Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Overview
 
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) (Українська Греко-Католицька Церква (УГКЦ), Ukrainska Hreko-Katolytska Tserkva), is the largest Eastern Rite Catholic sui juris particular church
Particular Church
In Catholic canon law, a Particular Church is an ecclesial community headed by a bishop or someone recognised as the equivalent of a bishop.There are two kinds of particular Churches:# Local particular Churches ...

 in full communion
Full communion
In Christian ecclesiology, full communion is a relationship between church organizations or groups that mutually recognize their sharing the essential doctrines....

 with the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, and is directly subject to the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. The Primate
Primate (religion)
Primate is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches. Depending on the particular tradition, it can denote either jurisdictional authority or ceremonial precedence ....

 of the Church holds the office of Archbishop-Major of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

-Halych
Halych
Halych is a historic city on the Dniester River in western Ukraine. The town gave its name to the historic province and kingdom of Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, of which it was the capital until the early 14th century, when the seat of the local princes was moved to Lviv...

 and All Rus, though the hierarchs of the church have acclaimed their primate "Patriarch
Patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

" and have requested Papal recognition of, and elevation to, this title.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) (Українська Греко-Католицька Церква (УГКЦ), Ukrainska Hreko-Katolytska Tserkva), is the largest Eastern Rite Catholic sui juris particular church
Particular Church
In Catholic canon law, a Particular Church is an ecclesial community headed by a bishop or someone recognised as the equivalent of a bishop.There are two kinds of particular Churches:# Local particular Churches ...

 in full communion
Full communion
In Christian ecclesiology, full communion is a relationship between church organizations or groups that mutually recognize their sharing the essential doctrines....

 with the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, and is directly subject to the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. The Primate
Primate (religion)
Primate is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches. Depending on the particular tradition, it can denote either jurisdictional authority or ceremonial precedence ....

 of the Church holds the office of Archbishop-Major of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

-Halych
Halych
Halych is a historic city on the Dniester River in western Ukraine. The town gave its name to the historic province and kingdom of Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, of which it was the capital until the early 14th century, when the seat of the local princes was moved to Lviv...

 and All Rus, though the hierarchs of the church have acclaimed their primate "Patriarch
Patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

" and have requested Papal recognition of, and elevation to, this title. The Church is one of the successor Churches
Church Body
A local church is a Christian religious organization that meets in a particular location. Many are formally organized, with constitutions and by-laws, maintain offices, are served by pastors or lay leaders, and, in nations where this is permissible, often seek seek non-profit corporate status...

 to the acceptance of Christianity by Grand Prince
Grand Prince
The title grand prince or great prince ranked in honour below emperor and tsar and above a sovereign prince .Grand duke is the usual and established, though not literal, translation of these terms in English and Romance languages, which do not normally use separate words for a "prince" who reigns...

 Vladimir the Great of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, in 988. The Church has followed the spread of the Ukrainian diaspora
Ukrainian diaspora
The Ukrainian diaspora is the global community of ethnic Ukrainians, especially those who maintain some kind of connection, even if ephemeral, to the land of their ancestors and maintain their feeling of Ukrainian national identity within their own local community.-1608 To 1880:After the loss...

, and now has some 40 hierarchs in over a dozen countries on four continents, including three other metropolitan
Metropolitan bishop
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of a historical Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.Before the establishment of...

s in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. The head of the church is Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk
Sviatoslav Shevchuk
Sviatoslav Shevchuk is the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church since 25 March 2011.-Life:Sviatoslav Shevchuk was born in 1970, in Stryi, Ukrainian SSR. He was ordained as a priest on 26 June 1994. From 2002 to 2005 he worked as head of the secretariat of Patriarch Lubomyr Husar...

, since March 2011

Within Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 itself, the UGCC is a minority faith of the religious population, being a distant second to the majority Eastern Orthodox faith. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is the second largest religious organization in Ukraine in terms of number of communities. In terms of number of faithful, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church ranks third in allegiance among the population of Ukraine, after the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is an autonomous Church of Eastern Orthodoxy in Ukraine, under the ecclesiastic jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate...

, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate. Currently, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church predominates in three western oblast
Oblast
Oblast is a type of administrative division in Slavic countries, including some countries of the former Soviet Union. The word "oblast" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region"...

s of Ukraine, but constitutes a small minority elsewhere in the country.

Before the Union of Brest

The Ukrainian Catholic Church did not exist, as such, until the Union of Brest
Union of Brest
Union of Brest or Union of Brześć refers to the 1595-1596 decision of the Church of Rus', the "Metropolia of Kiev-Halych and all Rus'", to break relations with the Patriarch of Constantinople and place themselves under the Pope of Rome. At the time, this church included most Ukrainians and...

 in the late 16th century, but its roots go back to the very beginning of Christianity in Mediaeval Slavic State of Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

. The area of modern-day Ukraine was primarily influenced by Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 missionaries. The mission of Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

 was especially important as their development of the Cyrillic alphabet allowed the spread of worship in the Old Church Slavonic language. The Greek influence continued to until the Great Schism
East-West Schism
The East–West Schism of 1054, sometimes known as the Great Schism, formally divided the State church of the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western branches, which later became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, respectively...

, when the Ruthenian
Ruthenians
The name Ruthenian |Rus']]) is a culturally loaded term and has different meanings according to the context in which it is used. Initially, it was the ethnonym used for the East Slavic peoples who lived in Rus'. Later it was used predominantly for Ukrainians...

