As announced by the Presidium of the Permanent Synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Permanent Synod has completed its first formal session since the time of its inception on November 4th of last year. The subjects of discussions at this Synod were the pertinent problems facing the Ukrainian Catholic Church and primarily the most difficult position the Church finds itself in both in her native land and in the various parts of the world where her faithful live. After studying the above problems, the Synod issued an appeal to all faithful «to conserve and cultivate all that strengthens the autonomy of our Church, especially by complying with the decisions of the Synod, and by avoiding and rejecting all that would be detrimental to such autonomy».
Concerning the situation in Ukraine, and because of the distorted presentation of facts involving the Union of Brest-Litovsk and the so called Synod of Lviv in 1946 by elements in Ukraine and outside of Ukraine, the bishops decided to issue a joint statement that appeared in print two weeks after the synodal discussions. The bishops decided to present before the next papal synod of bishops the facts concerning the persecution of our Church and her faithful in Ukraine, and raise the problem of the autonomy of churches. Also, at that time, the bishops want to bring about a discussion on the problem of the Christian upbringing of youth.
Additional matters that warranted discussion included і the duty of the Catholic Press to uphold all resolutions and decisions of Christ’s Church and to defend her authority, the constitution of the Ukrainian Catholic Church ( the draft of which is currently being prepared and will soon be completed ), the lack of spritual callings to the priesthood, the rememberance through prayer of the late Metropolitan Andrej Sheptytzkyj, and the misinformation printed in «ANNUARIO PONTIFICIO» about the «Conference of Ukrainian Bishops» which does not exist. The Secretary of State was notified about the fact that we have a Synod of Ukrainian Bishops under the leadership of the Major Archbishop.
In a separate category, the matter of the forthcoming International Eucharistical Congress which will take place from February 19th to the 25th in 1973 in Melbourne, Australia, was also discussed. The permanent Synod has appealed to all bishops, priests and faithful to take part in this international congress, so that while glorifying our Saviour, we can also demonstrate the viability of our Church at a time when the Church is undergoing the most trying period of persecution in Her history»
Bishop Iwan Prashko of Australia has organized a committee for participation in the Congress and has sent out the precise information, including invitations for attendance in the Congress, to many countries where our faithful now live.
The Participation of our Church and the group of Ukrainian faithful in the Congress is planned to be active and extensive.
One of the significant aspects of the Permanent Synod was the inclusion into its ranks of two new bishops’ Bishop Wasyl Welechkowsky who recently came from Ukraine, and bishop Iwan Prashko from Australia.