First Exarch of the UGCC for Ukrainians in Italy enthroned in Rome
Bishop Dionysiy Lyakhovych led the Liturgy with the participation of Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the congregation of Eastern Churches, Archbishop Giorgio Gallaro, Secretary of this congregation, Bishop Irenaeus Bilyk, canon of the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Joseph Milyan, assistant bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy of the UGCC, Paolo Selvadaggi, assistant bishop of the Roman diocese.
This is reported by the Information Department of the UGCC.
Representatives of monastic communities, pastoral cells, "Migrantes" foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Italy Yaroslav Melnyk and others also took part in the service.
"The only thing I ask the Lord for is for the spirit of God to guide me. Among you, I am the one who serves. We are all responsible for the Exarchate. The Exarchate is a part of the Church," said the newly appointed Exarch Dionysiy Lyakhovych, inviting the clergy and faithful to further develop it in unity with the Church.
At the end of the Liturgy, on behalf of Cardinal Leonardo Sandra, papal bulls were read out on the creation of the Exarchate and on the appointment of His Eminence Dionysiy Lyakhovych as the first Exarch for Ukrainians of the Byzantine Rite living in Italy. Thereafter, Bishop Iosyf Milyan read out a letter from His Beatitude Sviatoslav, after which the prefect of the congregation, a representative of the Synod of Bishops and the head of the UGCC performed an act of enthronement.
Welcoming Bishop Dionysiy, Cardinal Sandri encouraged him to develop fraternal communion both with the episcopate of the UGCC and in the bosom of the Italian Episcopal Conference, of which he became a full member.
Dionysius Lyakhovich took an active part in the organization of pastoral service among the new wave of Ukrainian migration on the Apennine Peninsula. from the very beginning, initially as a proto-Archimandrite of the Basilian Order of St. Josaphat with a cell in Rome. In early 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Dionysiy as an apostolic visitor. An important role in the unity of pastoral care in Italy was played by the coordinators: Fr. Vasily Potochnyak of the blessed memory, Fr. Oleksandr Sapunko, Fr. Marko Yaroslav Semegen and Fr. Volodymyr Voloshin. On July 11, 2019, the establishment of the Exarchate for Ukrainian Catholics of the Byzantine Rite living in Italy was announced, and the appointment of the first Exarch was announced on October 24, 2020.