Catholic World News News Feature
Byzantine Catholics decry Lefebvrite inroads in Ukraine December 01, 2006
An archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church has denounced the ordination of 2 priests and 7 deacons for the schismatic Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), and the participation of a Ukrainian priest in the Warsaw ceremony.
Bishop Richard Williamson, one of the four bishops illicitly ordained by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebre in 1988, presided at the ordinations, with Father Vasyl Kovpak, the head of the SSPX in Ukraine, taking part. Most of the people attending the ordinations were Ukrainian traditionalists.
Archbishop Ihor Vozniak of Lviv said that the ordination of priests to serve in Ukraine was a "criminal" act, since Bishop Williamson ignored the authority of the Roman and Byzantine Catholic bishops of the region. Archbishop Vozniak, who heads the Byzantine Church in Lviv, stressed that none of the priests ordained by Williamson would have permission to serve Ukrainian Catholic parishes.
The Lviv archdiocese complained bitterly about the presence of Lefebvrite priests in the city, saying that the traditionalist clerics were causing confusion and division among the faithful. The archdiocese was particularly critical of Father Kovpak, saying that "he deceives the church by declaring that he is a Greek [Byzantine] Catholic priest," while supporting a group that uses the old Latin liturgy exclusively, eschewing the Byzantine tradition, and does not maintain allegiance to the Holy See. Officials of the Lviv archdiocese said that Father Kovpak could face excommunication from the Byzantine Catholic Church.