The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Patriarch consecrates Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during a recent visit to Fatima.
On October 23, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Sviatoslav, Patriarch of Kyiv-Halych and all Rus’, celebrated a hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Fatima, Portugal. During his homily, the Patriarch addressed pilgrims from all over Europe, reminding them of the importance of Our Lady’s apparition and the need to perform penance in reparation for the sins of mankind. Echoing the words of Our Lady to the three children at Fatima, His Beatitude asked the pilgrims, “Do you want through personal mortification and penance join the fight with sin? Are you ready to sacrifice your pains and sufferings for the conversion of sinners? Are you ready, by sacrificing tears and sufferings of Ukraine, apologize to God for innumerable offences which we and other nations gave Him?” In response, all of the pilgrims present said, “Yes.”
As part of the service, Sviatoslav declared that the time had come to consecrate Ukraine, the UGCC’s faithful, and the other nations of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He also noted “that only through personal mortification and the fight with sin can we win the war in which we are involved in now,” namely the ongoing Russian-backed conflict in Ukraine. Here are the Patriarch’s words of consecration:
Mary, we stand today before your countenance and consecrate to your Immaculate Heart and place under your protection Ukraine and other Eastern European nations and the world. We offer you all the pain and suffering of Ukraine, because only through conversion and repentance comes peace. Receive our offering and save our people and our land and the world from sin and death.
It is fitting that the leader of the UGCC should make this consecration on the eve of the hundredth anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. No other Catholic body in the world suffered as much from the “errors of Russia” than Greek Catholics living in Ukraine and the surrounding regions. Up until 1989, the UGCC was the largest oppressed religious group in the world, having been illegally “dissolved” in 1946 by a false synod staged by the Russian Orthodox Church in concert with Soviet authorities. Moreover, the Russian Greek Catholic Church, which was established with the blessing of Pope St. Pius X, was virtually wiped out under the Soviets.
Today, Ukraine finds itself embroiled in conflict as the Russian state continues to support violent dissidents in the eastern half of the country. UGCC properties have been seized in the east and its priests arrested, abused, and forced to abandon their flocks. All of this has gone on with the tacit approval of Russian Orthodox leaders who continue to spread calumnies about Greek Catholics while insisting that the aforementioned 1946 pseudo-synod is still binding. Regrettably, the Vatican has done little to combat these falsehoods, preferring instead to appease the Russian Orthodox Church in the name of “ecumenical dialogue.” Resisting this false ecumenism is in part why the Society of St. Pius X works with and supports the Society of St. Josaphat (SSJK), a traditional Greek-Catholic apostolate operating in western Ukraine. (For more information on the SSJK, see this article from the March 2008 issue of The Angelus.)
Let us join with the Catholic faithful of Ukraine in petitioning Our Lady of Fatima to bring peace to that beleaguered land. And let us also heed Patriarch Sviatoslav’s words to do penance for the innumerable sins of mankind and the great offenses made against Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Most Holy Mother.