“It happened that our language was always placed under limitation, banned and disrespected, just as was our Church. They tried to steal from us the precious gift of faith, which is passed on through its culture and language. This week we will ask Almighty God that in no case does our Parliament pass the law against the Ukrainian language,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), UGCC Head, during a sermon at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection in Kyiv on July 1, 2012 – the Sunday of All Saints of Ukraine.
During the Divine Liturgy, the UGCC Primate also greeted Europeans visiting the capital in order to experience “a special event in our city.” He addressed the guests in Italian since the Euro 2012 Championship Final involved Italy and Spain.
The Primate stated that the Church in commemorating the memory of All Saints of Ukraine, that is, “all who were witnesses, bearers and heroes of Faith,” reminds one of the beginnings of Christianity in Ukraine. “Changes occur in history pages, leaders, ideologies – but the eternal and the greatest treasure of our people is Christian faith, which grants us the possibility today to be active participants in the Sacred Feast which is the Divine Liturgy,” noted the speaker. He underlined that faith is the ability of a person to overcome all restrictions: ethnic, cultural, religious and to find the one living God
“Let us implore Almighty God that on our native land we will never be people of second-class, that here we will be able to fully develop in our language and culture and be worthy of that legacy, which all the saints of Ukraine through their suffering, passed on to us,” ended His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), UGCC Primate.
It is worthwhile to mention that in May 2012 the representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCPO), which also include UGCC hierarchs, petitioned national deputies not to accept for consideration by Parliament the proposed law “On Principles of State Language Policy.” This was especially highlighted in the letter to the Head of Parliament Volodymyr Lytvyn and National Deputies, signed by the succeeding chairman of AUCCRO, The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Head Sviatoslav (Shevchuk).
“It is painful that the subjects of political manipulation become issues, so sacred for a nation’s autonomy and stability, such as, language, history and religion” noted the letter. The AUCCRO chairman asked the Speaker of Parliament and the national deputies not to place the abovementioned law project on Parliament’s agenda because of its threat to disrupt social peace and harmony, its threat to the culture and the autonomy of Ukraine and-- even -- the existence itself of Ukraine as a nation.” To this letter was also appended the epistle of AUCCRO from 24 July 2006, to the Ukrainian people about the function of languages and the threat of separatism; this message had been signed by UOC-KP Primate Filaret, UOC-MP Head Metropolitan Volodymyr, UGCC Major Archbishop Lubomyr (Husar).
UGCC Department of Information
See also Заява Українського католицького університету з приводу прийняття закону про мови