"Mukachevo Diocese receives status quo, not sui juris," the sources say

30 March, 15:30
Catholics
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An important historical document explaining what status the Mukachevo Greek Catholic Diocese actually received in 1993 and why the resources and messages of the Apostolic Capital do not mention its sui juris status was found in the archive in Transcarpathia.

"The document under Part 210, dated February 7, 1993, and signed by Archbishop Antonio Franco, Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine, was discovered during the ongoing works with the funds of one of the private archives in the Transcarpathian region, rich, in particular, in materials about the history of the Church of the twentieth century," Volodymyr Moroz, a researcher at the Institute of church history of the UCU, told RISU. "According to eyewitnesses of those events, this document was personally presented by Nuncio Antonio Franco at a meeting of deans of the Mukachevo Diocese in the presence of Bishop Ivan Semediy. And the discussions were extremely dramatic."

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On five pages of the presented historical source, the Apostolic Nuncio presents a vision of the difficult situation of the Mukachevo diocese, where one part of the clergy and faithful demands to grant it the status of a Church of their right (sui juris), and the other – to unite it with the UGCC. Also, in the document, Archbishop Franco explains that the Apostolic See could not make a final decision and sets out a temporary decision: 1) not to grant sui juris, 2) not to join the UGCC; 3) to subordinate the diocese directly to the Apostolic capital. According to the original:

"The Diocese of Mukachevo turns out to be divided: one part of the priests and faithful, together with the assistant bishop, His Excellency Ivan Margitych, would like the Apostolic See to subordinate the Mukachevo Diocese to the Lviv Archdiocese (the then head of the UGCC, that is, to join the UGCC – ed.); the other part of the priests and faithful, together with the Ordinary Bishop – his Exelement Ivan Semediy and another assistant bishop – his Excellence Iosyf Holovach, would like that the Apostolic See finally declared the Diocese of Mukachevo to be "Sui Juris".

So, you understand very well that among the circumstances that have caused so much controversy and scandal, the Apostolic See could not have made a final decision, which, among today's circumstances, would have caused new tensions and New polemics. The Apostolic See believes that first of all, it is necessary to restore peace and cooperation between bishops, priests and believers. Therefore, the Apostolic See decided to preserve, for the time being, the current legal status of the "status quo" of the Diocese of Mukachevo. That is, from a legal point of view, it remains not subordinate to the Lviv Archdiocese, nor to any other Metropolitanate outside of Ukraine. So far, the Diocese of Mukachevo remains subordinate only to the Apostolic See."

The next element of this interim decision was the allocation in the DMCE, in addition to the ordinary bishop, of two more sinkel governments for believers of "Ukrainian origin" and "for believers who do not have a Ukrainian identity"- bishops Ivan Margitych and Iosyp Holovach, respectively. As you know, now the Diocese of Mukachevo does not have such sinkels.

If the 1993 document shows that the Diocese of Mukachevo did not receive the status of sui juris at that time (it was about the status quo), but was only temporarily subordinated to the Apostolic See, then the official publications of the Apostolic See confirm that the Diocese of Mukachevo does not have the status of sui juris today. According to the Annuario Pontificio 2020 (P. 485), it, as it was before, remains "Immediatamente sogetta alla Santa Sede", that is, directly subordinate to the Holy See. The same information is provided by the website www.catholic-hierarchy.org.

The list of churches that actually have the status of sui juris, placed in the Annuario Pontificio (pp. 7-10 and 1749), also does not include the Diocese of Mukachevo. In general, there are no churches below the metropolitan level in the list of Churches of their own right, and the Diocese of Mukachevo is not a Metropolitan Church but a diocese.

This is also said by one of the most authoritative researchers of Eastern Christianity, Robert Robertson. In his book" The Eastern Christian Churches: a Brief Survey", which has already gone through seven editions, he notes that the Diocese of Mukachevo is "directly subordinate to the Holy See."