 (Rusyn
Rusyns
Carpatho-Rusyns are a primarily diasporic ethnic group who speak an Eastern Slavic language, or Ukrainian dialect, known as Rusyn. Carpatho-Rusyns descend from a minority of Ruthenians who did not adopt the use of the ethnonym "Ukrainian" in the early twentieth century...

) Church took sides, and became Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

.

Following the Mongol annihilation of Kiev in the 13th century, the Metropolitan of Kiev moved to Vladimir
Vladimir
Vladimir is a city and the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located on the Klyazma River, to the east of Moscow along the M7 motorway. Population:...

 in 1299. By 1326, the Metropolitan had settled in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, and by 1328 had changed the title of Metropolitan of Kiev for the title Metropolitan of Moscow. The separate legal tradition of the Ruthenian Church, as differentiated from the Church in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

, was codified in the decision of the first properly Russian Church Council of the Hundred Chapters ('Stoglav') in 1448, followed by the formal separation of the Church of Rus' into separate Russian (Muscovite) and Ruthenia
Ruthenia
Ruthenia is the Latin word used onwards from the 13th century, describing lands of the Ancient Rus in European manuscripts. Its geographic and culturo-ethnic name at that time was applied to the parts of Eastern Europe. Essentially, the word is a false Latin rendering of the ancient place name Rus...

n (Kievan) Metropoliae in 1453.

Union of Brest

This situation continued for some time, and in the intervening years what is now Western and Central Ukraine came under the rule of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

. The Polish king Sigismund III Vasa
Sigismund III Vasa
Sigismund III Vasa was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, a monarch of the united Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1587 to 1632, and King of Sweden from 1592 until he was deposed in 1599...

 was heavily influenced by the ideals of the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

 and wanted to increase the Catholic presence in Ukraine. Meanwhile the clergy of the Ruthenian lands were ruled from distant Constantinople, and much of the population showed loyalty to Orthodoxy rather than the Catholic monarch. Persecution of the Orthodox population grew, and under pressure of Polish authorities the clergy of the Ruthenian Church agreed by the Union of Brest in 1595 to break from the Patriarch of Constantinopole and unite with the Catholic Church under the sponsorship of the ruler of the Commonwealth, Sigismund III Vasa
Sigismund III Vasa
Sigismund III Vasa was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, a monarch of the united Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1587 to 1632, and King of Sweden from 1592 until he was deposed in 1599...

, in response for ending the persecution. The union was not accepted by all the members of the Greek Church in these lands, and marked the beginning of the creation of separate Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox
Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is an autonomous Church of Eastern Orthodoxy in Ukraine, under the ecclesiastic jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate...

 Churches on the lands of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

. Due to violence, the Metropolitan of the Kievan Greek Catholic Church left Kiev early in the 17th century and settled in Navahrudak (present Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

) and Vilna in Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

.

After the Union

The final step of the full particularity of the Ukrainian Catholic Church was then effected by the development of the middle Ruthenian language into separate Rusyn, Ukrainian and Belarusian language
Belarusian language
The Belarusian language , sometimes referred to as White Russian or White Ruthenian, is the language of the Belarusian people...

s around 1600 to 1800. With Orthodoxy being largely suppressed during the two centuries of the Polish rule, the Greek-Catholic influence on the Ukrainian population was so great that in several oblasts hardly any remained Orthodox.

After the partition of Poland, the formerly Greek-Catholic territory was mostly divided between Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 and Austria
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

. In the Russian partition, which included Volhynia
Volhynia
Volhynia, Volynia, or Volyn is a historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Southern Bug River, to the north of Galicia and Podolia; the region is named for the former city of Volyn or Velyn, said to have been located on the Southern Bug River, whose name may come...

 and Podolia
Podolia
The region of Podolia is an historical region in the west-central and south-west portions of present-day Ukraine, corresponding to Khmelnytskyi Oblast and Vinnytsia Oblast. Northern Transnistria, in Moldova, is also a part of Podolia...

, in the easternmost areas of Podolia the population quickly and voluntarily returned to Orthodoxy. Initially, the Russian authorities were extremely tolerant of the Greek-Catholic church and allowed it to function (calling them Basilians
Basilian monk
Basilian monks are monks who follow the "Rule" of Saint Basil the Great, bishop of Caesarea. The chief importance of the monastic rules and institutes of St. Basil lies in the fact that to this day his reconstruction of the monastic life is the basis of most of the monasticism practiced in the...

). However immediately the clergy was split into pro-Catholic and pro-Russian, with the former tending to convert to Latin Rite Catholicism, whilst the demands of the latter group led by Bishop Iosif Semashko (1798–1868) being firmly rejected by the ruling Greek-Catholic synod still largely controlled by the pro-Polish clergy with the Russian authorities largely refusing to interfere. The situation changed abruptly following Russia's successful suppression of the 1831 Polish uprising
November Uprising
The November Uprising , Polish–Russian War 1830–31 also known as the Cadet Revolution, was an armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire. The uprising began on 29 November 1830 in Warsaw when the young Polish officers from the local Army of the Congress...

 aimed at overthrowing the Russian control of the Polish territories. As the uprising was actively supported by the Greek-Catholic church, the crackdown on the Church became imminent. The pro-Latin members of the Synod were removed and the Church began to disintegrate with its parishes in Volhynia reverting to the Orthodoxy including the 1833 transfer of the famous Pochaiv Lavra. In 1839 the Synod of Polotsk (Modern Belarus), under the leadership of Bishop Semashko, dissolved the Greek-Catholic church in the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, and all its property was transferred to the Orthodox state church. The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia says that in what was then known as 'Little Russia' (now Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

), the pressure of the Russian Government "utterly wiped out" Greek Catholics, and "some 7,000,000 of the Uniats there were compelled, partly by force and partly by deception, to become part of the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

".

