Ukrainian Archbishop: ‘We Know That the Lord God Is on Our Side’

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk
Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

ROME — Ukrainian Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk declared Saturday that God is on the side of the Ukrainians since he always supports the “unjustly aggrieved.”

As he has done on numerous occasions, Archbishop Shevchuk, head of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church, sent a video message chronicling the progress of the war with Russia, which saw its 171st day Saturday.

Over the past two days, Russia launched a massive missile attack on Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region, and on the city of Zaporizhzhia, killing and wounding many, the archbishop noted. It also attacked Ukrainian defenders near the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region and various locations in the Kharkiv and Mykolayiv regions.

Despite the immense suffering from “this unequal, bloody battle with the Russian aggressor,” Shevchuk said, “Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is praying.”

He also took the occasion to thank “God and the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the fact that we met this morning alive again, we see the light of day and can stand in prayer before the face of God.”

He also thanked “all those people of good will from different countries of the whole world who lend a hand to help Ukraine and pray for us.”

Over these past days, the archbishop has focused attention on the future, postwar Ukraine as well as on the need “to forge the key foundations of the renewed Ukrainian state.”

“Because we know that the Lord God is on our side. The Lord God is always on the side of the unjustly aggrieved and patient,” he said.

Among the principles of successful state building is “the principle of subsidiarity or personal responsibility and private initiative,” the archbishop continued.

In state construction, “such subsidiarity means that the higher authorities should not take over the competences of the lower levels of society. And what can be done on a personal, private, public level, the higher authorities should not reserve for themselves,” he said.

“Thus, none of us should wait for instructions from above to keep our streets clean and orderly in order to improve the life of our communities,” he added.

As free citizens of a free state, we should feel that Ukraine “will be the way you and I build it,” Shevchuk asserted. “No one will make Ukraine better for us. No one will build Ukraine for you and me. And no one will protect Ukraine for us from the enemy who is attacking us.”

“The Lord God will always bless every good deed and every good undertaking. And we will feel joy from the fact that we, with our own hands, with our personal gifts, have contributed to the construction of a flourishing, free Ukrainian state,” he said.


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