The Synod of Bishops of the UGCC held its first working meeting. Guests arrived from around the world
Monday, 03 September 2018
In Lviv (Brіukhovychi), on Monday, September 3, 2018, began its first working meeting the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church under the chairmanship of the Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav. 42 bishops of the UGCC from Ukraine and the world participate in the work of the Synod.
First of all, the Primate officially opened the work of the Synod and thanked everyone who came “for this particular moment of the Holy Spirit’s breath on our Church and our people.”
Then His Beatitude Sviatoslav recalled to the members of the Synod what changes took place in our Church in the last year, namely the last Synod.
First of all, the Head of the Church said, the division of the Kolomyia-Chernivtsi diocese into Kolomyia and Chernivtsi took place at the past Synod. “Therefore, we congratulate Bishop Vasуl (Ivasyuk) on his new title of Bishop of Kolomyia,” said the Head of the UGCC. – The special joy of last year was the fact that after the Synod ended we could proclaim the creation of a new diocese in our Church – the Chernivtsi Diocese. And hence the enthronement of the first Bishop of this diocese – Bishop Josafat (Moshchyn), whom we now heartily congratulate as the ruling Bishop, took place. ”
There was also an unexpected change – the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan (Soroka) of Philadelphia. His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked Archbishop Stefan for his work and expressed his joy that the Archbishop came to the Synod.
At the time of the vacancy of the Metropolitan of Philadelphia, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Andrіу (Rabiу) to perform his duties.
This year’s Synod is attended by a new member of the Synod – the youngest Bishop of the Synod, the Assistant Bishop of the Sokal-Zhovkva diocese Peter (Loza).
During this year, Bishop Andriy (Sapelyak) went away to eternity at the 98th year of his life. His Beatitude Sviatoslav asked to remember him in his prayers in the context of the memorial days.
Traditionally, guests arrive at the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC. The Head of the UGCC congratulated each of them personally.
For this year’s Synod came Bishop Claudio Gugerotti, Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine. “Whenever you are between us, we feel the presence of the Holy Father, Pope Francis” said the Head of the UGCC.
Bishop Mečislav Mokshitsky, Lviv Roman Catholic Metropolitan, Bishop Roland Mіnnerаth, Archbishop of Dijon, representative of the French Catholic Bishopric. “This is a great sign of communion between the local Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the French Church,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
The Apostolic exarch for the Catholics of the Byzantine rite of Greece, Bishop Manuel Nin arrived from Greece. “Feel like a brother among the brothers. Thank you for the fact that tens of thousands of faithful in our Church in Greece are under your caring parental care,” said the Head of the UGCC.
The guests of the Synod were also Bishop Filaret (Kucherov), Archbishop of Lviv and Galician UOC (MP), and Bishop Dimitry (Rudyuk), Archbishop and Metropolitan of the UOC (KP).
Bishop Ihor (Isichenko), Archbishop of the Kharkiv-Poltava diocese of the UAOC arrived at the Synod. Bishop Ihor will also take part in some meetings of the Synod. “Thank you so much that you are among us and that you will work with us,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
In addition, there arrived also the representatives of the UGCC communities of certain countries where the Church still does not have fully established structures.
The Primate congratulated fr. Vasуl Goverа, Apostolic Administrator for Greek Catholics in Kazakhstan, Fr. Yuri Kolasа, General Vicar for the faithful of the Byzantine rite in Austria, and Fr. Makariу Leniv.
However, this is not yet all the guests who will arrive at the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC this year. The members of the Synod also expect the arrival of the Bishop of Milan (Shashik); the ruling Bishop of the Mukachevo Greek Catholic diocese Bishop Nil (Lushchak); the Assistant Bishop of the Mukachevo Greek Catholic Diocese Fr. Andrés Martinez Esteban; representative of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference; vicar for the Eastern Catholics in Spain; and Fr. Serhiy Hayek, Apostolic Visitor for the Greek Catholics of Belarus.
Department of Information of the UGCC
Adapted from an article on: