“Letters of communion” of His Beatitude Sviatoslav to the Patriarchs and Major Archbishops of Eastern Catholic Churches

Friday, 22 April 2011, 15:06
On 18 April the Chancellery of the Major Archbishop of Kyiv and Halych announced that on 7 April (on the feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary) His Beatitude Sviatoslav for the first time after the enthronement as Father and Head of the UGCC had sent “letters of communion” to all the Heads of Eastern Catholic Churches.
On 18 April the Chancellery of the Major Archbishop of Kyiv and Halych announced that on 7 April (on the feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary) His Beatitude Sviatoslav for the first time after the enthronement as Father and Head of the UGCC had sent “letters of communion” to all the Heads of Eastern Catholic Churches.  Specifically, the recipients of the “letters of communion” were: His Beatitude Card. Antonios Naguib – Patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church, His Beatitude Card. Emanuil III Delly – Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, His Beatitude Ignace  Joseph III Younan – Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church, His Beatitude Gregorios III Laham – Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni – Patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church and His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rai – newly elected Patriarch of the Maronite Church.   “Letters of communion” were also sent to the Major Archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches: His Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Thouttunkal – the Head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in India and His Beatitude Lucian Mureşan – the Head of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church. The “letters of communion” for the syro-malabars were addressed to Most Rev. Bosco Puthur – Administrator of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in India which is currently electing a new Head after the death of Card. Mar Varkey Vithayathil.   According to an ancient tradition, Heads of the local Churches, Patriarchs and Archbishops, nurtured among themselves communion through visits and letters known as “litterae communionis”, i.e. “letters of communion”. An example of such a brotherly visit can be seen in a recent visit of His Beatitude Gregorios III, Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, to Kyiv on the occasion of the enthronement of the new Head of the UGCC. As for the letters, their content was usually comprised of important events from the life of the local Churches that the Heads of these Churches wanted to share with their brothers in episcopacy. After the emergence of our Church from the underground, the Primates of our Church, of the blessed memory Card. Myroslav Ivan (Lubachivskyi) and Card. Lubomyr (Husar), maintained this ancient tradition sending “letters of communion” mainly after Synods of Bishops of our Church.     In his first “letters of communion”, the Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav began with a short chronicle of the Electoral Synod and confirmation of the choice of the Synod of Bishops by the Holy Father. He then continued with words about the ceremony of the enthronement in the Patriarchal Cathedral in Kyiv and an audience with the Holy Father Benedict XVI in Rome.  Afterward, he appealed to the Primates of the Eastern Catholic Churches. He addressed them with these words; “The excellent relationships established with all of you by my venerable Predecessor is also a privileged way for me to continue a common path. Indeed, a very special way for me to share experiences and news, to mature in a common position that would strengthen our identity in the Universal Church, in the world and in the ecumenical dialogue. It is my sincere hope that the great openness revealed up to now will not only be preserved but farther developed”      

UGCC Information Department

     
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