The dissolution of the Greek-Catholic Church in Russia was complete in 1875 with the abolition of the Eparchy of Kholm.

19th century: West Ukrainian period

With the elimination of Ruthenian Catholics on the territory of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 during the 19th century, the Pope of Rome granted the transfer of the quasi-patriarchal powers of the Major-Archiepiscopate of Kiev/Halych and all Rus to the Metropolitan of Lviv
Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...

 (Lemberg) in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1803. Suffragan sees included Ivano-Frankivsk
Ivano-Frankivsk
Ivano-Frankivsk is a historic city located in the western Ukraine. It is the administrative centre of the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast , and is designated as its own separate raion within the oblast, municipality....

 (then called Stanislav) and Przemyśl. By the end of the century, the faithful of this church began emigrating to the U.S., Canada, and Brazil.

In Austrian Polish partition that included Halychyna (modern Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and parts of Ternopil oblasts), the Greek-Catholic Ruthenian (Ukrainian) peasantry was largely under the Polish Latin Catholic domination. The Austrians granted equal legal privileges to the Greek-Catholic Church and removed Polish influence. They also mandated that Uniate seminarians receive a formal higher education (previously, priests had been educated informally by their fathers), and organized institutions in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and Lviv
Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...

 that would serve this function. This led to the appearance, for the first time, of a large educated social class within the Ukrainian population in Halychyna. It also engendered a fierce sense of loyalty to the Habsburg dynasty. When Polish rebels briefly took control of Lviv in 1809, they demanded that the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Anton Anhelovych, have his Church substitute Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

's name in the Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term...

 for that of Austrian Emperor Francis II
Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Francis II was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Empire after the disastrous defeat of the Third Coalition by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz...

. He refused, and was imprisoned by the Poles. When the Austrians retook control over the city, Anhelovych was awarded the cross of Leopold by the Emperor.

As a result of the reforms, within Austrian Halychyna over the next century the Greek-Catholic Church ceased being a puppet of foreign interests and became the primary cultural force within the Ukrainian community. Most independent native Ukrainian cultural and political trends (such as Rusynophilia, Russophilia
Russophilia
Russophilia is the love of Russia and/or Russians. The term is used in two basic contexts: in international politics and in cultural context. "Russophilia" and "Russophilic" are the terms used to denote pro-Russian sentiments, usually in politics and literature...

 and later Ukrainophilia
Ukrainophilia
Ukrainophilia is the love of and/or identification with Ukraine and Ukrainians; its opposite is Ukrainophobia. The term is used primarily in a political and cultural context. "Ukrainophilia" and "Ukrainophile" are the terms used to denote pro-Ukrainian sentiments, usually in politics and...

) emerged from within the ranks of the Greek-Catholic Church clergy
Western Ukrainian Clergy
The Western Ukrainian clergy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church were a hereditary tight-knit social caste that dominated western Ukrainian society from the late eighteenth until the mid twentieth centuries, following the reforms instituted by Joseph II, Emperor of Austria...

. The participation of Greek Catholic priests or their children in western Ukrainian cultural and political life was so great that western Ukrainians were accused of wanting to create a theocracy in western Ukraine by their Polish rivals. Among the political trends emerging from the priests of their families, the Christian social movement
Christian Social Movement in Ukraine
The Christian Social Movement in Ukraine was a political movement that existed in Western Ukraine from the end of the 19th century until the 1930s.-Ideals:...

 was particularly linked to the Ukrainian Catholic Church. For many people, the Austrians were seen as having saved the Ukrainians and their Church from the Poles.

20th century: persecution and internationalization

Ukrainian Greek Catholics found themselves under the governance of the nations of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Under the previous century of Austrian rule, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church attained such a strong Ukrainian national character that in the interwar Poland, the Greek Catholics of Galicia were seen by the nationalist Polish and Catholic state as even less reliable than the Orthodox Volhynians. Carrying its Polonisation policies throughout its Eastern Territories
Kresy
The Polish term Kresy refers to a land considered by Poles as historical eastern provinces of their country. Today, it makes western Ukraine, western Belarus, as well as eastern Lithuania, with such major cities, as Lviv, Vilnius, and Hrodna. This territory belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian...

, the Polish authorities sought to weaken the UGCC in various ways. In 1924, following a visit with the Ukrainian Catholic believers in North America and western Europe, the head of the UGCC was initially denied reentry to Lviv only being allowed back after a considerable delay. Polish (Latin Rite) Roman Catholic priests, led by their Latin bishops, began to undertake missionary work among Greek Catholics, and administrative restrictions were placed on the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

The aftermath of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 placed almost all native Ukrainian Catholics under the rule of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and Soviet Bloc which, using the positions of only a few ex-UGCC leading clergymen, tried to gain control over the Church. Soviet documents of 1945 indicates a collaboration between Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

  and Patriarch Alexy I of Moscow to dismantle the Greek Catholic Church in the then recently-annexed western areas of Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or in short, the Ukrainian SSR was a sovereign Soviet Socialist state and one of the fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union lasting from its inception in 1922 to the breakup in 1991...

.

