On February 11, 2019, the regular Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church began its meeting in Kyiv.
All members of the Permanent Synod of the UGCC, namely His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the UGCC, the chairman of the Permanent Synod, Bishop Yevhen Popovych, Archbishop and Metropolitan of Przemysl and Warsaw; Bishop Bohdan Danylo, Eparch of Parma; Bishop Borys Gudziak, Eparch of the Paris diocese of St. Volodymyr the Great, and Bishop Theodore Martynyuk, Assistant Bishop of Ternopil-Zborivsky took part in the synodal sessions.
The first part of the synodal meetings was devoted to the preparation for the next Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which will be held in Rome (Italy) on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral of St. Sophia. On September 1 this year, the Divine Liturgy will be held, which will be led by His Beatitude Sviatoslav with the participation of the whole episcopate of our Church, numerous clergy, monks and laity.
Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, emphasized the uniqueness of this future event for our Church: “This all-church pilgrimage is intended to express gratitude to God for the resurrection of our Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, for the gift of freedom and the opportunity to freely “build our own house.” It is also an opportunity for building internal church unity among all its members: clergy, monastics and laity; it is an opportunity to manifest to the successor of the apostle Peter our loyalty, which is part of the ecclesial identity of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which was blessed by the martyrs of the twentieth century, and their predecessors, in particular the Pratulin Martyrs, as well as a large part of the people unknown to us, but known to God. Therefore, we invite all our eparchies, exarchates and pilgrimage centers to organize this pilgrimage for the purpose of a joint all-church prayer in the temple of St. Sophia on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its consecration.”
It is also worth recalling the will of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, who headed the construction of this shrine: “And when you look at the holy Sophia and make a pilgrimage to it as a holy shrine, and you will recite a prayer in it, remember that this cathedral is left to you as a sign and a symbol of the destroyed and disgraced Ukrainian temples of God, among them our most important witnesses – St. Sophia in Kyiv and St. Yury in Lviv! May this Cathedral of St. Sophia be a sign of the rebirth and construction of new temples in the places of your stay! And above all, let the Cathedral of St. Sophia be the leading sign and witness of the cathedral of the living Ukrainian souls, the holy place of prayer and the liturgical sacrifice for the dead, living and unborn! I pray God to protect the cathedral of the souls of the coming Ukrainian generations!”
One more planned event of this year’s Synod of Bishops will be the commemoration in Rome of the 150th anniversary of the birth and the 100th anniversary of the death of the blessed Joshaphata Hordashevska. Divine Liturgy will be celebrated September 5 at 3:00pm in the Pontifical Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore with the participation of the entire episcopate of the UGCC, headed by His Beatitude Svyatoslav.
We would like to remind you that the Permanent Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is a group of bishops acting on behalf of the Patriarchal Synod and is an advisory body to the Head of the Church. The Permanent Synod consists of the Father and Head of the UGCC, who heads it, and four bishops appointed for five years.
Press office of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC