His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk. Photo: Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

12 years as leader of the largest Eastern Rite Catholic community: the Ukrainian one

Throughout these 12 years, I have felt that the Head of the Church is God, Jesus Christ, and I am only His hands, mouth, or face acting in His name, said His Beatitude Sviatoslav on the air of the United News telethon on the 12th anniversary of his enthronement.

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(ZENIT News / Kiev, 03.28.2023).- On March 27, 2011, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the successor to Patriarch Lubomyr Husar, was installed as Head of the UGCC. During the United News telethon, he said that 12 years ago, the bishops elected the youngest as Head of the Church.

“Shock was the first sensation I got when I saw the Synod vote. I will not say that I was scared to death,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav, “but I was astounded. At that time, I served in Argentina on the other side of the globe. I was only 40 years old.”

The Father and Head of the UGCC recalls these were turbulent times for Ukraine, the pro-Ukrainian society, and the Ukrainian Church — times of Yanukovych’s presidency. However, he noted that he has constantly felt God’s presence and guidance over the years: “I have always felt that I did not appoint myself, I did not volunteer to be the Head of the Church — I was called.”

“These 12 years are 12 years of a remarkable experience of God’s presence among us: whether during the Revolution of Dignity, or those harrowing moments when the war erupted in 2014, or the Covid outbreak, and now the full-scale invasion of Russia into our long-suffering Ukrainian land,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

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