These dissident ex-UGCC clergy called a (Soviet-supervised) "synod" (Lviv Sobor of 1946) in Lviv
Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...

 and at this synod annulled the Union of Brest of 1596 and all of its statutes. Ex-UGCC priest Havryil Kostelnyk (who later died under dubious circumstances) was forced or convinced to preside over this Lviv Sobor of 1946, probably due to blackmailing by the Soviet NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 and other secret services. Ironically, as all the bishops of the UGCC were at this point either in prison or exile, no bishops of the UGCC were involved (there were 216 priests and 19 laymen present instead), making the supposed synod or sobor canonically illegitimate by the official canons of both Orthodox and Catholic Churches alike. Whilst officially all of the church property was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 under the Moscow Patriarchate, some Ukrainian Greek Catholic clergy went underground. This catacomb church was strongly supported by the diaspora created by the mass emigration to the Western hemisphere, which had begun already in the 1870s and increased at the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

In the winter of 1944-45, Catholic clergy were summoned to 'reeducation' sessions conducted by the NKVD. Near the end of the war in Europe, the state media began an anti-Catholic campaign. The creation of the community in 1596 was discredited in publications that would later appear, which went to great pains to try to prove that the Catholic Church was conducting activities directed against Ukrainians in the first half of the 20th century.

In 1945 Soviet authorities arrested, deported and sentenced to forced labor camps in Siberia and elsewhere the church's metropolitan Yosyf Slipyi and nine other Greek Catholic bishops, as well as hundreds of clergy and leading lay activists. All the above-mentioned bishops and significant part of clergymen died in prisons, concentration camps, internal exile, or soon after their release during the post-Stalin thaw. The exception was metropolitan Yosyf Slipyi who, after 18 years of imprisonment and persecution, was released thanks to the intervention of Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII
-Papal election:Following the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Roncalli was elected Pope, to his great surprise. He had even arrived in the Vatican with a return train ticket to Venice. Many had considered Giovanni Battista Montini, Archbishop of Milan, a possible candidate, but, although archbishop...

, arrived in Rome, where he received the title of Major Archbishop of Lviv, and became cardinal in 1965.
In Lvov alone, 800 priests were imprisoned.

For the clergy that joined the Russian Orthodox Church, the Soviet authorities refrained from the large-scale persecution of religion that was seen elsewhere in the country (see Religion in the Soviet Union
Religion in the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological objective the elimination of religion and its replacement with atheism. To that end, the communist regime confiscated religious property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in schools...

). In the city of Lviv, only one church was closed (at a time when many cities in the rest of Ukraine did not have a working church). Moreover, the western dioceses of Lviv-Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk were the largest in the USSR, holding the majority of the Russian Orthodox Church's cloisters (particularly convents, of which there were seven in Ukrainian SSR but none in Russia). Orthodox canon law was also relaxed on the clergy allowing them to shave beards (a practice uncommon to Orthodoxy) and conduct liturgy in Ukrainian as opposed to Church Slavonic.

The Ukrainian Catholics continued to exist underground for decades and were the subject of vigorous attacks in the state media. The clergy gave up public exercise of their clerical duties, but secretly provided services for many lay people. Many priests took up civilian professions and celebrated the sacraments in private. The identities of former priests could have been known to the Soviet police who regularly watched them, interrogated them and put fines on them, but stopped short of arrest unless their activities went beyond a small circle of people. New secretly ordained priests were often treated more harshly.

The church even grew during this time, and this was acknowledged by Soviet sources. The first secretary of the Lvov Komsomol, Oleksiy Babiychuk, claimed:

in this oblast, particularly in the rural areas, a large number of the population adheres to religious practices, among them a large proportion of youth. In the last few years, the activity of the Uniates [Ukrainian Catholics] has grown, that of representatives of the Uniates as well as former Uniate priests; there are even reverberations to renew the overt activity of this Church.


After Stalin died, Ukrainian Catholics hoped this would lead to better conditions for themselves, but such hopes were dashed in the late 50s when the authorities arrested even more priests and unleashed a new wave of anti-Catholic propaganda. Secret ordinations occurred in exile. Secret theological seminaries in Ternopol and Kolomyia were reported in the Soviet press in the 1960s when their organizers were arrested. In 1974 a clandestine convent was uncovered in Lvov.

During the Soviet era, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church did flourish throughout the Ukrainian diaspora. Cardinal Yosyf Slipyi was jailed as a dissident but named in pectore
In pectore
In pectore is a term used in the Catholic Church to refer to appointments to the College of Cardinals by the Pope when the name of the newly appointed cardinal is not publicly revealed...

(in secret) a cardinal in 1949; he was freed in 1963 and was the subject of an extensive campaign to have him named as a patriarch
Patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

, which met with strong support as well as controversy. Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

 demurred, but compromised with the creation of a new title of major archbishop
Major Archbishop
right|200 px|thumb|Archbishop [[Sviatoslav Shevchuk]], Major Archbishop of Kyiv-HalychIn the Eastern Catholic Churches, major archbishop is a title for an hierarch to whose archiepiscopal see is granted the same jurisdiction in his autonomous particular Church that an Eastern patriarch has in...

, with a jurisdiction roughly equivalent to that of a patriarch
Patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

 in an Eastern church. This title has since passed to Myroslav Ivan Lubachivsky in 1984 and thereafter to Lubomyr Husar in 2000 and Sviatoslav Shevchuk
Sviatoslav Shevchuk
Sviatoslav Shevchuk is the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church since 25 March 2011.-Life:Sviatoslav Shevchuk was born in 1970, in Stryi, Ukrainian SSR. He was ordained as a priest on 26 June 1994. From 2002 to 2005 he worked as head of the secretariat of Patriarch Lubomyr Husar...

 in 2011; this title has also been granted to the heads of three other Eastern Catholic Churches.

