Christ’s priesthood has its source not in man, but in the divine person and ministry of the Son of God
“Christ’s priesthood has its source not in man, but in the divine person and ministry of the Son of God. The priest is called to be a light ray of eternity in the interim, a living icon of the Savior’s presence among the people of God, the presence that throughout history the Church was a source of strength and invincibility for the Ukrainian believer,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav stated in his Epistle to the UGCC clergy on Holy Thursday on March 29, 2012.
The head of the UGCC calls the hierarchs to “reflect together on a common task: to make all people partakers in eternal life.” He cites examples of famous priests. He said Metropolitan Andrey, using Father Markian Sashkevych as an example, emphasized that the content of his work was ‘to go to the people,’” and Blessed Bishop Omelyan Kovch wanted to be among the people even in death camps.
In his opinion, “a priest can perform his mission only if he will be with his people always and everywhere.” “Only then is he able to nourish the faithful with his preaching of the word of God, using it to show specific life circumstances of modern life and bring people closer to the holy sacraments,” he says. The priest should know his faithful, share with them all aspects of their lives, to be with them and follow their life paths.
Patriarch Sviatoslav argues that modern culture “creates new ways to separate the clergy from the faithful, to steal from our community the living and active presence of the Good Shepherd, to separate them from God.” According to the Primate of the Church, “by becoming close to his people, a zealous pastor brings them closer to Christ, shares the joy and grief, burdens and victories.”