Patriarch of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church calls for evangelization
On his first Canadian pastoral visit, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church worldwide, told the Herald the biggest challenge of the church is evangelization.
“We’re supposed to transmit the good news of Jesus Christ to a new generation,” said the Patriarch of the Church during an interview Friday afternoon at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Calgary.
“In today’s world, we found very often some sort of religious ignorance — even among our faithful who used to go to the church. I think each of us, including myself, each day we have to discover more and more the depth of the Word of God and this task of continuing to enter inside the divine message of the Gospel we call evangelization.”
On March 23, 2011 at an election held by the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Shevchuk was named Major Archbishop of the church. On March 24, the election was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI and Shevchuk was enthroned on March 27 in Kyiv, Ukraine, in the Patriarchal Cathedral of The Resurrection.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is the biggest Eastern Catholic Church in the world with more than six million faithful throughout the world.
“As my legacy, some very important part of my ministry, is building the unity of the Ukrainian Catholic Church because we are a global size church. The centre of our church always is in Ukraine but today we have our fellows, our structures all over the world in the different contexts, in the different cultures, countries, languages,” said Shevchuk.
“In one hand we have to be open to those different pastoral contexts and to be open to incultrate our special treasure into different cultures. But on the other hand, we have to keep the unity of our church. My ministry as the head of that church is to build bridges, those links, which will link together and make one body the church what we call today the Ukrainian Catholic Church.”
Shevchuk said the Church is an Eastern Catholic Church, the largest in the Catholic community.
“There also other Eastern major archbishops or cardinals. And we are in communion with the Holy Father, the successor of Peter,” said Shevchuk.
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