Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk -- head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) -- made a live statement on public television yesterday regarding Russian troops taking control of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, the Religious Information Service of Ukraine (RISU) website reports today (March 2, 2014).
He said, in part: "We regret, we can say that Ukraine, unfortunately, has been pulled into a military conflict. So far no one is shooting, so far people are not dying, but it is obvious that military intervention has already begun.
"And so, indeed, the entire world community is on the side of Ukraine, as Russia is the aggressor. The role of the church is consistent. During the last three months, the church, especially the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, was with its people.
"And it will continue to remain with its people. If, God forbid, we will have to stand together on the battlefield with our soldiers, with our army, the Ukrainian Church, especially the UGCC, is ready to provide pastoral support."
The UGCC conducts its religious service in the Greek Orthodox Church tradition -- and its priests are allowed to be married -- but it is under the jurisdiction of the Pope in Rome.