UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH
OF NORTH & SOUTH AMERICA
Archeparchy of the United States & the Americas
Pastoral Letter of Archbishop-Metropolitan Michael
to our Church in South America
To the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
in Columbia and Venezuela:
Peace, Health and Salvation in our Savior, Jesus Christ
With our Archepiscopal Blessing!
Your Excellency, Archbishop Odón Abad, Devoted Clergy and Religious and my Dear Faithful in Christ:
I want to take this opportunity, during this holy season of Lent, to write to all of you and offer my thoughts about this special time.
For our entire Ukrainian Church, those who are in Latin America have a great place of importance in our hearts. Like the people in Ukraine, you in Columbia, Venezuela and other places, have suffered much during the course of history, especially in the present time. We understand well, what has taken place and is happening now in your countries. We know in particular, what it means to suffer persecution and difficulties for the Christian faith and for the rights of each person of humankind.
Well know also, the necessity to hear the Word of God, in the manner in which our Savior taught it to us. As in Ukraine, so in Latin America, there are many people who are poor, in their spirits and in their daily necessities. They need our help, in order to continue not only the spiritual life, but human life itself. It is the responsibility of the church, to promote the movement for liberty and justice for all.
In the decade of the 1960s, the universal church brought to the attention of the whole world, the struggle of the poor and those who suffer, at the great conference in Medellín. In your own area, this very important action began, and we cannot forget the message which it teaches us. The church in Ukraine and in Latin America has the precious example of our martyrs, to continue the plight to proclaim that which is the truth.
During this time when we remember the life and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, each one should contemplate and put into action, that which we believe and which the Holy Gospels compel us to do. I want to give you the assurance of our solidarity with all that is happening in your lives each day and the understanding that we are together on the journey that will bring us to a situation in which liberty and justice are a part of the life of each one.
In particular, I want to take this opportunity to thank Bishop Paul Peter Jesep, my personal delegate to the Church in South America, Archbishop Odón, our exarch in your countries and all of the clergy, for their dedicated ministries in the name of the Lord and of the Ukrainian Church. Without them, I would not be able to guide the church according to the path of Christ and the furtherance of the Gospel.
I ask that all of you pray for me and for the work of our church, no only in South and North America, but in Ukraine and throughout the world. I send you the blessing and greetings of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Mefodiy, the first-hierarch of the UAOC and all of our bishops in Ukraine. I assure you of my prayers and remembrances of all in our church in South America, in each Divine Liturgy that I offer.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Most Rev. Michael Javchak Champion, DD., MA Th.
Archbishop-Metropolitan of the United States & the Americas
Primate - Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of North & South America
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