printer friendly versionPrint
The Ukrainian Catholic Church

There are several religious orders of women and men in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Male religious orders include the Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat, the Studites, and Ukrainian provinces of the Redemptorists, Salesians and Miles Jesu. The women’s communities are the Sisters of the Order of St Basil the Great, the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate, the Sisters of St Joseph Spouse of the Virgin Mary, the Sister Catechists of St. Anne, the Sisters of the Holy Family, the Sisters of the Priest and Martyr St. Josaphat Kuntsevych, Sisters of the Most Holy Eucharist, and the Myrrh-Bearing Sisters Under the Protection of St. Mary Magdalene, as well as Ukrainian Provinces of Salesian and Vincentian sisters. Altogether there were 374 religious priests, 367 brothers, and 1,476 women religious serving the church worldwide in 2006.

After the re-establishment of the church in Ukraine, the synod of bishops began meeting there regularly. The first General Council of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was held in Lviv in October 1996. Composed of 40 bishops along with six clergy and six lay delegates from each eparchy, these General Councils were held annually until 2000. Due to the ill health of Cardinal Lubachivsky, one of his auxiliary bishops, Lubomyr Husar, was named Administrator of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church by the General Council in 1996. Cardinal Lubachivsky died in December 2000, and Bishop Husar was elected to succeed him in January 2001. He was made a Cardinal later the same year.

During his visit to Ukraine in June 2001, Pope John Paul II spent two days in Lviv. During a liturgy in the Byzantine rite on June 27, the Pope beatified 28 Ukrainian Greek Catholics, including eight bishops, eight priests, seven monks, four nuns and one layperson. Twenty-six of them had died as a result of the Soviet persecutions between 1935 and 1973.

On the basis of a decision by Cardinal Husar, the see of the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was officially moved to Kiev, the national capital, on August 21, 2005. This decision had been confirmed by the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in October 2004, and blessed by Pope John Paul II. On the same day, the title of the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was changed from “Major Archbishop of Lviv” to “Major Archbishop of Kiev and Halych.”

There is widespread support within the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to raise the status of the church to the rank of Patriarchate, and even now the Major Archbishop is commemorated as patriarch liturgically throughout Ukraine. The Holy See has not acted on this proposal, perhaps in part because the Moscow Patriarchate and all the other autocephalous Orthodox churches have expressed strong opposition to any such move.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |