21 July 2015
Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky led the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the tumultuous period of both world wars and the early Soviet era. (photo: CNS)
CNS reports Pope Francis has declared Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky “venerable,” the second stage along the process of canonization in the Catholic Church:
The pope July 16 signed the decree recognizing that Metropolitan Sheptytsky heroically lived a life of Christian virtue. The recognition is an initial step in the sainthood process; the Vatican would have to recognize a miracle attributed to his intercession in order for a beatification ceremony to be scheduled.
Metropolitan Sheptytsky led the Ukrainian Catholic Church from 1901 until his death in 1944. During his leadership Ukraine and its people were ruled by seven different regimes: Austrian, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Soviet, Nazi and, finally, the Soviets again. …
The Rev. Peter Galadza, acting director of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario, also mentioned the metropolitan’s efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust — including by personally sheltering them — and his efforts to promote reconciliation among Ukrainians, Russian and Poles.
Decades ago, the Rev. Romanos V. Russo wrote a profile of the late metropolitan for the Autumn 1982 edition of our magazine:
Archbishop Andrew was a Moses to his people. As Moses was an outspoken defender and liberator of his people, blessed Vladyka (bishop) Andrew strove to aid his Ukrainian flock in developing a sense of national identity.
As Moses himself was an “outsider,” raised an Egyptian and exiled among the Midianites, Archbishop Sheptitsky grew up in a family that had become more Polish and Latin Catholic than the Ukrainian Greek-Catholics they were by tradition.
Moses was the great liturgist that decreed the paths of piety, holding what is the Lord’s in honor. Vladyka Andrew preserved the numbers of his secular clergy and increased the religious ministering to his people and waged a life-long battle to purify and ennoble their liturgical life.
Moses led his people in their bitter wandering through the desert. Shiptitsky burned with zeal for the members of his flock scattered throughout the New World in search of another promised land.
Moses brought his flock to the brink of the Holy Land but was not granted to lead them in. Metropolitan Andrew exhausted himself in striving for the unity of the Eastern Churches but was not to see the fruit of this labor in his lifetime.
Moses and Andrew both pointed the way to Christ: of the former Scripture says “There has never yet risen in Israel a prophet like him,” (Dt. 34:10) The faithful prayerfully hope that the last word to be said of their revered Vladyka will be: Saint.
Read the rest here.
Tags: Pope Francis Ukraine Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Saints Eastern Catholic Churches