Dr. Weigel to give speech at inthronization of Borys Gudziak as 7th Metropolitan-Archbishop of Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia
On Sunday, June 2 at 4:30 pm, Dr. George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, will present a talk entitled "Twentieth Century Witness and Twenty First Century Mission: Eastern Catholics and the Universal Church" in the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.
Mr. Weigel's presentation will begin the week-long schedule of events "Prayer, celebration, unity and outreach: from heart to heart" inaugurating the ministry of Archbishop Borys Gudziak as the seventh Metropolitan-Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.
All are invited to attend this informative lecture by Dr. Weigel, a Catholic theologian and one of America's leading public intellectuals. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. He is the author of over twenty books, including Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II (1999), The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II—The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy (2010), and The Fragility of Order: Catholic Reflections on Turbulent Times (Ignatius Press, 2018). He is the recipient of nineteen honorary doctorates in fields including divinity, philosophy, law, and social science.
At the time of the announcement on February 18, 2019 that Pope Francis accepted the nomination of Bishop Borys as the new metropolitan-archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Dr. Weigel wrote: “In the mid-1980s, my wife and I were invited to a baptism and to the post-christening reception at the home of the newborn’s parents. During the latter festivities, I was introduced to a young man who was working on a doctorate in Church history at Harvard. We fell into conversation and after 20 minutes or so I had had one of those rare experiences that are so precious in life: I knew, instinctively, that Borys Gudziak and I were going to be close friends for a very long time.
I had no idea, then, what a singular life Borys had already lived, nor what drama the future held in store for him. The son of Ukrainian immigrants who had come to America after World War II to escape communist persecution in their homeland, he had grown up in Syracuse, New York, thinking himself a future star in the National Basketball Association. After recognizing that slightly built, six-foot tall Ukrainian-Americans were not avidly sought by NBA teams, he adjusted his career plans and undertook both an advanced degree in history and a theological education. The latter came, in part, by personal instruction in Rome from the great Cardinal Josyf Slipyj, the exiled leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church [UGCC], who had been pried out of the Gulag by Pope John XXIII — and who was the model for the “pope from the East” in Morris West’s novel, The Shoes of the Fisherman.”
Dr. Weigel concluded his article with these words, “Welcome home, my friend. We are blessed to have you back among us.”