Tag Archives: Ukrainian

Vsevolod remembered

Today is the anniversary of death of Archbishop Vsevolod (Maidansky) of Scopelos. The Archbishop was a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA. He reposed in the Lord in 2007, six days after his 80th birthday.

Archbishop Vsevolod was man of great humanity and intelligence. I met him at several of the ecumenical meetings he was at and enjoyed is company. His commitment to an on-going dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches was remarkable and helpful.

May God draw Archbishop Vsevolod to Himself.

Eternal memory, dear friend.

Sviatoslav Shevchuck: TODAY put the honest & True Cross in the center of life

Sviasolav Shevchuk preaching March 27 2011.jpg

His Beatitude, Archbishop Sviatoslav’s first homily as head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is noted below. It is a very good homily focusing on the Cross and our acceptance of that life-giving Cross today. We have no other option as Christians. Pay close attention to what the new archbishop says: live, witness, strive for holiness, move closer to Christ today.

Beloved in
Christ, brothers and sisters!

Glory to Jesus Christ!

“We praise your Cross,
Lord, and glorify Your holy resurrection!”

With these words today, the Church
of Christ focuses on the Honest and True Cross. Today, as we pass the halfway
point of our Lenten journey, the Life-Giving Tree is given to us, that we might
find in it a source of strength and courage to go on to the Resurrection, to
put the Sign of the Cross at the center of our lives.

In his Epistle to the
Philippians, St Paul has left us a unique early Christian hymn that a young
Church, newly enlivened by the Holy Spirit, solemnly sang in its Liturgy.

Apostle calls to us this way:

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is
also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not
regard equality with God, something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in
appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a
cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of
those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (2:6-11).

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Sviatoslav Shevchuk’s challenge

Sviatoslav Shevchuk4.jpgThe Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is facing new challenges in the coming years and the Church’s Synod of Bishops (the Sobor) has decided to meet the challenge head-on: the Synod elected and the Pope confirmed communion with, a 40 year bishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, a man who’s been bishop for less than 2 years and a moral theologian.

Words that are on everyone’s lips are words like “historic,” “cataclysmic,” “revolutionary,” “high-minded,” “a sign of hope,” and “daring.” The are others no doubt, but what the Synod of Ukrainian bishops did and Pope Benedict XVI confirmed is a paradigm shift in the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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

Sviatoslav Shevchuk.jpg

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.

Sviatoslav Shevchuk2.jpg

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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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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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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