The leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church met with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery Nov. 9 and asked him to keep praying for Ukraine.
The pope emeritus told Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk that he “keeps praying for Ukraine.”
The last meeting between the two dates back to February 2019. During that meeting, Benedict proved to be incredibly informed of the events in Ukraine and stressed that he always prayed for peace in Ukraine.
In their meeting on Nov. 9, Shevchuk spoke about the war in Ukraine, presented the humanitarian situation to the pope emeritus, reiterated that the war in Ukraine is ideological and colonial, and compared it to the Nazi regime.
He also thanked Benedict XVI for his letter at the beginning of the war.
Benedict stressed that he was following the situation in Ukraine closely, expressed his great sorrow for the suffering of the Ukrainian people, and said that he always prayed for peace to come.
Shevchuk replied that “only the power of prayer keeps the Ukrainian people alive,” so he asked to continue praying for Ukraine.
Benedict XVI appointed Sviatoslav Shevchuk bishop on January 14, 2009, assigning him as an auxiliary to the eparchy of Santa Maria del Patrocinio in Buenos Aires, where he met Pope Francis. Benedict XVI also confirmed the election of Sviatoslav Shevchuk as head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church on March 25, 2011. There is, therefore, a strong link between the two.
The Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is in Rome for a week of meetings at the Vatican. It is the first time he has left Ukraine since the Russian aggression on February 24.
On Monday, he met Pope Francis, to whom he brought a fragment of a mine that destroyed a Greek-Catholic church in the city of Irpin. On November 12, he will meet with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state. On the 14th, he will meet ambassadors accredited to the Holy See.