Pope Encourages Rebirth of Greek-Catholics in Ukraine

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 3, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II encouraged Eastern-rite Catholics of Ukraine to continue their reconstruction after decades of Communism, and to promote dialogue with other Christian brothers.

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The Pope gave this message when he met today with members of the Permanent Synod of the country’s Greek-Catholic Church.

In responding to the greeting of the archbishop major of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholics, Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, the Pope said: “The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, reborn following the tragic events of the past century” must continue on “its way of reconstruction with the awareness of its spiritual heritage, of the fruitful testimony of its martyrs, and of the need to maintain at all levels an attitude of dialogue, collaboration, communion.”

The Pope appealed to Greek-Catholics to promote this unity, first of all, with their Ukrainian Catholic brothers of the Latin rite and, in the second place, to commit themselves to “the service of the cause of unity of all Christians.”

John Paul II visited Ukraine, a country of Orthodox majority, in June 2001.

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