Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Patriarch Cardinal Lubomyr of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) discusses move to Kyiv (Kiev)

KYIV (Kiev) —The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Patriarch Lubomyr (Husar), answered the questions of readers of “Correspondent”. The most popular question pertained to the moving of the seat of the UGCC head to Kyiv in 2004. Patriarch Lubomyr noted: “We haven’t moved the seat of the UGCC head; we just returned to where we were in the past. RISU’s Ukrainian-language web page posted this story on 16 March 2009.

“The decision (to move the seat from Lviv to Kyiv) would be illogical if all Greek Catholics were located only in western Ukraine,” continued the patriarch. “I visited Donetsk as well as Sumy and Crimea, and could see that there are also Greek Catholics there. Greek Catholics may have been driven from those parts of Ukraine, but they returned.”

According to Patriarch Lubomyr, the Greek Catholic metropolitan was based in Kyiv before the beginning of the 19th century, but “when the Russian Empire occupied Ukraine, it steadily got rid of Greek Catholics on its lands.”
“However, when the Bolshevik regime took over, Greek Catholics for various reasons returned to the eastern, central and southern regions of Ukraine,” he added. “And it is our duty to serve them.”
The head of the UGCC also noted that Kyiv is the center of the country and all the big church organizations have their main representative offices there; it is only fitting for the UGCC to have its seat in the capital. “The Greek Catholic Church is not a western Ukrainian but an all-Ukrainian reality,” stressed Patriarch Lubomyr.

According to the UGCC Information Department, the magazine also published the patriarch’s answers to questions about the possibility of unification for the traditional Christian churches, politics in Ukraine, and the UGCC’s attitude towards yoga and Darwin.