The truth does not need to be defended; it needs to be witnessed: International conference on Lviv pseudo-sobor continues in Kyiv

Friday, 05 March 2021, 10:45
Today, March 5, the UCU Kyiv Center is hosting the International Conference "Lviv Sobor of 1946: Historical Circumstances and Modern Assessments."

The event is timed to the sad anniversary of the Lviv pseudo-sobor (March 8-10, 1946), which proclaimed the "reunification" of the Greek Catholics with the Russian Orthodox Church.

The event began with the blessing and speech of the Father and Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The Primate noted that these days we have a unique opportunity to learn the truth. "The Lviv pseudo-sobor was a tragic event that, in fact, initiated the liquidation of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Thanks to new sources that have been discovered, the truth becomes clear. It can be painful and liberating at the same time. I want to thank all those who study archives and discover the truth,” said the Father and Head of the UGCC in his welcoming speech.

"Today we are talking about fakes. The pseudo-sobor was one of them. The truth will help us to get rid of lies and understand the event that still hurts us all to this day,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav is convinced.

During the plenary sessions, scholars discuss the forms and methods of the repressive policy of the Soviet government, the patterns and features of the application of this policy in different regions and countries.

The first speaker was Dr. Oleh Turiy, Director of the UCU Institute of Church History. The researcher told about historical precedents in the preparation of the Lviv sobor in 1946.

Then, in the light of recently discovered documents, Roman Skakun, deputy director of the Institute of Church History, presented the Lviv sobor as an intelligence operation. He said that the decisions of the pseudo-council were formulated in advance and approved by the NKVD. Mr. Skakun emphasized that the Lviv sobor is a good example of how the Soviet authorities organized such actions, in particular the sobor of the ROC and the Armenian Church.

Svitlana Gurkina, an associate professor at the Institute of Church History, spoke about the clergy of Lviv during the "reunification" campaign, paying special attention to their resistance and adaptation. The actual cleansing of the clergy of St. Yura Cathedral, according to the researcher, took place in January 1946. The arrests of the Lviv clergy allowed the local KGB to liquidate the Church on the eve of the Verkhovna Rada elections. “The majority of the clergy of Lviv resisted the ‘reunification’ campaign," Svitlana Gurkina shared the conclusion from her research.

Ruslan Deliatynsky, director of the Institute of Church History of the Ivano-Frankivsk Theological Academy of John Chrysostom presented the life strategies the clergy of the Stanislaviv Greek Catholic eparchy before and after the 1946 Lviv pseudo-sobor.

Kateryna Budz, a researcher of the UGCC underground period from Kyiv, spoke about the attitude of the Ukrainian insurgents to the “reunification” of the UGCC with the ROC. The researcher told about the measures they took. According to her, OUN members were blamed for the murders of nine priests from Drohobych, Ternopil and Stanislaviv regions, including the organizer of the pseudo-sobor, Father Kostelnyk. "In general, the negative attitude of the nationalist underground to ‘reunification’ did not have a significant impact on the scale of the transition of Greek Catholic priests under the jurisdiction of the ROC," said Kateryna Budz.

At the end of the first part of the conference Taras Pshenychny, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of History of the Taras Shevchenko National University, presented the Lviv pseudo-sobor of 1946 in historiography.

We remind you that the organizers of the event are the Institute of Church History and the Kyiv Center of UCU.

The conference is attended by about 30 leading experts from Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the United States, representatives of public authorities and church structures. Among the participants: His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father and Head of the UGCC, Bishop Evstratiy Zoria, Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn of the OCU, Bishop Teodor Martyniuk, Auxiliary Bishop of the Ternopil-Zboriv Archeparchy of the UGCC, and a group of scholars, including Olena Bohdan, Victor Yelensky, Victor Voynalovych, Natalia Shlikhta, Taras Pshenychny, Volodymyr Bureha, Konstantin Sigov, Fr. Georgiy Kovalenko, Fr. Andriy Mykhaleiko.

We would like to add that the International Conference on the Lviv pseudo-sobor, which is broadcast by Zhyve Television, consists of four parts, links to which can be found here  and here .


 The UGCC Department for Information


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