|Major Archeparch of Kyiv-Galicia|
|Church||Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church|
|Elected||23 March 2011|
|Installed||27 March 2011|
|Ordination||26 June 1994|
by Myroslav Lubachivsky
|Consecration||7 April 2009|
by Ihor Vozniak
|Born||5 May 1970|
Stryi, Ukrainian SSR
|Motto||Church Slavonic: Гдⷭ҇ь просвѣще́нїє моє́ и҆ сп҃си́тель мо́й|
The LORD is my light and my salvation
|Coat of arms|
Sviatoslav Shevchuk (Ukrainian: Святосла́в Шевчу́к; born 5 May 1970 in Stryi, Ukrainian SSR) has been the major archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) since 25 March 2011, serving as the Eastern Catholic church's leader.
Shevchuk was ordained as a priest on 26 June 1994. He is an alumnus of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas Angelicum where he earned a Doctorate in theology in 1999. After completing his theological training Shevchuk served as rector of the seminary of Lviv.
Shevchuk was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Eparchy of Santa María del Patrocinio en Buenos Aires on 14 January 2009 and consecrated by Archbishop Ihor Vozniak on 7 April 2009. On 10 April 2010, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the same diocese upon the retirement of Bishop Miguel Mykycej.
On 23 March 2011, Shevchuk was elected Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to replace Lubomyr Husar, who had retired for health reasons. Pope Benedict XVI confirmed his selection on 25 March 2011.
Shevchuk was enthroned as Major Archbishop on 27 March 2011 in the UGCC's new mother church, the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv, which was still under construction at the time. He was the first primate to be enthroned in Kyiv in 400 years.[note 1]
Representatives of all three main branches of Ukrainian Eastern Orthodoxy were present for his enthronement, including Metropolitan Mefodiy (UOAC), Metropolitan Volodymyr (UOC-MP), and Bishop Yevstratiy (UOC-KP).[note 2]
Visits to Canada
On 31 May 2012, Sviatoslav held his first pastoral visit to Canada. He visited Edmonton after being met by Eparch David Motiuk and other clergy upon his arrival in Calgary. He attended events at St. Josaphat Cathedral and St. George Parish. On 2 June, the head of the UGCC celebrated the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Parish of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God in Calgary. He again returned to Canada later in 2012, and on Sunday, 9 September, after the participants took an oath the previous day, Shevchuk celebrated the Divine Liturgy to open a worldwide Ukrainian Catholic Synod of Bishops at Saints Volodymyr and Olha Cathedral in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He visited Miller Comprehensive High School and stopped at St. Basil's 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.
In May 2014, he again visited Canada to mark the arrival of the Sheptytsky Institute within the University of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. In October 2016, he traveled to Ontario on the occasion of the consecration of the church of St. Elias the Prophet in Brampton.
On the patriarchal title
On 29 March 2011, 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 at 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.
Cardinal Slipyj in the 1960s already petitioned for the patriarchal title. Instead, Pope Paul VI responded by creating the station of "major archbishop", which grants all the nearly all the powers and capacities of a patriarch at the head of a self-governing church in full communion with Rome, just without the title itself. On 12 June 2012 Shevchuk was appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
On his own election
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. ...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." Shevchuk 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 added.
On meeting with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch
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 ... 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 of 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."
- Most previous Major Archbishops had been installed in Lviv. The original Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kyiv-Galicia was suppressed in 1838 and Lviv served as the primatial see of the UGCC from 1808 until 2005, when it was transferred back to Kyiv.
- At the time Yevstratiy was an auxiliary bishop of Kyiv for the UOC-KP (and thus an assistant to Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv). He has since become the UOC-KP Archbishop of Chernihiv.
- RISU. "Argentinian Bishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk became new head of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church". Retrieved 24 March 2011.
- "Consagración episcopal de Mons. Sviatoslav Shevchuk". Aica on line. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
- "УНІАН: Главою УГКЦ став єпископ Святослав (Шевчук)". Retrieved 24 March 2011.
- "Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 23 January 2015.[self-published source]
- "Conferma all'elezione dell'Arcivescovo Maggiore di Kyiv-Halyc (Ucraina)". Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
- Tysiachna, Nadia (29 March 2011). "An Heir of the Great". The Day. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
- "Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Arrives in Canada". risu.org.ua. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
- "Ukrainian Catholic leader shares favorites, faith in Winnipeg". Cnsblog.wordpress.com. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "MAJOR ARCHBISHOP SVIATOSLAV SPEAKS AT SHEPTYTSKY INSTITUTE BANQUET AT UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO - Ukrainians in Canada - Ukrainian Echo". homin.ca. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
- "Patriarch Sviatoslav to ask Pope to grant Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church status of patriarchate". Interfax-Ukraine. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "Donald Bolen appointed to Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity". 12 June 2012.
- "Ukrainian Major Archbishop says he was chosen 'despite age' to promote unity". Catholicnews.com. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Head of UGCC would like to meet with Patriarch Kirill to relieve tension". Risu.org.ua. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.