Leaders of Eastern Churches Meeting in Ukraine

Discussing Role of Their Churches in Ecumenism, Europe

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The annual meeting of the Eastern Catholic hierarchies of Europe is taking place this year in Lviv (Ukraine), on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the legalisation of the Greek-Catholic Ukrainian Church, at the invitation of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč.

In Lviv bishops representing 14 Eastern Catholic Churches in Europe will discuss the role and mission of the Eastern Catholic Churches, above all in the ecumenical movement but also in European societies.

Speakers include the Apostolic Exarch for Byzantine Rite Catholics in Greece, Mgr Dimitrios Salachas; Mgr Virgil Bercea, Bishop of Oradea-Mare (Romania); and Mgr Borys Gudziak, Apostolic Exarch for Byzantine Rite Ukrainian faithful resident in France, who will offer a reflection on the role of the Churches in Ukrainian society from the legalisation of the Greek-Catholic Church in 1993 to the recent “Revolution of Dignity” which began with the events in Maidan Square a year ago.

In the course of the meeting, the participants will visit the Ukrainian Catholic University and will meet the Mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi.

On Saturday there will be a solemn ceremony, at the city’s Theatre of Opera and Ballet, to commemorate the anniversary of the legalisation of the Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine, but also to give an award in honour of the blessedmartyr Omelian Kovch, who died in Majdanek concentration camp, and to launch the celebrations for the year devoted toMetropolitan Andrej Sheptytskyi, Archbishop of Lviv from 1900-1944.

Participants attending the meeting, which is supported by the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), will also include Mgr Cyril Vasil’, Archbishop Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; and Fr Michel Remery, CCEE Deputy General Secretary.

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