In 1968, when the Ukrainian Catholic Church was legalized in Czechoslovakia, a large scale campaign was launched to harass recalcitrant clergy who remained illegal. These clergy were subject to interrogations, fines and beatings. In January 1969 the KGB arrested an underground Catholic bishop named Vasyl Velychkovsy and two Catholic priests, and sentenced them to three years of imprisonment for breaking anti-religious legislation.

Activities that could lead to arrest included holding religious services, educating children as Catholics, performing baptisms, conducting weddings or funerals, hearing confessions or giving the last rites, copying religious materials, possessing prayer books, possessing icons, possessing church calendars, possessing religious books or other sacred objects. Conferences were held to discuss how to perfect the methodology in combatting Ukrainian Catholicism in the West Ukraine.

At times the Ukrainian Catholics attempted to employ legal channels to have their community recognized by the state. In 1956-1957 there were petitions to the proper authorities to request for churches to be opened. More petitions were sent in the 60s and 70s, all of which were refused. In 1976, a priest named Volodymyr Prokipov was arrested for presenting such a petition to Moscow. The response to these petitions by the state had been to sharpen attacks against the community.

In 1984 a samizdat Chronicle of the Catholic Church began to be published by Ukrainian Catholics. The founder of the group behind this publication, Yosef Terelya, was arrested in 1985 and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment and 5 years of exile. His successor, Vasely Kobryn, was arrested and sentenced to 3 years of exile.

The solidarity movement in Poland and Pope John Paul II supported the Ukrainian Catholics. The state media attacked John Paul II. The antireligious journal Liudyna i Svit (Man and the World) published in Kiev wrote:

Proof that the Church is persistently striving to strengthen its political influence in socialist countries is witnessed by the fact that Pope John Paul II gives his support to the emigre hierarchy of the so-called Ukrainian Catholic Church . . .. The current tactic of Pope John Paul II and the Roman Curia lies in the attempts to strengthen the position of the Church in all socialist countries as they have done in Poland, where the Vatican tried to raise the status of the Catholic Church to a state within a state. In the last few years, the Vatican has paid particular attention to the question of Catholicism of the Slavonic nations. This is poignantly underscored by the Pope when he states that he is not only a Pope of Polish origin, but the first Slavic Pope, and he will pay particular attention to the Christianization of all Slavic nations.


By the late 1980s there was a shift in the Soviet government's attitude towards religion. At the height of Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

's liberalization reforms, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church emerged from the catacombs to find itself largely in disarray with the nearly all of its pre-1946 parishes and property lost to the Orthodox faith. The church, actively supported by nationalist organisations such as Rukh
People's Movement of Ukraine
The People's Movement of Ukraine is a Ukrainian center-right political party...

 and later the UNA-UNSO
UNA-UNSO
The UNA-UNSO , is the most prominent nationalist political organization in Ukraine.-History:...

, took an uncompromising stance towards the return of its lost property and parishes. According to a Greek-Catholic priest, "even if the whole village is now Orthodox and one person is Greek Catholic, the church [building] belongs to that Catholic because the church was built by his grandparents and great-grandparents." The weakened Soviet authorities were unable to pacify the situation, and most of the parishes in Halychyna came under the control of the Greek-Catholics during the events of a large scale interconfessional rivalry that was often accompanied by violent clashes of the faithful provoked by their religious and political leadership. These tensions led to a rupture of relations between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Vatican
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

.

Modern times

Currently the church has between 3 and 5 million supporters in Ukraine. Numerous surveys conducted since the late 1990s consistently show that between 6% and 8% of Ukraine's total population, or 9.4% to 12.6% of the country's religious believers, identify themselves as belonging to this Church. Worldwide, the faithful now number some 6 to 10 million, forming the largest particular
Particular Church
In Catholic canon law, a Particular Church is an ecclesial community headed by a bishop or someone recognised as the equivalent of a bishop.There are two kinds of particular Churches:# Local particular Churches ...

 Catholic Church, after the majority Latin Rite Church. Within Ukraine, the Greek Catholic Church is increasing at the expense of the majority Orthodox Church, due to higher birth rates and lower death rates among its members (see Demographics of Ukraine
Demographics of Ukraine
The Demographics of Ukraine is about the demographic features of the population of Ukraine, including population growth, population density, ethnicity, education level, health, economic status, religious affiliations, and other aspects of the population....

).

Today, most Ukrainian Catholic Churches have moved away from Church Slavonic and use Ukrainian. Many churches also offer liturgies in the official language of the country the Church is in, for example, German in Germany or English in Canada; however, some parishes continue to celebrate the liturgy in Slavonic even today, and services in a mix of languages are not unusual.

In the early first decade of the 21st century, construction began for the transfer of the major see of the Ukrainian Catholic Church back to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

. However, this move remains controversial for some Ukrainian Catholics, who view Lviv in Western Ukraine as the true stronghold of Ukrainian Catholicism, having supported and protected the Ukrainian Catholic Church through long periods of persecution. Moving the Ukrainian Catholic Church to Kiev, therefore, has taken on political overtones in the Church. The move tends to be supported by those people who favour the appointment of a Ukrainian Catholic Patriarch to oversee the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Protest movements

In 2001 a priest, Vasyl Kovpak, and a small group of followers opposed to certain policies (such as de-latinisation
Liturgical Latinisation
Liturgical Latinisation, also known as Latinisation, is the process by which liturgical and other aspects of the Churches of Eastern Christianity were altered to resemble more closely the practices of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church...

