September 5, 2016


Sunday – 4 September 2016

The day began, of course, with a hierarchical Divine Liturgy led by the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, His Beatitude SVIATOSLAV and all the Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Among the special guests were the Head of the Melkite Catholic Church, His Beatitude GREGORY III, as well as the representative of Pope FRANCIS, the Papal Nuncio to Ukraine, Archbishop CLAUDIO Gugerotti.

[Video of opening Liturgy. His Grace Metropolitan Lawrence can been seen entering St. George's Cathedral in Lviv at 6:04 ff]

At the close of the Divine Liturgy, His Excellency, Bishop BOHDAN (Dziurakh, CSsR) read the decree of the Synod in which the specific theme of the synod – diakonia - was mentioned. During his homily, His Beatitude SVIATOSLAV explained that, the Bishops have decided that during this Synod they, “want to ask themselves how are we to share God’s mercy with those who are in most need of it!? We want to ask ourselves, to what degree are we performing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy for the bodies and souls of our neighbours!? To what degree are our eparchies and parishes truly centres blazing with the flame of God’s mercy for everyone in need, regardless of the language the person may speak or the person’s nationality or the Church the person may attend!?”  He said that, “the task of the Synod is to consider how we might best be witnesses of the Gospel of God’s mercy in the world today!”

On the evening of the first day, praying a Moleben’ to the Holy Spirit, the Bishops invoked the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout the week-long Synod. They also made an oath about maintaining the confidentiality of the proceedings and of their personal dedication to participating fully in the deliberations and decision-making.

An excerpt from their prayer – “All-gracious Master, look down upon Your servants gathered now together. So that their accomplishment of the ordering of our holy Church will be well-pleasing, send them a spirit of wisdom and intelligence; place in their hearts a spirit of the fear of God and a spirit of devotion and zeal for the glory of Your holy Name. Preserve them from every discord, temptation and division, so that - united in a bond of love for You, our Master, and for each other – they, without hindrance, will fulfil their ministry of building-up the holy Church as one body of Christ.”

"Споглянь, всеблагий Владико, на рабів Твоїх, разом зібраних, щоб добровгодно звершувати їм упорядкування святої Церкви нашої – подай їм духа премудрості й розуму, вклади в серця їхні дух страху Божого, дух благочестя та ревності про славу імені Твого святого, огороди їх від усяких роздорів, спокус і поділів, щоб з’єднані союзом любові до Тебе, свого Владики, та один до одного, безперешкодно звершували діло служіння свого на збудування Церкви святої, як єдиного тіла Христового»

[ A youtube video report of the Moleben' and the making the oath. Winnipeg's Metropolitan LAWRENCE concurs with the oath at 1:29 ff ]

NOTE: The miraculous Icon of the Theotokos “The Door of Mercy”, that gained world fame when Pope Francis chose it as the icon to be venerated in Rome at the December 8, 2015 opening of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, was brought to Lviv to be exposed for prayer and veneration for the duration of the Synod of Bishops – 4-11 September 2016. His Beatitude Sviatoslav asks all the Faithful of the Christ’s Church to pray for the success of this week’s Synod. On Saturday, 10 September, the Icon will be processed to the new Chapel of “Holy Sophia” at the main campus of the Ukrainian Catholic University, also in the city of Lviv. Here an all-night vigil of liturgical services, prayer and song will continue into the following day. On Sunday, 11 September, the Bishops, having completed their Synod, will come to the University for the consecration and official dedication of the recently completed cathedral-size chapel.

Monday, 5 September 2016

At the opening session, a number of special guests and observers were welcomed and also brought greetings on behalf of their Churches.

His Grace, the Papal Nuncio to Ukraine, Archbishop CLAUDIO Gugerotti brought a blessing and greetings from His Holiness, Pope FRANCIS; Among them were the Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan of Lviv within the jurisdiction of the Kyivan Patriarchate, His Eminence DMYTRIY; bringing greetings from the Roman Catholic Church was Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv, His Excellency LEON Malyj; on behalf of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church associated with the Patriarch of Moscow greetings were read by Archimandrite MARKIAN (Kayumov); Archpriest BASIL Hovera, the Apostolic Visitor for Easter Catholics in Kazakhstan, brought greetings from the Kazakhstan Conference of Catholic Bishops; Archimadrite SERGIUS Gayek, the Apostolic Visitor for Eastern Catholics in Belarus also read greetings.

Stay updated by visiting the UGCC website and continue to pray.

Ektenia petition... „Ще молимось за успіх Патріаршого Синоду нашої Церкви, щоб поклонялись ми завжди в дусі і правді і оспівували Пресвяту Єдиносущну Тройцю в єдності, Господи молимось Тобі, вислухай і помилуй!”.

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