The Havana Declaration Broke International Silence on the War in Ukraine — Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk)

— trans. A. McVay, Source:RISU

Last year, the meeting in Cuba between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill and the signing of a common Declaration upset Ukrainian society. While international journalists and experts were calling it a unique historic event, the mood in Ukraine was more pessimistic. Some of the points of the Declaration pertained to the war in Ukraine and the activity of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. In the opinion of many, the Declaration was vaguely worded that it facilitated a pro-Russian interpretation of ecclesial or political realities. Many Greek-Catholics saw a sign of hope in the fact that Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) did not hide behind diplomatic formulae, but intervened courageously by giving voice to their sorrows, posing important, poignant questions to the Apostolic See and to the Pope himself. A year on, many things have changed. Sometimes, it looks as if, referring to the bloody war in Syria as “sacred”, the Patriarch of Moscow lost all the moral credit that he had acquired at Havana. However, others see that meeting as the beginning of a greater initiative. Perhaps it is too early to evaluate its results but RISU has taken advantage of the anniversary to pose questions to the Head of the UGCC about the Havana meeting and accord, and the developments that have happened in the year since it occurred.