Patriarch Sviatoslav: UGCC is ready to unite with the Eparchy of Mukachevo. Now it's up to the future ruling Bishop
The unification of the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Mukachevo with the UGCC depends on the future ruling Bishop, who will replace Bishop Milan Shashik in this office.
This was stated on the air of "Live Television" by Patriarch Sviatoslav of the UGCC, as he was answering a question about the prospects for unity.
"Sincerely speaking, our church has always demonstrated its readiness and always called for the prospect of unity with the Eparchy of Mukachevo. We are Greek Catholics and live in the same state. Our cooperation is always the key to our mutual assistance and strength," the First Hierarch said.
Patriarch Sviatoslav noted that the Episcopal center of the Eparchy of Mukachevo is currently vacant.
"Today, Bishop Neil Lushchak, who was an assistant to the late bishop of Milan, was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the vacant residence with such an important addition - ad nutum Sanctae Sedis. This means that this vacant diocese is governed by Bishop Neil on behalf of the Apostolic capital," His Beatitude Sviatoslav explained.
The head of the UGCC said that the search for the next ruling Bishop is currently underway:
"When we have a new eparch, a new stage will come, then it will be possible to talk about some structural elements of the development of this diocese, and then the next element of unity with the UGCC."
"Therefore, I would encourage those who really care and stand in solidarity with our Greek Catholic brothers and sisters in Transcarpathia to pray for a good ruling Bishop for this vacant diocese. I think we all need such a prayer. The good of the diocese and the cause of unity with the UGCC will depend on this person who will head the diocese," patriarch Sviatoslav of the UGCC added.
The Greek Catholic Eparchy of Mukachevo has an autonomous status and is not subordinate to the UGCC.
Bishop Milan Shashik of Mukachevo passed away on July 14, 2020, at the age of 68. Bishop Milan died at about 23 hours in a hospital in Uzhgorod. According to assistant bishop Neil Lushchak, Vladyka suffered from varicose veins and thrombophlebitis.