Rorate Caeli

Ukrainian Orthodox Parish turns Greek Catholic

From the Ukrainian Catholic news service RISU (Religious Information Service of Ukraine) comes this excellent news, with a hint that other Ukrainian Orthodox parishes may eventually join the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) mentioned here is the smaller of the two independent Orthodox Churches in Ukraine, the larger one being the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP). Neither Church is recognized by the rest of the Orthodox Churches, which recognize only the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). However, both independent Ukrainian Orthodox Churches have millions of followers. The UAOC, in particular, is concentrated in the same western Ukrainian provinces where the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church predominates.

Autocephalous Orthodox Parish in Lviv Region Unites with Greek Catholics
Lviv— On 10 August 2008, Fr. Mykhailo Romaniuk, priest of the village of Podusiv, officially made a confession of faith and priestly promises for faithfulness to the Pope of Rome, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), and the UGCC Eparchy of Stryi, in western Ukraine’s Lviv Region. Fr. Romaniuk and his faithful, previously of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), thus joined the UGCC.

The process for the uniting of the two religious communities in Podusiv, Peremyshliany District, was started in 2004 by UGCC Bishop Yulian Gbur.
After making his promises, Fr. Romaniuk joined in concelebrating Liturgy with Bishop Gbur.
The interdenominational reconciliation occurred after a long process of discussions and meetings on the eparchial, regional, and district levels. The Stryi Eparchy initiated discussion of the theme of overcoming interdenominational problems in the Peremyshliany District. On 4 June representatives of the eparchy, the district civil authorities and the priests from Podusiv discussed questions of joint services involving Greek Catholics and Orthodox of the UAOC. On 9 August 2008 at a joint meeting of the two religious communities the need for religious unity in the village was absolutely confirmed. By liquidating the religious community of the UAOC and registering the single community of the UGCC the historical unity which existed until 1946 was renewed.
According to Fr. Pavlo Khud, head of the Press Service of the Stryi Eparchy of the UGCC, the faithful are satisfied with this resolution of the matter, inasmuch as interdenominational disputes in the village ended almost 20 years ago. Their example has started a process of initiatives for uniting which for a long time have been ripening in other parishes of the Stryi Eparchy.