Pope Francis has expressed his gratitude to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
In a letter to to His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kiev and head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, sent Sunday, the Pope recognized those faithful in Ukraine who have born witness to the faith despite their suffering.
Major Archbishop Shevchuk and other members of the Permanent Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church met with the Pope on Saturday and released a statement affirming their communion with the Catholic Church.
The Pope’s letter began by recalling how about 70 years ago, their Church suffered from a particular ideological and political context, and “ideas that were contrary” to it.
“In sad memory of these events,” Francis wrote, “we bow our heads in deep gratitude before those, who at the cost of suffering and even martyrdom, continued to witness the faith in the course of time and to show dedication to the Church in union with the Successor of Peter.”
Pope Francis also renewed his solidarity to the pastors and faithful “for what they do in this difficult time, marked by the tribulations of the war, to alleviate the suffering of the population and to seek ways of peace for the dear Ukrainian land.”