May 4, 2019


At the Easter Sunday Liturgy in Kyiv, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti made mention of a "special surprise" that Pope Francis has for the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He said that it would be announced in a short while. The Nuncio's announcement caused speculation as to what the "surprise" might be.... an appointment? a recognition? a proclamation? Well... as they say, the plot thickens....

Pope Francis has called the leading hierarchs of the Ukrainian Catholic Church to Rome for an unexpected two-day meeting to take place the first weekend of July. He as asked that the Head of the Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav attend, together with the Permanent Synod of the UGCC and all that Church's Metropolitan-Archbishops from around the world. The announcement in the Vatican News Services reads:


Holy See Press Office Communiqué, 04.05.2019

In the delicate and complex situation of Ukraine, the Holy Father Francis has decided to invite to Rome, on the days 5 to 6 July 2019, the major archbishop, the members of the permanent Synod, and the metropolitans of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church.

The superiors of the Dicasteries (i.e. departments) of the Roman Curia competent for the country will also participate in the meeting.

In this way the Holy Father wishes to give a sign of his closeness to the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church which carries out the pastoral service both at home and in various places in the world.

This meeting will also offer a further opportunity to further the analysis of the life and needs of Ukraine, in order to identify the ways in which the Catholic Church, and in particular the Greek-Catholic Church, can increasingly dedicate herself to the preaching of the Gospel, to contribute to the support of those who suffer and to promote peace, in agreement, as far as possible, with the Catholic Church of the Latin rite and with other Churches and Christian communities.


So, in spite of great and hopeful speculation about what might be announced (нехай Бог дасть згідно з Його волею), perhaps it will be a gathering to accomplish just what the communique suggests... a strategic planning session for the immediate and long-term future. A plan for how the Ukrainian Catholic Church will best face the challenges of Ukrainian and European society and best realize the Ukrainian Church's role in the Christ-given mandate of Evangelization...

[Source: UGCC Information service]

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