Head of UGCC to Communicate on-line with Ukrainian Labor Migrants


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KYIV - On March 26, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in Lviv, a press conference will take place with the participation of Patriarch Lubomyr, head of the UGCC. The theme of the press conference is "Immigration: the task of the church in ministering for immigrants." Immigration is the main theme of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in 2010. During the press conference the head of the UGCC will announce the beginning of the preparations to the Synod and, as already traditional, will invite faithful to participate in working out the main theme, reports the Information Department of the UGCC.

After the completion of the press conference Patriarch Lubomyr from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. will communicate on-line with Ukrainian immigrants from all over the world. Open for the press, the two-hour web conference of the head UGCC will continue with an action to collect suggestions "The Church together with immigrants." The purpose of the event is to prepare questions and recommendations for the Patriarchal Synod regarding pastoral care and social service for the immigrants and their families abroad and in Ukraine. A collection of suggestions will take place on the immigration portal Navigator.

Currently about one-fourth of all faithful of the UGCC reside outside Ukraine and accordingly there are many reasons to call the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church a Church of immigrants. The latest sociological research of the Ukrainian labor migration (results were presented in June 2009 by Caritas of Ukraine with the participation of the Commission of the UGCC on Matters of the Family) certifies considerable disparity between the spiritual necessities of immigrants and the pastoral ministry carried out by the UGCC.

In the address of the Metropolitan Synod of the UGCC in regards to immigration, which took place in June of last year, the bishops underlined that the Church is obligated to "raise the voice of our fellow citizens who were forced to leave and now are deprived the proper defense and safety in the countries of their stay." In the address is also noted that "despite the scale of the phenomenon of labor emigration from Ukraine, it did not obtain the proper attention from the political side, and for that matter state structures." The Church considers it necessary that at the legislative level the existence of a special category of Ukrainian citizens - labor emigrants was acknowledged - is recognized and their legal status secured. An urgent task is making integral immigration state policy and creating a unique central state body on questions of immigration.