercussion of decades of violence...  The spiritual framework of society was shattered by the eradication of the Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and other religious structures and personal moral and social values.  Fear is profoundly embedded in the souls and psyches of Ukrainian politicians, business people, academic leaders, and older generations who often pass it onto the young. It should be clear that the authorities are also living in fear, particularly of their own people...  Today the fear is subcutaneous. A scratch brings it to the surface. An abused, beaten society flinches even before the next blow lands.  That is why the process of healing will be a long one. Its most effective instrument will be patient love that reaffirms trust, the kind of interpersonal trust that replaces fear and that is the fabric of all authentic social, civic, business, political and family life...”

The letter ends by drawing strength from the newest recognized martyr of the Catholic Church, Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, whose beatification took place on Sunday in Warsaw:

“A simple, dedicated assistant parish pastor, he was brutally tortured and killed in 1984 because he refused to stop preaching the Gospel in the face of ideological repression, violence, and injustice.  His words like the witness of the Ukrainian martyrs and all true disciples of the paschal Christ echo those of St. Paul: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good!" (Romans 12, 21).”


Ukrayinska Dumka


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