Archbishop Gudziak pushes for papal visit to Ukraine, but Moscow is getting in the way

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Archbishop Borys Gudziak, one of nearly 50 Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishops in Rome this week, says he and his fellow prelates are pushing harder than ever for a papal visit to Ukraine – a trip that he said is crucial to ending conflict in the country, but which is being held up by fear of potential reprisal from Russia, Crux reports.

Gudziak said the delay in accepting the invite is due at least in part to fear over backlash from the Russian Orthodox Church, despite the pope’s consistent attention to Ukraine and his frequent appeals for an end to the ongoing war with Russian separatists.

“The opinion of Moscow regarding anything significant in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has been a shadow over us for at least 50 years, since the mid-1960s,” Gudziak said, explaining that fear of blowback from the Russian Orthodox definitely has “a role” in why a papal visit to Ukraine has yet to take place.

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