On Monday, April 16th, 2018, the Vatican Information Service announced that the Holy Father has accepted the resignation for medical reasons of Most Rev. Stefan Soroka, Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians and Metropolitan for the Ukrainian Catholic Church in USA. Pope Francis has declared the Archeparchy of Philadelphia as “sede vacante”. Most Rev. Andriy Rabiy has been appointed by Pope Francis as the Apostolic Administrator of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia until the appointment of the new Archeparch.
I take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the clergy, religious, seminarians and laity of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia. These past seventeen years have been filled with many challenges and blessings, some unique in the experience of the Philadelphia Archeparchy. Success in responding to the varying needs of the Archeparchy and its parishes was achieved with the positive and hopeful participation of clergy, religious and laity enabled by the Grace of God. Most gratifying to me was the personal journey of prayer and fraternity experienced with the clergy, religious and faithful of the Archeparchy. The highlight of my ministry in leadership was experienced when amidst parishioners and their ministers in parish liturgical celebrations, visits, pilgrimages, festivals, and in personal sharing. I was inspired by the dedication of the clergy, religious and faithful and their love for their Church.
I am also especially grateful for the fraternity and cooperation shared with my brother bishops of USA, with whom common needs of clergy, religious and faithful were addressed in our regular meetings, and in gatherings of our Church. The Grace of God provided richly in our many shared endeavors.