VATICAN - PAPAL MESSAGE FOR 60TH COMMEMORATION OF TRAGEDY IN WOŁHYNIEN: THE NEW MILLENNIUM DEMANDS THAT UKRAINIANS AND POLES LOOK AT ONE ANOTHER WITH EYES OF RECONCILIATION

Friday, 11 July 2003

Vatican City (Fides Service) – On the occasion of the official commemoration on July 11th of Ukraine-Poland reconciliation, 60 years after the tragic events in Wołhynien, Ukraine, Pope John Paul II sent a message to Cardinal Jozef Glemp, Primate of Poland and Archbishop Marian Jaworsi of Livi of the Latins and Major Archbishop Lubomyr Husar of Livi of the Ukrainians for the “Beloved citizens of the Sister Peoples of Poland and Ukraine”.
“Poland and Ukraine, lands where the proclamation of the Gospel has continued for centuries and which have countless testimonies of holiness among their sons and daughters, at the start of the new millennum, desire to consolidate their relationship of friendship putting aside the grievances of the past and opening themselves to brotherly relations illuminated by the love of Christ” the Holy Father writes. “Sixty years after those tragic events in the souls of most Poles and Ukrainians there has arisen the need for profound examination of conscience. People feel the necessity of reconciliation to enable them to look with new eyes at the present and at the future. This provident interior disposition prompts me to lift sentiments of gratitude up to the Lord, a I am spiritually united with those who recall in prayer the victims of those acts of violence”.
In his Letter the Pope says that “the new millennium, which has just begun, demands that Ukrainians and Poles should not remain prisoners of their sad memories but, considering the past events with a new spirit, they should see one another with eyes of reconciliation and commit themselves to build a better future for all. Just as God has forgiven us in Christ, believers must show reciprocal forgiveness for the offences received and ask forgiveness for their own faults, in order to help prepare a world of respect for life and for justice, in harmony and peace”. The Pope recalls that during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, conscious of the past “before all the world the Church asked forgiveness for the faults of her children and at the same time forgave those who had harmed her in various ways” and he encourages civil societies to adopt the same attitude “encouraging all to sincere reconciliation in the awareness that there can be no justice without forgiveness and that fragile would be collaboration without reciprocal openness.” SL (Fides Service 11/7/2003 EM lines 38 Words: 478)


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