(Source: Novena/UGCC Department for Information)
The Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) have issued a stirring appeal to the rich to engage in solidarity with the poor.
In a message after a recent synod which was posted online October 30 and is entitled – “You will be left with one thing – what you gave to the poor!” – the Bishops of the UGCC claimed that wealth as such is not evil. The Lord, according to them, does not condemn it, because He Himself is its source and guarantee for the good of all His children.
“The greatest danger is not hidden in things, not in material objects or organisations, but in the way in which people use them”, explained the Bishops, referring to the latest encyclical of Pope Francis, Fratelli tutti.
According to Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops, goods, wealth and savings – if used skillfully and wisely – become useful not only for those who have them, but also for others, and turn in the hands of responsible managers into a master tool of creative love that transforms the world.
The Bishops decried the insensitivity of conscience to the true value of material goods and to the cry of the needy as a contributing factor to the world crises and upheavals that cause the suffering of millions of people.
In their message, the Bishops appealed to wealthy people:
“Do not rely on wealth, so that disaster does not catch you suddenly and irrevocably! Instead, as wise rulers, direct the means you have in your hands to save the poor, protect the weak and support the needy. Then your souls will be enlightened by the warmth of love, truth and goodness, and you will experience blessings, peace and joy, which no money can buy or guarantee”.
The Bishops also appealed to State officials who are responsible for improving the situation in the economy and the labour market:
“We call on the statesmen of Ukraine and our settlements to take decisive and consistent measures to ensure proper reward, social protection and care for our citizens, emigrants and migrant workers and especially for the weakest and most vulnerable”.
The Bishops also recalled that withholding wages, unfair remuneration and lack of social protection for workers are unacceptable and call to heaven for vengeance.
In their document, the Bishops encouraged the implementation of approaches and methods of doing business that focus on the human person and their dignity, freedoms and rights.
“Socially-oriented business is something that should free employers and economic structures from enslavement by blind laws of the market, under the influence of which people often die, the rights of ordinary workers are trampled on, the chances of the elderly are dashed [and] the hopes of the young are shattered”, said the UGCC Synod of Bishops.
Finally, the authors of the message acknowledged that wise sermons and social reforms alone are not enough to heal human hearts poisoned by hatred, lust, and envy.
Therefore, following the Holy Father Francis, they spoke of the need for “change in human hearts, habits and lifestyles”.
“We pray for such a change of hearts; we strive to walk this path ourselves and invite all people of good will to do so”, the Bishops concluded.