) and ecumenism
Ecumenism
Ecumenism or oecumenism mainly refers to initiatives aimed at greater Christian unity or cooperation. It is used predominantly by and with reference to Christian denominations and Christian Churches separated by doctrine, history, and practice...

 of the UGCC hierarchy, organized themselves as the Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat
Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat
The Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych is a society of traditionalist priests and seminarians originating from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church which is led by the excommunicated priest Basil Kovpak. It is based in Riasne, Lviv, Western Ukraine...

. The PSSJ possesses close ties with the Latin Rite Traditionalist Catholic
Traditionalist Catholic
Traditionalist Catholics are Roman Catholics who believe that there should be a restoration of many or all of the liturgical forms, public and private devotions and presentations of Catholic teachings which prevailed in the Catholic Church before the Second Vatican Council...

 Society of Saint Pius X, which rejects and condemns certain actions and policies of both Husar and the Pope. On November 21, 2007 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , previously known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition , and after 1904 called the Supreme...

 excommunicated Kovpak.

In 2008, a group of Basilian
Order of Saint Basil the Great
The Order of St. Basil the Great also known as the Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat is an monastic religious order of the Greek Catholic Churches that is present in many countries and that has its Mother House in Rome. The order received approbation on August 20, 1631...

 priests at the Pidhirtsi
Pidhirtsi
Pidhirtsi is a village of about 1000 inhabitants in the Lviv Oblast of Ukraine, located about 80 km east of Lviv, 17 km south of Brody, 60 km north west of Ternopil, at around...

 monastery declared that four of them had been consecrated bishops without permission of the Pope or the Major Archbishop. The "Pidhirtsi fathers" had opposed de-latinisation, liberal theology, and the ecumenical approach of the hierarchy. Excommunicated in 2008, in 2009 they constituted themselves as the Ukrainian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church
Ukrainian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church
The Ukrainian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church is an Eastern Christian movement established in 2009 and based at Pidhirtsi in Ukraine. Its seven founding bishops were formerly priests of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and members of the Order of Saint Basil the Great.-Movement within the...

.

Administration

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church moved its administrative center from Western Ukrainian Lviv
Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...

 to a new cathedral in Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 on 21 August 2005. The title of the head of the UGCC was changed from The Major Archbishop of Lviv to The Major Archbishop of Kyiv and Halych.

The Patriarchal Curia of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church is an organ of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the UGCC, Major Archbishop of Kyiv and Halych, which coordinates and promotes the common activity of the UGCC in Ukraine to make influence on society in different spheres: education, policy, culture, etc. The Curia develops action of the Church's structures, enables relations and cooperation with other Churches and major public institutions in religious and social areas for implementation of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church through everyday life.

The current eparchies and other territorial jurisdictions of the church are:
  • Ukrainian Catholic Major Archeparchy of Kyiv–Halych
    Ukrainian Catholic Major Archeparchy of Kyiv-Halych
    The Major Archeparchy of Kyiv-Halych is the only major archeparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The cathedral church, the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, is presently under construction in Kyiv....

    • Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Kyiv
    • Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Lviv
      Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Lviv
      The Archeparchy of Lviv is an archeparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.The eparchy was established at some time during the mid 12th century, with its see originally in Halych...

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stryi
        Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stryi
        The Eparchy of Stryi is an eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, in the ecclesiastical province of Kyiv-Halych.The first Eparch was Bishop Julian Gbur, S.V.D., who was appointed to this position by the Blessed Pope John Paul II on 21 July 2000...

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Sambir–Drohobych
      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Ternopil–Zboriv
      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Sokal–Zhovkva
      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Ivano-Frankivsk
        Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Ivano-Frankivsk
        The Eparchy of Ivano-Frankivsk is an eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, in the ecclesiastical province of Kyiv-Halych.The current eparch is Volodymyr Viytyshyn, who was appointed to this position by the Servant of God His Holiness Pope John Paul II on 2nd June, 2005.-External links:*...

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Buchach
        Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Buchach
        The Eparchy of Buchach is an eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, in the ecclesiastical province of Kyiv-Halych.The first and only eparch was Irynej Bilyk, O.S.B.M., who was eparch from 2000 to 2007. However, after his transfer to Rome in July 2007, Bishop Demetrius Hryhorak,...

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Kolomyia–Chernivtsi
        Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Kolomyia – Chernivtsi
        The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Kolomyia – Chernivtsi is an eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church situated in Ukraine. The eparchy is suffragan to the Major Archeparchy of Kiev-Halych. The diocese was established on 20 April, 1993...

    • Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Donetsk–Kharkiv
      Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Donetsk – Kharkiv
      The Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Donets’k – Kharkiv was established on the 11th January, 2002 from the Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Kyiv – Vyshhorod The Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Donets’k – Kharkiv was established on the 11th January, 2002 from the Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Kyiv – Vyshhorod The...

    • Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Lutsk
      Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Lutsk
      The Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Lutsk was established on the 15th January, 2008 from the Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Kyiv – Vyshhorod The Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Lutsk was established on the 15th January, 2008 from the Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Kyiv – Vyshhorod The Archiepiscopal Exarchate of...

    • Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Odessa–Crimea
      Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Odessa – Crimea
      The Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Odessa – Crimea The Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Odessa – Crimea The Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Odessa – Crimea (also known as the was established on the 11th January, 2002 from the Archiepiscopal Exarchate of...

    • Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Peremyshl–Varshava
      Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Przemysl–Warsaw
      The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Przemyśl–Warsaw is an archeparchy located in the cities of Przemyśl and Warsaw in Poland.-History:In 1087 the Eparchy of Przemyśl was established....

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Vrotslav–Gdans'k
    • Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg
      Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg
      The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg is the Ukrainian Greek Catholic archeparchy for the country of Canada, and includes the suffragan eparchies of Edmonton, New Westminster, Saskatoon, and Toronto...

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton
        Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton
        The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton is a Ukrainian Catholic archdiocese that includes part of Canada. On January 26, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Auxiliary Bishop David Motiuk of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg as head of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton.As of 2007, the diocese...

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada
        Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada
        The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada is a Ukrainian Catholic eparchy that includes part of Canada. The current bishop is Stephen Victor Chmilar....

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon
        Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon
        The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon is the Ukrainian Greek Catholic eparchy for the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. It is one of the suffragan eparchies of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg...

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of New Westminster
        Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of New Westminster
        The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of New Westminster is a Ukrainian Greek Catholic eparchy that includes part of Canada. It is currently led by Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski....

    • Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia
      Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia
      The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia is the Catholic archeparchy governing all Ukrainian Greek Catholic eparchies and Ukrainian Greek Catholics in the United States. Its headquarters are at 827 North Franklin Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The current metropolitan is the...

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Chicago
        Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Chicago
        The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saint Nicholas of Chicago is a diocese of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church which has jurisdiction over the entire western United States, all of the Midwest , Alaska, and Hawaii...

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford
        Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford
        The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford is a diocese of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, covering parishes in New York State and New England....

      • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Parma
    • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Curitiba (under the ecclesiastical province of Curitiba)
    • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Argentina (under the ecclesiastical province of Buenos Aires)
    • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania
      Ukrainian Eparchy of Ss Peter and Paul
      The Roman Catholic Ukrainian Greek Eparchy of Saints Peter and Paul of Melbourne is a Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic eparchy of the Catholic Church in Australia based in Melbourne Erected in 1958, the Eparchy is attached to the Archdiocese of Melbourne, but immediately subject to the Holy See.Like...

       (under the ecclesiastical province of Melbourne)
    • Apostolic Exarchate in France, Benelux and Switzerland for the Ukrainians
      Apostolic Exarchate in France, Benelux and Switzerland for the Ukrainians
      The Apostolic Exarchate in France, Benelux and Switzerland for the Ukrainians is a Ukrainian Greek Catholic diocese. Its cathedral church is the Cathédrale Saint-Volodymyr-le-Grand in Paris.-See also:*Catholic Church*Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church...

      *
    • Apostolic Exarchate in Germany and Scandinavia for the Ukrainians
      Apostolic Exarchate in Germany and Scandinavia for the Ukrainians
      The Apostolic Exarchate in Germany and Scandinavia for the Ukrainians covers Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Germany, Finland, Norway and Sweden. It was established on the 17th April, 1959. Its cathedral church is the Kathedrale Maria Schutz und St. Andreas...

      *
    • Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians in Great Britain
      Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians in Great Britain
      The Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians is an apostolic exarchate for Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Great Britain. The apostolic exarchate was erected on 10 June 1957 for the faithful of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in England and Wales and was extended to the whole of Great Britain on 12 May...

      *


* Directly subject to the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...



As of 2008, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is estimated to have 4,284,082 faithful, 43 bishops, 4175 parishes, 2657 diocesan priests, 379 religious-order priests, 842 men religious, 1547 women religious, 113 deacons, and 692 seminarians.

Prison Ministry of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church

In contemporary Ukraine prison ministry
Ukraine prison ministry
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the independent Ukrainian country underwent tremendous stress when it shifted from a centrally planned economy to certain kind of a free market system. Those changes, being led by the post-communist oligarchy, caused increasing number of needy and homeless people...

 of chaplains does not exist de jure. The prison pastoral care was at the very heart of the spirituality of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church throughout her history. Prison Pastoral of the UGCC, though it is still very young, is taking successive steps to integrity. It was restored in 1990 after the Church, formerly forbidden, emerged from the underground. Pastoral care has grown steadily from several establishments in the Western Part of Ukraine to more than 40 penal institutions in every region of the country. Since 2001 the UGCC is the co-founder of the Ukrainian Interdenominational Christian Mission "Spiritual and Charitable Care in Prisons" including twelve Churches and Denominations. This Mission is a part of the World Association of Prison Ministry. The most active prison chaplains are the Redemptorist Fathers.

In the year 2006 His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar established in the Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC the Department for Pastoral Care in the Armed Forces and in the Penitentiary System of Ukraine. This structure implements a general management of Prison Ministry. The chief of the Department is Most Rev. Michael Koltun, Bishop of Sokal and Zhovkva. The head of the Unit for penitentiary pastoral care is Rev. Constantin Panteley, who is directly responsible for coordination of activity in this realm. He is in direct contact with 37 priests in 12 eparchies who have been assigned responsibility for prison pastoral care. Those pastors ensure regular attendance of penitentiary facilities, investigatory isolators and prisons.
Department of the UGCC for Pastoral Care in the Armed Forces and in the Penitentiary System of Ukraine is provisory structure till both chaplaincies will be quite ripe. Prison Pastoral Care is appealed to facilitate transition from the punitive system neglecting human dignity to correctional system cherishing penitentiary idea. Our mission is to serve the inmates in the national penitentiaries with Christian charity and reconciliation through extensive ministry to the spiritual and physical needs of prisoners of any creed, sex, age, religious faith, or nationality. The priority directions of the ministry are sermon, catechetics, administration of the sacraments for inmates, assistance and support of communication with family, spiritual support of the prison stuff, engagement of lay people in ministry.

