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International conference: The “Lviv Council” of 1946: Historical Circumstances and Modern Assessments

01.03.2021, 12:11
On 4 March, the Institute of Church History and the UCU Kyiv Center organizes an international academic conference: “The ‘Lviv Council’ of 1946: Historical Circumstances and Modern Assessments.”

International conference: The “Lviv Council” of 1946: Historical Circumstances and Modern Assessments - фото 67856

As the organizers state, the conference is scheduled to mark the sad 75th anniversary of the Lviv Pseudo-Council (8-10 March, 1946), at which the “re-union” of Greek-Catholics of the Metropolitanate of Halych with the Russian Orthodox Church was proclaimed. At the plenary sessions, scholars will discuss the forms and methods of the repressive policy of the Soviet government and its special services, dedicated to the “liquidation” of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, and the patterns and particularities of this policy in various areas and countries.

Some 30 leading experts from Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the USA and representatives of the structures of the state authorities and the Church will take part in the conference.

Conference time: 10:00-19:30, Kyiv time.

The conference will be broadcast online through Zhyve TV[ «Живому телебаченні»].

There is no charge to participate in the conference, but advance REGISTRATION [реєстрації] is required.


10:00-11:50 I. Planning and organization of the “council” in the light of new documents and research (moderator – Iryna Fenno)

1. Oleh Turiy (Lviv) – Historical precedents of the “Lviv Council” of 1946

2. Roman Skakun (Lviv) – “The Lviv Council” as an agent-driven operation of NKGB: idea, planning, and realization

3. Svitlana Hurkina (Lviv) – Lviv clergy during the campaign of “reunification” with the Orthodox Church: between resistance and accommodation

4. Ruslan Deliatynskyi (Ivano-Frankivsk) – The clergy of the Stanyslaviv eparchy: life strategies before and during the Lviv pseudo-council of 1946

5. Kateryna Budz (Kyiv) – The attitude of the Ukrainian nationalist underground towards the Greek-Catholic priests’ “reunification” with the Russian Orthodox Church

6. Taras Pshenychnyi (Kyiv) – The Lviv pseudo-council of 1946 in historiography


12:20-14:00 II. Regional aspects and international context (moderator – Roman Skakun)

1. Volodymyr Moroz (Lviv) – Why no “reunification council” was held in the Transcarpathia?

2. Silviu Sana (Oradea, Romania) – The Cluj Assembly in the Securitate’s files. Case of the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Oradea

3. Jaroslav Coranič (Prešov, Slovakia) – «Prešov council» of 1950 and its consequences for the Greek-Catholics of Slovakia

4. Volodymyr Bureha (Kyiv) – The ban of the Greek-Catholic Church in Czechoslovakia in 1950 in the context of adoption of the Soviet-style socialism

5. Igor Hałagida (Gdańsk, Poland) – The Orthodox Church and the Greek-Catholics in the Communist Poland


15:00-16:40 III. Personal destinies and witnesses (moderator – Svitlana Hurkina)

1. Oleh Petruk (Lviv) – Rev. Havryil Kostelnyk and the Lviv pseudo-council of 1946: a passionary or a collaborator?

2. Rev. Taras Bublyk (Lviv) – Archbishop Makariy (Oksiyuk) and his role in the “liquidation of the Unia”

3. Natalia Shlikhta (Kyiv) – Personal dimension of the “reunification”: the choice of Rev. Mykhailo Datsyshyn through the prism of oral interviews and ego-testimonies

4. Rev. Ivan Andriy Hovera (Ternopil) – The pseudo-council through the eyes of a witness: documents of Rev. Yaroslav Rokytskyi

5. Oleh Yehreshiy (Ivano-Frankivsk) – Photographic documents as a source for the study of everyday life of an underground Greek-Catholic priest: the case of Rev. Yaroslav Siretskyi


17:00-19:30 IV. Modern reflections (moderator – Oleh Turiy)

1. Viktor Voinalovych (Kyiv) – The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church as an object of the Soviet party and state policy

2. Rev. Andriy Mykhaleiko (Eichstätt, Germany) – «A failed endeavor»: the assessment of the Lviv pseudo-council by Metropolitan Yosyf Slipyi during his imprisonment and exile (1946-1962)

3. Bishop Teodor (Martyniuk) (Ternopil) – The “Lviv Council” of 1946 as an illegitimate meeting of priests: canonical aspects

4. Rev. Yuriy Avvakumov (Notre-Dame, USA) – The Lviv pseudo-council in a row of “liquidations of the Unia” since confessionalization till totalitarianism: an attempt at historical reflection

5. Kostiantyn Sihov, Rev. Heorhiy Kovalenko (Kyiv) – Witnesses of truth in the Catacomb Church and the longing for truth today

Discussions: Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zoria), Antoine Arjakovsky, Olena Bohdan, Anton Drobovych, Viktor Yelenskyi, Andriy Kohut, Myroslav Marynovych, Andriy Smirnov, Rev. Ihor Shaban.


Historical background

In the 20th century, millions of Ukrainians became victims not only of war or armed conflicts but of totalitarian systems and the misanthropic ideas propagated by them. The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC) became the victim of the intentional persecution of religion and the deliberate planting of atheism.

Violence against the unsubmissive Church by the Soviet authorities and their structures of oppression culminated in the so-called “Lviv Council” of 1946, according to whose decisions the UGCC officially ceased to exist and was “re-united” with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Liquidated and forbidden by Stalin’s regime, the UGCC began a new page in its history – a history of brave and heroic opposition, unbreakable spirit, and great strength of faith in Christ and His decisive victory over the powers of darkness. The struggle of the Greek-Catholics for the honoring of their civil rights became not only an integral component of opposition to the totalitarian regime but also of the processes of democratization and the Ukrainian national rebirth at the end of the 1980s.