Tag Archives: patriarch

Sviatoslav Shevchuk, 40, new major archbishop (patriarch) of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

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Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, 40, is the new head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of 6 million people worldwide. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is the largest Eastern Church in communion with the See of Rome. The election happened on March 23. In Canon Law he holds the title of Major Archbishop (that is, he has the responsibility that a patriarch would have but not the title, though many in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church unofficially use the title, see canon 151 of the CCEO). The election was done by 40 bishops from around the world.

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, until now, is the Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of the Protection of the Theotokos, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Prior to his South American work, the Archbishop was the personal secretary of the former head of the Church, His Beatitude, Lubomyr, from 2002-05.

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At Shevchuk’s election he had to write a letter in his own hand to the Pope requesting communion with the Apostolic See. In accordance with canon 153 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Church reads:
1. A major archbishop is elected according to the norm of cann. 63-74.
2. After acceptance of the election, the synod of bishop of the major archepiscopal Church must notify the Roman Pontiff through a synodal letter about the canonical conduct of the election; however, the one who of is elected, in a letter signed in his own hand, must petition the confirmation of his election from the Roman Pontiff.
3. After having obtained the confirmation, the one who is elected, in the presence of the synod of bishops of the major archepiscopal Church, must make a profession of faith and promise to carry out faithfully his office; afterwards his proclamation and enthronment are to be performed. If, however, the one who is elected is not yet an ordained bishop, the enthronment cannot validly be done before he receives episcopal ordination.
4. If however the confirmation is denied, a new election is to be conducted within the time established by the Roman Pontiff.

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Béshara Raï elected new Maronite Patriarch

Beshara Rai.jpegOnly 20 years junior to the out-going patriarch, His Beatitude Nasrallah Peter Sfeir, the Maronite bishops elected today Bishop Béshara Raï, 71, as the new patriarch. He’s  77th patriarch of the Maronites; Raï takes up the See of St Peter (Peter’s first diocese before moving to Rome), adopting the name Peter. He will be known as “His Beatitude, Patriarch Béshara Peter Raï.

He succeeds Patriarch Sfeir after his 25 years of service. It is expected that Patriarch Béshara Peter will be enthroned on 25 March.

I am happy for His Beatitude’s new opportunity to serve the Church. I met him a number of years ago and he’s a wonderful person.
His Beatitude has been a priest for 43 years and a bishop for nearly 25 years and since 1990 he’s been bishop of Jbeil (Byblos). In Lebanon, the Maronite Christians number about a third of the 4 million population.

Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Sfeir, retires as Maronite leader

Sfeir.jpgToday, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the petition of His Beatitude, Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Sfeir, cardinal, to retire from his pastoral leadership as the Father of Maronite Church.

The resignation was speculated a few weeks ago.

Here is the letter of Pope Benedict to His Beatitude (in French until an English translation is given).

Transitioning from Husar to new era in the Ukrainian Church …?

Husar and Voznyak.jpgIn the past weeks we’ve seen the Pontiff accepting the resignation of His Beatitude Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, 78, as the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Bishop Ihor Voznyak is the temporary administrator of the Church until a new leader is elected.

The Ukrainian Church is the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches with its own tradition, law, discipline, and customs; in Church law we’d call the Ukrainian Church an Ecclesia sui juris. As a note, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church is alternately called the Union Church, Ukrainian Catholic Church, Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite or the Kyivan Catholic Church. Empress Maria Theresa introduced the designation of Greek-Catholic in the title of the Church in 1774. In 1999, the Synod of Bishops introduced the name “Kyivan Catholic Church.”

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Lubomyr Cardinal Husar, MSU, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, retires

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His Beatitude, Lubomyr Cardinal Husar, MSU, 78, retired from serving the Ukrainian Catholic Church today. The Holy Father accepted the Cardinal’s request to retired due to health concerns. He has served the Church in his present position since 2001.
His Beatitude has been a bishop since 1977. Husar has done a terrific job for the Church these past years and is owed a debt of gratitude.
The Cardinal has a terrific sense of humor, friendly and insightful. My sadness is that he never was granted the title of Patriarch, a title he’s entitled to use given the state of his Church but the pope’s have been reticent to grant the patriarch’s title in fear of what the Russian Orthodox Church would say.
CNS’ Cindy Wooden’s article on His Beatitude’s resignation; looking to the future…

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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