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son, which every year falls up to date two weeks before the Great Lent
Great Lent
Great Lent, or the Great Fast, is the most important fasting season in the church year in Eastern Christianity, which prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Pascha . In many ways Great Lent is similar to Lent in Western Christianity...

, Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has defined as a Day of special pastoral attention and prayer for prisoners themselves and the other victims of crimes. The Gospel Reading on this Sunday (Luke 15:11-32) lays out one of the most important themes of the Lenten season: the history of falling into a sin, realization of one's sinfulness, the road to repentance, and finally reconciliation, each of which is illustrated in the course of the parable. The UGCC Synod invokes to remember in prayers workers of the Penitentiary system of Ukraine, who perform difficult tasks, because every day they are near of broken human destinies. This Sunday declared as a day to remember in prayers and support chaplains and volunteers, who work with great dedication to provide spiritual support for prisoners, helping them to step on the right path.

The UGCC Prison Ministry has many directions of development in compatibility with other missions of the Church. It is currently carrying out on the base of "The Agreement for cooperation of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church with the State Penal Department of Ukraine", which offers many possibilities. Today pastoral ministry is regularly carried out in penitentiary facilities # 3, 13, 27, 30, 40, 41, 44, 47, 48, 50, 55, 57, 63, 110, 112, 120, 124, in correctional centres # 118, 128, 135 in seven investigatory isolators and in three juvenile prisons of Ukraine. In 6 prisons our pastors are able to attend only irregularly.

See also

  • Union of Brest
    Union of Brest
    Union of Brest or Union of Brześć refers to the 1595-1596 decision of the Church of Rus', the "Metropolia of Kiev-Halych and all Rus'", to break relations with the Patriarch of Constantinople and place themselves under the Pope of Rome. At the time, this church included most Ukrainians and...

  • Ruthenian Catholic Church
    Ruthenian Catholic Church
    The Ruthenian Catholic Church is a sui iuris Eastern Catholic Church , which uses the Divine Liturgy of the Constantinopolitan Byzantine Eastern Rite. Its roots are among the Rusyns who lived in the region called Carpathian Ruthenia, in and around the Carpathian Mountains...

  • List of Major Archbishops of Kiev-Galicia
  • History of Christianity in Ukraine
    History of Christianity in Ukraine
    The History of Christianity in Ukraine dates back to the earliest centuries of the apostolic church. It has remained the dominant religion in the country since its acceptance in 988 by Vladimir the Great , who instated it as the state religion of Kievan Rus', a medieval East Slavic state.Although...

  • Ruthenia
    Ruthenia
    Ruthenia is the Latin word used onwards from the 13th century, describing lands of the Ancient Rus in European manuscripts. Its geographic and culturo-ethnic name at that time was applied to the parts of Eastern Europe. Essentially, the word is a false Latin rendering of the ancient place name Rus...

  • Christianization of Kievan Rus'
  • Andrey Sheptytsky
    Andrey Sheptytsky
    Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky was the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from 1901 until his death. During his tenure, he led the Church through two world wars and seven political regimes: Austrian, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Soviet, German National Socialist , and...

  • Yosyf Slipyi
  • Josaphata Hordashevska
    Josaphata Hordashevska
    Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska, S.S.M.I., born Michaelina Hordashevska, a Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Religious Sister, was the first member of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate....

  • Dzhublyk
    Dzhublyk
    Dzhublyk, also transliterated as Jublyk is a Greek-Catholic Marian sanctuary near the villages Nyzhnye Bolotnye and Vilkhivka in western Ukraine. The sanctuary is known for the Marian apparition of Our Lady and Holy Family...

  • Ukrainian Catholic University
    Ukrainian Catholic University
    The Ukrainian Catholic University is a Catholic university in Lviv, Ukraine, affiliated with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The ceremonial inauguration honoring its founding took place on June 29, 2002...

  • Ukraine prison ministry
    Ukraine prison ministry
    After the fall of the Soviet Union, the independent Ukrainian country underwent tremendous stress when it shifted from a centrally planned economy to certain kind of a free market system. Those changes, being led by the post-communist oligarchy, caused increasing number of needy and homeless people...

  • Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat
    Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat
    The Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych is a society of traditionalist priests and seminarians originating from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church which is led by the excommunicated priest Basil Kovpak. It is based in Riasne, Lviv, Western Ukraine...

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    Conversion of Chelm Eparchy
    The Conversion of Chełm Eparchy, which occurred from January to May 1875, refers to the generally forced conversion of the last Uniate Eparchy in the Russian Empire, which was centered in the Volhynian city of Chełm , to the Orthodox faith....

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    Ukrainian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church
    The Ukrainian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church is an Eastern Christian movement established in 2009 and based at Pidhirtsi in Ukraine. Its seven founding bishops were formerly priests of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and members of the Order of Saint Basil the Great.-Movement within the...

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    Western Ukrainian Clergy
    The Western Ukrainian clergy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church were a hereditary tight-knit social caste that dominated western Ukrainian society from the late eighteenth until the mid twentieth centuries, following the reforms instituted by Joseph II, Emperor of Austria...


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