Speaking about the role of St. John Paul II, which he played for Ukraine and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that over the years, John Paul II was a voice that spoke on behalf of those who had no voice. "He spoke on behalf of the silent church - said the Bishop – as Catholics were called in the Soviet Union. He was like Moses, who spoke to Pharaoh: "Let my people go". It is no coincidence that Soviet leader Mykhailo Gorbachev allowed the activities of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in connection with the visit to the Vatican and meeting with Pope John Paul II. Then also began the process of resurrection of our Church. The spiritual revolution began, which was the forerunner of the fall of the empire and the emergence of free Ukraine. Freedom of religion was like a prophetic harbinger of freedom for all the people".
He recalled that an important gesture during a visit to Ukraine of then Pope was that He canonized many Greek Catholic martyrs. "I remember, - continued the Head of the Church - the people then said, if the Pope stepped with his foot onto Ukrainian soil, then communism will never come back here. We can say that His visit to Ukraine secured religious freedom in our country. His call to "Fear not!" remains more relevant and strong in Ukraine, especially today".
Archbishop noted that this visit was important not only for Catholics but for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as well. "John Paul II arrived in Kyiv as a pilgrim to the site of the baptism of Rus, which was the source of Christianity in Eastern Europe. His words were especially important in the context of the search for reconciliation between divided Churches of East and West", - said the Head f the UGCC. We need to remind that 23-27 June is turning the 14th anniversary of the visit of Saint John Paul II in Ukraine.