By Deborah Castellano Lubov

The Lord is beside you….

His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, gave this reassurance in his message of condolences to the Church in Lebanon.

In the letter addressed to the Catholic Patriarchs in the country, Major Archbishop Shevchuk highlighted: “The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church unites herself to her brothers with all Lebanese sister Churches and prays for the victims of this tragedy.”

“We want to embrace your Church and your country with our fraternal love, and assure you of spiritual support in these times of great loss, pain and insecurity,” His Beatitude said.

This “terrible tragedy,” he said, has distressed the whole world, and we pray that the world may unite to offer support to the Lebanese people, which–he pointed out–who have suffered so much in the course of history and has already suffered the hardships of the global pandemic, of the economic crisis and of political confrontations.

“Your city has suffered much, as the man left to die on the road to Jericho. Today the whole world is called to become the Good Samaritan that, impelled by compassion, heals your wounds.”

Lord Beside You

“In this time of great desolation,” he reminded, “we wish to assure you that the Lord is beside you.”

“Our Lord,” the Ukrainian prelate said, “is always beside in human pain and suffering. He took upon Himself the greatest human tragedy, death, to give us eternal life. And now, in Lebanon, He gives peace and hope in the midst of the tragedy and despair.”

Reminding all Lebanese faithful, “we are with you,” he said: “We ask the Lord to alleviate your sufferings, to receive the innocent victims in His arms and, with His infinite Love, to heal the broken hearts!”

Major Archbishop Shevchuk concluded, praying: “May Our Lord, who has overcome death with His death and Holy Resurrection, receive the souls of the dead and give them the eternal rest of His Kingdom, and grant His peace to heal the hearts of all those who have lost their dear ones in this tragedy. We embrace you with our prayer and solidarity in the eternal hope of the Resurrection.”

Here is the full message, provided to ZENIT:

***

Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church

August 10, 2020

Words of Condolence of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Addressed to the Patriarchs of the Oriental Catholic Churches in Lebanon

Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church

Youssef I Absi, Patriarch of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church

Krikor Bedros XX Ghabroyan, Patriarch of the Armenian-Catholic Church

Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Patriarch of the Syro-Catholic Church

Your Beatitude

We are witnessing with profound sympathy and grief the new wave of suffering that has stricken the Lebanese land, already suffering before. This time it is the terrible explosion that has devastated Beirut, causing many victims and numerous wounded, and deprived many innocent people of their homes.

In these days of pain and desperation, we send our spiritual solidarity to Your Beatitude, to all your faithful and to all the Lebanese people, and we express our most profound and sincere condolences to the families of the victims.

The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church unites herself to her brothers with all Lebanese sister Churches and prays for the victims of this tragedy. We want to embrace your Church and your country with our fraternal love, and assure you of spiritual support in these times of great loss, pain and insecurity. This terrible tragedy has distressed the whole world, and we pray that the world may unite to offer support to the Lebanese people, which has suffered so much in the course of history and has already suffered the hardships of the global pandemic, of the economic crisis and of political confrontations. Your city has suffered much, as the man left to die on the road to Jericho. Today the whole world is called to become the Good Samaritan that, impelled by compassion, heals your wounds.

In this time of great desolation, we wish to assure you that the Lord is beside you. Our Lord is always beside in human pain and suffering. He took upon Himself the greatest human tragedy, death, to give us eternal life. And now, in Lebanon, He gives peace and hope in the midst of the tragedy and despair.

Dear brothers and sisters, we are with you. We ask the Lord to alleviate your sufferings, to receive the innocent victims in His arms and, with His infinite Love, to heal the broken hearts! May Our Lord, who has overcome death with His death and holy Resurrection, receive the souls of the dead and give them the eternal rest of His Kingdom, and grant His peace to heal the hearts of all those who have lost their dear ones in this tragedy. We embrace you with our prayer and solidarity in the eternal hope of the resurrection.

In solidarity and in prayer with you,

In the name of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church,

+Sviatoslav Shevchuk

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