September 5, 2019


Most Reverend Lawrence Huculak is the Archbishop of Winnipeg, but he is also the Metropolitan for all Ukrainian Catholics in Canada. He, therefore is the head of the Metropolitan province, or "metropolia" that covers all of Canada. This includes the faithful of the five major jurisdictions known as "eparchies" (pronounced: epar-keys) and the Bishops that oversee their pastoral needs. In this capacity, he was asked by the head of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, now meeting in Rome, to deliver a report on the state of affairs of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada. The report was to focus on the particular theme of this year's Synod - "Communion". He was the first of the Metropolitan- Archbishops to make the report. The others from around the world would follow. In a move that is somewhat unprecedented in the history of the Synod, an article on the Metropolitan's report was published on the Ukrainian Church's website. We produce it here in an unofficial English translation...

Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak Highlighted the Contemporary Problems of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada

The Archbishop-Metropolitan of Winnipeg, in his presentation, "Communion in the Life and Witness of the UCC" at the Synod in Rome, named the problems of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada.

The problems laid out in the presentation are based on a discussion by the Bishops of the Winnipeg Metropolia that took place in Victoria, British Columbia, 26-28 February 2019.

According to the Metropolitan, the Church in Canada today is losing its young generation. One of the reasons for this is the UCC's inaccessibility to secular education. Another reason why young people are alienated from the UCC is Ukrainian language in that the young people are not really fluent in Ukrainian.

Besides that, he feels that the Gospel values contradict in many cases, the priorities of young people in our day. They are more concerned with a successful career and the accumulation of material wealth.

Archbishop Lawrence Huculak noted that the Faithful often see the Church as an implement. "For many Faithful of the UCC in the diaspora the Church is regarded as a protector of political aspirations and the dreams of the Ukrainian People. For others, the Church is a centre for Ukrainian culture and language. For others yet, the Church is a display for the artistic life: where the church building becomes an end in itself. The preservation of a particular church building becomes the principal goal above all other efforts. Their concept or understanding of membership in an eparchy or a bigger Church is not clear. Furthermore, it is most likely that these "members" do not comprehend that the purpose of a church building is to facilitate the spreading of the Gospel Truth to God's People. They believe that the fundamental obligation of the faithful-parishioners is - the preservation and financing of their church as a physical building".

His Grace also noted that people often complain about long liturgical services. "When I became a Bishop, about 22 years ago, during my canonical visitations [of parishes], the churches were overflowing. Today we see a dramatic change. It is often heard how a parish priest apologizes to the Bishop that there is a small crowd in church. If any of the parishioners that did not attend were asked why not, they reply that they did not come, because when the Bishop is celebrating the liturgy in church is very long!"

"Hence the question arises, how the richness and beauty of our Rite is to be used in ministry to the sick, the weak, elderly people and children." He added, "We need to consider the question: does the ritual lead to prayer?"

UCC Information Department

Other presentations by the Church's Metropolitans can be found on the UCC Website [HERE]


Some of the other Metropolitan Archbishops that have reported or will be reporting:

His Beatitude SVIATOSLAV Shevchuk - Kyiv, UKRAINE

Metropolitan BORYS Gudziak - Philadelphia, USA

Metropolitan EUGENE Popowicz - Warsaw-Peremyshl, POLAND

Metropolitan IHOR Vozniak - Lviv, UKRAINE

Metropolitan LAWRENCE Huculak - Winnipeg, CANADA

Metropolitan VASYL Semeniuk - Ternopil, UKRAINE

Metropolitan VOLODEMER Koubetch - Curitiba, BRAZIL

Metropolitan VOLODYMYR Vityshyn - Ivano-Frankivsk, UKRAINE

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