DON'T JUST TALK ABOUT CHRIST, POPE SAYS
Exhortation to Ukrainian Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 19, 2001 (Zenit.org).- It is not enough to talk
about Christ -- the need is "to help people see him," John Paul II
said today in a challenge to all the Christians of Ukraine.
This was the instruction the Holy Father gave today to 1,500
Ukrainian Greek-Catholic faithful who came to Rome to thank him for
his pastoral visit to Kiev and Lviv in June.
Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, archbishop major of Lviv, led the Eastern-
The cardinal said during the meeting with the Pope said that the
latter's trip was an event "which has given hope again not only to
the Ukrainian people, but to all the Slav world," opening "new
possibilities to give witness to Christ in all the territory of the
former Soviet Union."
John Paul II responded by challenging the "three venerable" rites
(Latin, Byzantine and Armenian) which coexist in Ukraine, not to
engage in rivalries but to be committed to reciprocal love and
respect for the plurality of their traditions, which are
a "magnificent symphony of the Church of Christ."
After recalling the harsh years of the Communist regime, the Holy
Father acknowledged that "today in your land one can speak freely of
God. However, for contemporary man, immersed in noise and the
confusion of daily life, words are no longer enough: Not only does he
want to hear talk of Christ," but "in a certain sense he wants to see
The Pope said that this challenge should unite Catholics, Orthodox
"Give Ukrainian people the possibility to see their Savior," the
Pontiff exhorted. Do "not wait for someone to create the conditions
favorable to commitment and pastoral work; inspire them yourselves
with creativity and generosity."
He added: "Give witness with your life and works to the presence of
the Risen One among you! It is the most eloquent and effective
message that you can give to your fellow citizens."
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]