Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Ukrainian Catholic Primate's First Priority... a Patriarchate

The newly elected head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Sviatoslav Shevchuk, is planning to meet with Pope Benedict XVI and ask him to grant the UGCC the status of a patriarchate of the Roman Catholic Church.

"Today I'm departing with my bishops and all of the metropolitans of our church to Rome, because it's our duty to make a courtesy visit to the Holy Father," he said a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.

The UGCC leader said that the UGCC Synod of Bishops had prepared a number of proposals for the Pope.

"We're really going to tell of how our church is developing and that each developing church [becomes] a patriarchate, because a patriarchate is a period in the completion of the development of a church," he said.

He said that the 20 years of Ukraine's independence had been a period of development for the UGCC.


The Archer of the Forest said...

What exactly is a Patriarchate? Is that what is diminutively referred to as a Uniate Church?

mjl said...

Archer, I can't tell tell if you're being sarcastic or not but I believe in this instance it's the office of a Patriarch, which the UGCC lacks one. Despite that the previous two leaders of the church would informally be called Patriarch, Rome has not granted the major metropolitan such a title. Notice, however, that the Archbishop of Lviv has more authority and respect than the Patriarch of Venice, a Papal recognized title. My favourite suggestion is still from Fr. Robert Taft, SJ who suggested that the major metropolitan should just start signing his letters as Patriarch and send all letters back which don't acknowledge his office.

Jon Marc said...

I'm still surprised that the Vatican hasn't approved a change in status. It's not like unity talks with Moscow will be going anywhere anytime soon and they already have a Byzantine Rite patriarch on the territory of the Church of Antioch...

John (Ad Orientem) said...

As JM noted this should not be a big issue. I think Moscow needs to get over it and chill. The UGCC is NOT Orthodox and we are NOT Catholic. That is not about to change. With that view in mind I don't really care what they call their local primate. And frankly it is none of our business.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

In the ancient Church a Patriarch was the first or senior most hierarch of a self governing church. That is still true in Orthodoxy. In the Roman communion the title has become subordinate to that of the Pope (once styled Patriarch of the West) and the titles must be conferred by the Holy See.