By Paweł Rytel-Andrianik

The coronavirus epidemic does not stop the functioning of the Catholic Church in Ukraine, despite the limitations, we remain in contact, among others on-line. During Easter, many parishes broadcast Masses and services on the Internet – says the bishop of the Kiev-Zhytomyr diocese, Vitaliy Krivitskiy.

The bishop emphasizes that there are currently over 3,000 people infected with coronavirus in Ukraine and about 100 people died. “For many, the quarantine is very difficult to survive because of the impossibility of working. Many people in Ukraine live paycheck to paycheck, and at the moment they are deprived of the opportunity to earn money. In Kiev we feed more than 100 people every day, some of them had jobs before the epidemic and made a living by themselves, now they are left on the street without means for life” – adds bishop Krivitskiy.

He informes that due to the restrictions, up to 10 people including priests can attend Holy Masses and services in Ukraine. “Churches are open, but outside of the service two people and a priest can pray at the same time. Some people come to confession and Holy Communion. During Easter the liturgies were broadcast by many parishes, despite some technical problems, the faithful could experience this time together, forming a spiritual community” – says the bishop of Kiev-Zhytomyr.

He also emphasizes that many Catholics in Ukraine, especially young people, wrote in the social media that they experienced this Easter – despite its limitations – very deeply. “They bore witness to their longing and hunger for Holy Communion, they wrote that before the epidemic they did not always appreciate its importance. They also spoke of the longing to be present in full community. This year, the Ukrainian Bishops’ Conference decided that there was no rite of blessing of Paschal food. The blessing was celebrated in the houses according to a special formula” – informs bishop Krivitskiy.

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