“This is exactly what the synodal road is in action, when you search for your faithful, follow them and try to serve them,” the information service quoted him as saying.
Shevchuk thanked the pope for establishing an apostolic exarchate for Byzantine Rite Ukrainian Catholics in Italy in 2019.
“We see that our faithful need the presence of their Church and new, more effective ways to organize our Church life,” he commented.
The pope and the major archbishop also discussed a pastoral letter recently issued by the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Shevchuk said: “One of the priorities of the pastoral plan is the healing of various kinds of wounds: those that were provoked in different periods of the history of our people, and modern ones caused by the abuse of Church power, and so on.”
“These wounds require immediate treatment. We strive to bend over the wounds of modern man, to be sensitive to his needs, to discover for him the cure of Divine Grace and Holy Sacraments.”
The two men also discussed the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on Ukraine, which has recorded more than 3.4 million COVID-19 infections and 83,609 related deaths as of Nov. 18, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
The 51-year-old major archbishop said that many Catholics were engaged in a campaign called “Feed the Poor”
“Feeling the Christian need for solidarity with the poor, many of our faithful returned from ‘online’ to parish life precisely because of this initiative,” he said.
Shevchuk has previously expressed hope that Pope Francis will visit Ukraine. The 84-year-old pope has outlined ambitious travel plans for 2022 but has not commented recently on a possible visit to the Eastern European country.
John Paul II was the first pope of the modern era to visit Ukraine, which borders Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, and Russia.
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In his arrival speech in the capital, Kyiv, on June 23, 2001, he recalled that two previous popes were deported to present-day Ukraine.
He said: “History has recorded the names of two Roman Pontiffs who, in the distant past, came this far: St. Clement I at the end of the first century and St. Martin I in the mid-seventh. They were deported to the Crimea, where they died as martyrs.”
During the five-day visit, the Polish pope sought to reach out to Orthodox Christians, who represent roughly two-thirds of the population.
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