Sviatoslav Shevchuk

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His Beatitude
Sviatoslav Shevchuk
Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Galicia
Sv shevchuk.jpg
Shevchuk in 2011
Church Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Elected 23 March 2011
Installed 27 March 2011
Predecessor Lubomyr Husar
Other posts Metropolitan of Kyiv
President of Synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Church
Grand Chancellor of Ukrainian Catholic University
Orders
Ordination 26 June 1994 (Priest)
by Myroslav Lubachivsky
Consecration 7 April 2009 (Bishop)
by Ihor Vozniak
Personal details
Born (1970-05-05) 5 May 1970 (age 44)
Stryi, Ukrainian SSR
Nationality  Ukrainian
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk in the Polish Senate

Sviatoslav Shevchuk (born 5 May 1970, Ukrainian: Святосла́в Шевчу́к) is the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church since 25 March 2011.

Life[edit]

Sviatoslav Shevchuk was born 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 Major Archbishop Lubomyr Husar.[1] Shevchuk is an alumnus of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas Angelicum where in 2006 he obtained a Doctorate in theology.

Having completed his theological training Shevchuk served as rector of the seminary of Lviv.[2]

On 14 January 2009, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Eparchy of Santa María del Patrocinio en Buenos Aires and consecrated bishop on 7 April 2009, by Archbishop Ihor Vozniak. On 10 April 2010, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the same diocese.[3] In addition to Ukrainian and Spanish, he knows Polish, Russian, English, Italian, Greek, Latin and Old Slavonic.

On 23 March 2011, he was elected Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church to replace the retired Lubomyr Husar. This decision was confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI on 25 March 2011.[4][5] He was enthroned on 27 March 2011. The patriarch of one of Ukraine's Byzantine rite communities and hierarchs of the two others (including UOC-MP) were present for the enthronement in the church's new seat, the Cathedral of the Resurrection.

Major Archepiscopate[edit]

On 29 March 2011, Major Archbishop Shevchuk said "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 (i.e., the Pope)," he said a press conference in Kyiv. 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.[6] Cardinal Slipyj in the 1960s already petitioned for the patriarchal title. Instead, Pope Paul VI responded by devising the rank of "Major Archbishop", which grants all the prerogatives of an Eastern patriarch to the head of a self-governing church in full communion, just without the title itself. On 12 June 2012 Major Archbishop Shevchuk was appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.[7]

On Sunday, 9 September 2012, after the participants took an oath the previous day, Major Archbishop Shevchuk celebrated the Divine Liturgy to open a worldwide Ukrainian Catholic Synod of Bishops at Saints Volodymyr and Olha Cathedral in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.[8] He also visited Miller Comprehensive High School and stopped at St. Basils Ukrainian Catholic Church and St. Athanasius Ukrainian Catholic Church, on 21 September 2012 in Regina Saskatchewan. He stopped in Vancouver to mark the 100th anniversary of the first Canadian visit of a Ukrainian Catholic bishop.[9]

Interview[edit]

In April 2011, Shevchuk said while visiting Rome to meet Pope Benedict XVI, that he believes he was elected "despite my age". Ukrainian bishops from around the world, who met in a synod in late March to elect a new major archbishop for their church, were looking for a leader who could "unite the church in Ukraine and outside Ukraine," who could "promote the unity of Christians in Ukraine and establish some sort of dialogue with the new Ukrainian government". He continued, saying "The No. 1 priority for each head of a church is evangelization, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in today's world". "Of course, our church is growing, is developing its structures ... but we are conscious that the decision about the patriarchate belongs to the Holy Father and we would never press him. We respect his freedom." Major Archbishop Shevchuk also said his age is not really so shocking when one considers that the average age of his priests is about 35. "In our tradition, we do have a married clergy, but a married clergy is not the main reason we have so many young priests," he said.[10] On 22 June 2011 Major Archbishop Shevchuk was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches to a five-year term. It may be renewed every five years until his 80th birthday.

Patriarch Kirill meeting[edit]

When asked in April 2011 whether he would wish to meet the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, Shevchuk said that "I would like very much to visit him and hold a personal meeting with him. I am convinced that in peacefully and openly communicating with each other, we can relieve any tension". He continued saying that "I think that today, we should heal the wounds rather than irritate and deepen them. One can heal the wounds of our memory only with mutual forgiveness. Therefore, as for any our brethren or neighbors who wounded us or were wounded by us, the best way to communicate is to be open in a brotherly dialogue, be open to the purification of our memory, to ask for forgiveness and to forgive,"[11]

References[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Lubomyr Husar
Archbishop of Kyiv,
Major Archbishop of Kiev-Galicia

25 March 2011–present
Incumbent