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Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has just celebrated the 25th anniversary of its legalization. However, Major Archbishop Shevchuk, leader of the Church says that they are faced once again with the possibility of being outlawed in parts of Ukraine. He stated that, "The local so-called authorities issued a special law, which obliged each religious community to renew its registration and perhaps for the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church it is very difficult to get a new registration. This means that starting in January 2015, we simply will be outside the law" (radiovaticana.va, 13 Dec. 2014).

In the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk where the conflict is great, only three Catholic priests remain. The Archbishop has called for greater efforts from the Orthodox Churches to help bring peace to the region and between Ukraine and Russia.

"We [Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church] are trying to be the mediators and it is the image of our own mission as the Eastern Catholic Church, which is both in communion with the Holy Father, with Western Christianity, but embodies the Eastern Christian spirituality, liturgical, theological tradition" (ibid).

He remarked on the growth of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the past 25 years, since the Church came out of the underground. "The Church which went out of the catacombs [25 years ago] had more or less 300 priests and the average age was 60 years old," he said. "But right now, we have more than 3,000 priests and the average age is 35 years. I am, as head of the Church, 44 years old" (ibid).

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Title Annotation:UKRAINE
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EXUR
Date:Feb 1, 2015
Words:261
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