Pope Francis blesses the Institute for Ecumenical Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University

2019-09-17 18:30

All participants had the opportunity to personally greet the Holy Father and on this occasion, President of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies at UCU, Fr. Dr. Iwan Dacko conveyed his greetings to the Pope and asked his blessing for all the Institute's staff and for the whole Ukrainian Catholic University.

Pope Francis replied that he was glad to share his blessing with the Institute and that ecumenical work to achieve full communion with the Churches should be a priority for the Ukrainian Church, and future priests – both Orthodox and Catholic should "learn to desire the unity of the Church." The Holy Father added that he had heard a great deal about the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv and bestowed his apostolic blessing on the Rector, professors and students. In his special manner, he declared: “Be brave! Go ahead! ”

Father Dacko recalled to the Pope that his confessor was the late Bishop Stepan Chmil, to which the Holy Father replied smiling: “He was also my confessor. I served him before the Liturgy in your tradition. He was truly a holy man! If such priests as Father Chmil are educated at your Church and the University, you will accomplish many great works, including the unity of the Church in Ukraine.”

Like all audience members, Pope Francis presented Fr. Iwan Dacko with a rosary.