Byzantine Faithful Welcome Apostolic Visitor to Spain

ALICANTE, Spain, JULY 12, 2011 ( Auxiliary Bishop Dionisio Lachovicz of Kiev has concluded an apostolic visit to Ukrainian faithful in the Spanish diocese of Orihuela-Alicante.

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The numerous Greek-Catholic faithful of the area have welcomed the bishop again; it is estimated that some 10,000 people from Ukraine form the 10 Greek-Catholic communities that live in the Diocese of Orihuela-Alicante.

The bishop was appointed in 2009 as visitor for Ukrainian faithful of the Byzantine rite who reside in Italy and Spain.

Last Wednesday, Bishop Lachovicz visited the local ordinary, Bishop Rafael Palmero, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Ukrainian community of Torrevieja. That community now has more than 3,000 faithful.

Bishop Lachovicz’s visit culminated Sunday with a Mass at the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Torrevieja.

The Ukrainian Church of Byzantine rite is one of the Eastern Churches that is in communion with Rome. In addition to Ukraine, its members are spread throughout the world in countries such as Poland, England, Germany, France, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Australia.

Byzantine Catholics returned to full communion with Rome in 1595, retaining their Byzantine liturgy and their own canonical structure and hierarchy.

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