Cardinal Schoenborn receives the highest UGCC award – The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Order
The Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, presented Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Archbishop of Vienna, with the UGCC's highest award - The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Order. The award ceremony took place on November 12, 2019, in Vienna, in St. Stephen's Cathedral, during a requiem concert in memory of the victims of the Holodomor and honoring cardinal Theodor Innitzer. It is reported by the Information Department of UGCC
The award "The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Order" is conferred for the first time in the history of the UGCC. The conferment of cardinal Christoph Schoenborn was preceded by the decision of the permanent Synod of the UGCC "for tireless commitment to reconciliation between peoples, promotion of Ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and relations between Church and state".
Cardinal Schoenborn has maintained a close relationship with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church for many years. He is also an Ordinary for Catholics of the Byzantine rite in Austria. Out of the 20,000 priests of the Eastern Catholic Churches in Austria, most belong to the UGCC. In December 2014, the Archbishop of Vienna participated in Kyiv in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the UGCC coming out of the underground as a special envoy of the Pope.
"It is very moving for me that for the first time in the history of the UGCC, the Order of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky was awarded to me. I can accept this award with such understanding that now I can in a spiritual way pass it to my predecessor, cardinal Theodor Innitzer, — a man who dared to tell the truth about the Holodomor in Ukraine," cardinal Schoenborn said in his speech of gratitude.
In the Cathedral of St. Stephen, "Axios" (worthy) chant was performed in honor of cardinal Christoph Schoenborn.
The Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, which was held in Lviv-Bryukhovichi on September 2-11, 2018, cherishing the memory of the righteous Metropolitan Andrew, decided to establish for the celebration of certain persons for special merits the Order of Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky as the highest award of the Father and Head of the UGCC.
The order can be awarded to individuals, public or Church institutions, representatives of Churches and religious communities, as well as secular persons, including public figures, who by their work embody the principles by which the righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky lived and served the Church and the people.