Ukrainian ecclesiastic anniversaries

(Commemorated in Rome)


Over 1,500 Ukrainian pilgrims met these days in Rome to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Episcopal Synod of Ukrainian bishops in Rome and the founding of the Theological Academy in Lviv (Leopoli). Ten years ago Saint Sophia Cathedral in Rome was dedicated in presence of the late Pope, Paul VI, at the same time the IV Synod of the Ukrainian Bishops took place. This was also the 40th anniversary of episcopal consecration of Josyf Cardinal Slipyj, Patriarch of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Eleven bishops present, chaired by Cardinal Slipyj, held on September 19 and 20 their episcopal Synod which was the continuation of previous attempts to set up a synod system in the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

A surprise news came in the midst of the jubilee commemorations a priest Myroslav Lubachivskyj was named by the Holy see Archbishop-Metropolitan to the vacant see of the Ukrainian Philadelphia Metropolia in the USA.

This fact created consternation among Ukrainian pilgrims, clergy, and even bishops who were not consulted in this nomination. Cardinal Slipyj, as Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, was ignored in the process of selection of the new Philadelphia Metropolitan.

The laymen in a telegram to Pope John Paul II expressed their distress and discontent about Curial appointments of Ukrainian hierarchs.

Among the events highlighting the anniversaries were several pontifical liturgies, a concert of the Ukrainian music, held in the auditorium di Palazzo Pio, and a banquet at Cavalieri Hilton. The key-note speaker at the Concert was Rev. Werenfried van Straaten, O. Praem. He expressed his full support to the Ukrainian aspirations for an autonomous patriarchal government of their Church headed by the 7 year old Patriarch Slipyj.

Issued by: Ukrainian Patriarchal World Federation