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Ukrainian Catholic prelate to be recognized as Patriarch?

February 22, 2022

» Continue to this story on Pillar

CWN Editor's Note: The Congregation for Eastern Churches is weighing a proposal to raise the leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, to the status of a Patriarch, the Pillar site reports.

Ukrainian Catholics have sought that recognition for years, and have frequently referred to the Major Archbishop as a Patriarch. But the Vatican has not conferred that status, mindful that the gesture would create new tensions with the Russian Orthodox Church, which still Ukraine as its “canonical territory.”

Today, however, with tensions mounting between Ukraine and Russia, the recognition of a Catholic patriarch could help to unify the embattled country—especially in light of longstanding splits within the country’s Orthodox community, which is divided between those who support an autonomy Ukrainian Orthodox Church and those loyal to the Moscow patriarchate.

The Ukrainian Catholic Church, with 4.5 million faithful, is by far the largest of the Eastern churches in communion with the Holy See. The Vatican recognizes patriarchs of the Armenian, Chaldean, Coptic, Maronite, Melkie, and Syriac Catholic churches.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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