69th Session of the Synod of Bishops of Kyiv-Galician Supreme Archbishopric of the UGCC

Wednesday, 02 December 2015, 16:44
The sixty-ninth session of the Synod of Bishops of the Kyiv-Galician Supreme Archbishopric of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church was held in a retreat centre of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj in Lviv (Bryukhovychi) on 24-25th of November.

At the synodal meetings all valid bishops of Kyiv-Galician Archbishopric of the UGCC took part, except bishop Stepan (Menyok) who was absent for good reasons. Bishop Milan (Shashik), Eparch of Mukachevo and bishop Nil (Lushchak), bishop-auxiliary of Mukachevo Greek-Catholic Eparchy were also invited for the synodal meetings.

The main topic of this Session of the Synod of Bishops of the Supreme Archbishopric was a problem of corruption. Analyzing the rounds of this social disease, members of the Synod listened to the report about social expectations from Church, considering tackling corruption in Ukraine, presented by Myroslav Marynovych, a president of the Institute of Religion and Society and vice-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University Mission, and also a report about practical arrangements of tackling corruption, presented by Sergiy Gula, the coordinator of a National Movement “No corruption! I do not take and give bribes!”

Having conducted an in-depth analysis of this problem, the Synod of the Supreme Archbishopric acknowledged social disease of corruption a sin, responsibility of what is personal. Also it was decided to initiate a forming of all-church movement for preventing this sin and to organize an appropriate working group which first task should be to draw up a pastoral care program in a sphere of corruption resistance. Also, the Synod of the Supreme Archbishopric supported all social organizations and initiatives that struggle with a social disease of corruption and oblige all faithful of the UGCC to join a common prayer for healing from a sin of corruption in a monthly daily prayer for healing addicted and their relatives.

In a chapter of revising synodal documents was set an examination and adoption of a Pastoral letter of the Synod of Bishops of Kyiv-Galician Supreme Archbishopric with proposed amendments and readjustments to it at the first reading, considering corruption disease.

Among other discussed topics was news from His Beatitude Sviatoslav about a participation of our Church in organization and activity of National Forum “Transformation of Ukraine”.

The head of the Department of Church Commissions, father Petro Rak reported on an activity of Supreme Archbishopric’s commissions, and, head of the Commission on Clergy and Monasticism, father Roman Lagish told about an activity of this Commission and Assembly for Monasticism of the UGCC and RCC in Ukraine.

Father Vasyl Bilash, head of the Commission on Issues of Laity, appealed to the Synod with a number of requests that were answered by synodal priests with appropriate solutions. About a preparation to the World youth day that will be held on 26th - 31st of July, 2016 in Krakiv, reported father Rostyslav Pendyuk, head of the Commission on Youth Issues.

Besides, there was listened to and approved a statement about an activity of Coordinating Council on Issues of Pastoral Care in Critical Situations, arranged by its head bishop Bohdan (Manyshyn). Father Kostyantyn Panteley reported about an activity of Patriarchal Curia Department for Pastoral Care in the Penitentiary System of Ukraine.

Synodal priests learned attentively a question about Extraordinary Jubilee of God’s mercy – Holy Year of Mercy that was reported by bishop Bohdan (Dzyurakh). This Extraordinary jubilee year of God’s mercy was established as a decision of the Synod of Bishops in respond to Pope Francis’s call. It will last from December 8th, 2015 till November 26th, 2016.

In other themes for discussions was considered a question about an appointment of a responsible priest at every eparchy – vicar on issues of church singers that was reported by bishop Venedykt (Aleksiychuk), head of the Patriarchal Liturgical Commission of the UGCC.

The Synod examined and took into account, recommending for using, tutorial on a preparation to a marriage “Walking to marriage”, presented by Mrs. Maria Gavins’ka and, also, a Program of Bible readings at the parishes, presented by father Taras Barshchevskiy and sister Luisa Tsyupa, SSMI.

Thinking about a present situation in our country, the Synod of Supreme Archbishopric ratified a text of a special prayer for peace, soldiers and victims that is called to exclaim in litany of different petitions during every Divine Liturgy:

Again and again let us pray to the Lord to show His Holy Spirit onto all Ukrainian people and grant them grace of endurance in faith, hope and love among today’s hard afflictions; grant them peace and deliver from all enemies, so they could glorify kind and merciful God in justice and truth, - Lord, hear us and have mercy.

We also pray for God guard all our soldiers, who comply with honor their obligation to defend Motherland, - so that Lord may strengthen their courage and fortitude and guard them against all enemies, seen and unseen, - Lord, hear us and have mercy.

We also pray for those who suffered on consequence of military actions: for wounded, refugees; those who lost their relatives, homes, property; for all who remain in a conflict zone, - so that Lord may guard and heal them, drive far from them from every foe and help by His grace, - Lord, hear and have mercy.

During the second day of synodal meetings was set up an accurate discussion about a mission of the Ukrainian Catholic University and new opportunities to serve for Church, as it was reported by Mr. Taras Dobko, the first pro-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University. About a status of a dialogue with Kharkiv-Poltava eparchy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (renewed) reported bishop Teodor (Martynyuk).

A secretary of Apostolic Nunciatura in Kyiv, Monsignor Pyotr Tarnavskiy appealed to the synodal priests with a letter to the Synod of the Supreme Archbishopric from newly appointed apostolic nuncio in Ukraine, Archbishop Claudio Gudgerotti.

The 70th session of the Synod of Bishops of Kyiv-Galician Supreme Archbishopric of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church is agreed to run in January, 2016.

The Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops

of Kyiv-Galician Supreme Archbishopric of the UGCC