Yesterday, Pope Francis gave his assent to the the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Catholic Ukrainian Church of Fr. Volodymyr Hrutsa, as auxiliary bishop of Lviv , Ukraine, and named Bishop Joseph Kingsley Swampillai, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Mannar, in Sri Lanka.
Born in Dobromyl, Ukraine in 1976, the now Bishop-elect Hrutsa would go on to give his religious vows in 2000 and be ordained a priest in 2001. He holds a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the University of Innsbruck, Austria and has served in a number of roles within his congregation, including director of studies of the Province of Lviv and master of novices of the same province, and lecturer of dogmatic theology at the Catholic University of Ukraine, the major seminary of Lviv and the seminary of Basilian fathers in Bryukhovychi.
The Diocese of Lviv comprises an area of 3,767 square miles. Out of a population of 1,067,200 people, 730,525 are Catholics, who are served by some 468 priests, 4 permanent deacons, and 513 religious.
Turning to the Pontiff’s appointment in Asia, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Joseph Kingsley Swampillai, emeritus of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Mannar.
Francis accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese, presented by Bishop Rayappu Joseph upon reaching the age limit.
Sri Lanka is officially Buddhist, with about 70% of the population professing that religion. Another 12.6% are Hindu and 9.7% are Muslim. Catholics make up about 6% of the population and another 1% profess other Christian creeds.