Metropolitan Borys Gudziak Meets Stamford Eparchy Priests

Metropolitan Borys Gudziak participated in the Stamford Eparchy’s Clergy Days October 5-7, which were held at the Soyuzivka Heritage Center, a Ukrainian cultural center located in the hamlet of Kerhonkson, Ulster County, NY. On October 6 he shared with the priests the vision that the bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church have accepted as the general guidelines for the next decade.

Archbishop Borys believes that the pastoral conversion of which Pope Francis speaks often and which His Beatitude Sviatoslav mentioned in his message celebrating the 10th anniversary of his enthronement as the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church lies at the heart of the plan.

Sharing his intuitions and concerns about the present challenges the Ukrainian Catholic Church faces globally, Metropolitan Borys proposed that the Stamford clergy look at the very heart of Christian faith. “It is important for us to come back to the central faith of our Church, to our identity–we have been baptized into Christ, we have put on Christ. It is not a metaphor, or idea, or coping mechanism, but a metaphysical, theological personal truth–we are unified in Christ. If we believe that we are part of the body of Christ and we can live freely giving to others, we have nothing to fear.”

The Archbishop quoted some disturbing statistics. For every newly baptized Roman Catholic in the US, six stop practicing. It seems we will lose up to 80% of the US Catholic population in the in the next 20 years. “We, Ukrainian Catholics, breathe the same air as our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters and we are going to have more or less the same sociological issues,” he stressed.

“We need to understand what is happening. Can we look at this realistically? And how are we going to confront it? Let’s look at the realities and think where God is calling us. Let’s look with the eyes of Jesus trying to be close, to touch and heal.”

“Our hope is in the Lord who came into our life. He showed us how to be with people in a very simple way. I think that if He was incarnated into the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the US at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21stcenturies, He would come to Soyuzivka.”

After the talk Archbishop Borys answered the questions of the clergy. He encouraged them to be active in a global Ukrainian Catholic Church discussion. “We need your voice to be heard in the whole Church,” he stressed.