In Athens, a meeting of Eastern Catholic bishops from Europe was held

19 September, 13:43
In Athens, a meeting of Eastern Catholic bishops from Europe was held - фото 1
In the city of Nea Makri, east of Athens (Greece), a meeting of bishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches from across Europe was held.

This was reported by the Information Department of the UGCC.

The meeting of Eastern Catholic bishops lasted until September 21st. During their regular meetings, the bishops discussed the role and place of the Eastern Catholic Churches in the modern world, taking into account various challenges facing the entire Catholic Church. This primarily includes the challenge of the ongoing war in Ukraine, which daily brings new suffering and wounds not only to the Ukrainian people but to the whole world.

Among the bishops from Ukraine participating in the meetings were:

His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Bishop Volodymyr Viytyshyn, Archbishop and Metropolitan of Ivano-Frankivsk.

Bishop Ivan Kulyk, Kamianets-Podilskyi Eparchy.

Bishop Josaphat Moschych, Chernivtsi Eparchy.

Bishop Vasyl Tuchapets, Kharkiv Exarchate.

Bishop Mykhailo Bubniy, Odesa Exarchate.

Bishop Josaphat Oleg Hovera, Lutsk Exarchate.

Bishop Stepan Sus, Bishop of the Curia of the Kyiv-Halych Supreme Archeparchy.

Bishop Yosyf Milyan, Auxiliary Bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy.

Bishop Andriy Khymyak, Auxiliary Bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy.

Bishop Petro Loza, Auxiliary Bishop of the Sokal-Zhovkva Eparchy.

Bishop Mykola Semenyshyn, Auxiliary Bishop of the Ivano-Frankivsk Archeparchy.

Bishop Maxim Rjabukha, Auxiliary Bishop of the Donetsk Exarchate.

Bishops from Western and Central Europe also joined the meeting:

Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, Bishop of the Eparchy of the Holy Family with headquarters in London (UK).

Bishop Volodymyr Yushchak, Wroclaw-Koszalin Eparchy.

Bishop Arkadiy Trokhaniwskyi, Olsztyn-Gdańsk Eparchy.

Bishop Bohdan Dzyurakh, Apostolic Exarch in Germany and Scandinavia.

Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, Apostolic Administrator of the Paris Eparchy of St. Volodymyr the Great.

Bishop Ireneusz C. Bilyk, Canon of the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

The meeting began on September 18th with welcoming speeches from Bishop Manuel Nin, the Apostolic Exarch for Catholics of the Byzantine Rite in Greece, and Bishop Jan R. Pawłowski, the Apostolic Nuncio in Greece. Also, Father Michel Jalakh, Secretary of the Dicastery for Eastern Churches, Bishop Gintaras Grušas, Archbishop of Vilnius (Lithuania), and the President of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences were present at the initial meeting.

"We are all shepherds of the Eastern Catholic Churches, large or small, thriving or vulnerable, located in a peaceful and peaceful context or in a contentious, hostile, and, unfortunately, even a bellicose context of our time. We, pastors of these Churches, in our weakness and weakness but strengthened by the Divine grace we received on the day of our episcopal ordination, are called, as fishermen, to leave our nets and boats and become theologians for our people, to speak about God, and to take into our hands not nets and boats anymore—or if you like, to take those symbolic nets and boats, which are the Word of God and the Sacraments, and give them to our people. This is what I am more and more convinced of every day, what our faithful expect from us—words of consolation, the proclamation of Jesus Christ and His Gospel," said Bishop Manuel Nin in his welcoming speech.

Bishop Manuel noted that this meeting coincides with the centenary of the arrival in Athens in 1922-1923 from Constantinople with Bishop Georgios Kalavasios, who in 1932, through the canonical establishment of the Exarchate, became its first Apostolic Exarch.

"Initially Greek, our Exarchate today, in its hundred years, is an Exarchate, a true Church, which is no longer just Greek but has enriched itself in the last fifty years with two other ethnic and, above all, ecclesial realities: faithful of Chaldean tradition from Iraq and Syria and Ukrainian faithful of Byzantine tradition. In a single ecclesial reality without distinctions, without degrees, without privileges, we are all united in Christ. This reality of the Church is not always easy because human weakness makes itself felt, but it is the reality of the true Church that the Lord is building every day and through the weakness and dedication of our own hands," the hierarch continued.

Another important aspect of the life of the Apostolic Exarchate in Greece is the compassionate love that has become particularly evident since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

"This situation has caused a real wave of charity in Greece, which has its starting point in our Exarchate in Acharnes and continues to go beyond the limits of church affiliation," emphasized Bishop Manuel.

"These will be days of prayer, reflection, learning, and sharing. For all of us, these will be truly synodal days because we will go with Christ, the only Lord of our life and our Churches, the only faithful companion for all of us, the shepherds of many Eastern Catholic Churches in Europe. These will be days when we will present our beloved Churches in the four corners of Europe with a special memory of the Catholic Church of the Byzantine tradition in Ukraine and the entire Ukrainian people during this time of unjust war," concluded Bishop Manuel Nin in his welcoming speech.