UWC President Eugene Czolij concludes official visit to Italy
On 27-29 January 2018 Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij fulfilled an official visit to Rome, Italy, to further Ukrainian interests among representatives of the Holy See and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy.
On 27 January 2018, at St. Sofia Sobor of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) in Rome the UWC President participated in a ceremony during which the Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) conferred the Distinction of the Hieromartyr Omelyan Kovch. The laureates included author Oksana Zabuzhko for notable literary work and civic activism; volunteer medic Yana Zinkevich who saved the lives of 128 wounded in combat in the Anti-Terrorist Zone and was later seriously wounded; European diplomat Jan Tombinski for his work in support of democratic values in Ukraine; American historian Timothy David Snyder for bringing Ukrainian history to the forefront; and German philanthropist Brigitte Weber for 20 years of charitable work assisting Ukrainian children and the disabled. In the framework of this event Eugene Czolij congratulated all of the recipients and expressed gratitude for their support of Ukraine.
On 28 January 2018, the UWC President attended a Pontifical Divine Liturgy at St. Sofia Sobor of the UGCC and a meeting of Pope Francis with the gathered faithful, during which he had the opportunity to greet the Holy Father and thank him for his prayers for Ukraine and the humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian people, and he also invited the Pope to visit Ukraine.
Eugene Czolij also met with sister servants of the General Council of Sister Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Rome led by Mother Superior Sofia Lebedovych.
On 29 January 2018, the UWC President met with Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches Archbishop Cyril Vasil’ and Director of the Department on Eastern Europe of the Holy See Visvaldas Kulbokas. Eugene Czolij specifically presented the Resolution of the 2017 UWC Annual General Meeting which continues to call for the recognition of the Patriarchal status of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and discussed issues surrounding Euro-integrational processes in Ukraine and the destructive consequences of the hybrid war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.
On this day, the UWC President met with Director of the Unit for Russia, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy Guido de Sanctis. The UWC President highlighted Italy’s role as the current Chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and called upon Italy to support the deployment of an OSCE monitoring mission to Crimea and a UN/OSCE peacekeeping mission to Eastern Ukraine.
On this visit the UWC President was accompanied by Ambassador of Ukraine to the Holy See Tetiana Izhevska and Director of the UWC Mission to Ukraine Serhiy Kasyanchuk.
“The Ukrainian World Congress calls upon His Holiness Pope Francis to recognize the Patriarchal status of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
List of individuals with whom the UWC President met:
His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, Bishop of Rome and Head of the Vatican City State
His Beatitude Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Head of the UGCC
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches
Archbishop Cyril Vasil’, Secretary of the Congregation for Eastern Churches
Monsignor Visvaldas Kulbokas, Director of the Department for Eastern Europe, Holy See
Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops UGCC
Bishop Dionosii Lachovicz, Apostolic Visitor for Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Italy and Spain
Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, Bishop of the Eparchy of the Holy Family UGCC in London
Bishop Joseph (Werth), Ordinary Bishop of the Diocese of the Transfiguration in Novosibirsk
De Sanctis Guido, Director of the Unit for Russia, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy
Izhevska Tetiana, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to the Vatican
Snyder Timothy David, American historian
Tombinski Jan, Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to the Holy See
In the photo from left to right: E.Czolij, Cardinal L. Sandri and T. Izhevska