URGENT! Only 3 days left! We must still match $2,680 to win a $25,400 Challenge Grant! Can you help?
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Ukrainian Catholic Church selects young bishop as new leader

Catholic World News - March 25, 2011

A 40-year-old bishop serving in Argentina has been elected to lead the Ukrainian Catholic Church: the largest Eastern Church in communion with the Holy See.

Bishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the apostolic administrator of the Eparchy of the Protection of the Blessed Mary in Buenos Aires, was elected by the 40 bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Synod on March 23. The results of the election were not announced to the public until Pope Benedict XVI confirmed the choice on March 25. The new Major Archbishop will be enthroned in Kyiv on March 27.

The Ukrainian prelate succeeds Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, who retired in February, citing his failing health, after 10 years as the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. (Cardinal Husar, who is 78, is losing his eyesight.) During his tenure Cardinal Husar had moved the headquarters of the Ukrainian Church from Lviv to Kyiv.

Born in 1970, Bishop Shevchuk was ordained as a priest in Lviv in 1994. After graduate studies in theology he taught at the Lviv seminary, and served as personal secretary to Cardinal Husar In 2009 he became an auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic eparchy in Argentina, and was appointed as apostolic administrator when the previous bishop retired.

The election of Bishop Shevchuk broke a temporary deadlock in the Synod voting. Following the rules for such elections, after 12 inconclusive ballots the bishops narrowed their selections to the two prelates who had been named most frequently in the last round of voting. Shortly thereafter, the winning candidate received the necessary two-thirds majority.

One of the youngest Catholic bishops in the world, the new Major Archbishop becomes an enormously influential figure in Ukraine and on the ecumenical scene. The Ukrainian Catholic Church, with over 4 million faithful, is by far the largest of the Byzantine-rite Catholic churches. After decades of brutal suppression under the Soviet regime, the Ukrainian Catholic Church emerged with remarkable vigor after the fall of Communism. Ukrainian Catholics have pressed the Vatican for recognition of a Ukrainian patriarchate. But the Russian Orthodox Church, which claims Ukraine as its own “canonical territory,” has adamantly opposed that idea, and views the activities of the Ukrainian Catholic Church as an impediment to ecumenical progress.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($2,680 to go):
$25,400.00 $22,719.71
11% 89%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

What's wrong with these pictures? 3 hours ago
What can we learn from the dignity of military services? 4 hours ago
Urgent! We need extra financial support between now and May 24th. 10 hours ago
Was Lewis “basically Catholic”? May 21
Reading The Diary of a Country Priest: Scandal May 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days