Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 24 September |
The Blessed Virgin Mary—Our Lady of Walsingham
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope Francis will meet the Ukrainian Greek Catholic community in Rome on January 28

© Marko Vombergar | Aleteia | I.Media

« L’existence de chacun de nous est liée à celle des autres: la vie n’est pas un temps qui passe, mais un temps de rencontre » 14 juin 2017, Audience générale

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 01/12/18

Also will visit the tomb of his elementary school tutor who taught him how to serve Divine Liturgy in this rite.

At the invitation of Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev and Galicia and primate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Pope Francis will visit the Hagia Sophia Basilica in Rome on January 28, according to an announcement from the Holy See’s Press Office today. The meeting will be a “sign of solidarity with the Ukranian people,” said Archbishop Shevchuk.

In addition to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic community in Rome, the pontiff will meet Archbishop Shevchuk, said a statement from the Ukrainian Catholic Church. There are about 200,000 Ukrainian Catholics in Italy, about 14,000 of whome live in Rome and the surrounding region.

The meeting with Ukrainian Catholics is a sign of “solidarity with the Ukrainian people, who have suffered for several years from the war in Donbass,” said Archbishop Shevchuk.

On January 8, during his greetings to the diplomatic corps, Pope Francis declared that a common commitment to “rebuilding bridges” was “urgent” in Ukraine. Since the beginning of 2014, an armed conflict between loyalists and pro-Russian separatists has left 9,000 dead, 20,000 wounded, and 500,000 displaced in this region bordering Russia.

Prayer at the tomb of Bishop Stefan Czmil

At the Basilica of Hagia Sophia, the pope will go to the tomb of Bishop Stefan Czmil, his tutor at his elementary school in Buenos Aires. Last November 9, during an audience with seminarians and priests of the Ukrainian Pontifical College of Saint Josaphat in Rome, the pontiff related how Bishop Czmil had taught him to serve the liturgy in the Byzantine rite.

In communion with Rome since the 1596 Union of Brest, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church preserves its Eastern Orthodox traditions and rites. The Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow, however, remains wary of the what it calls “Uniatism.” As late as February 2017, Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion described the practice as “a force that sows hostility and hatred” between East and West.

The Greek Catholic Church is the third-largest Ukrainian Church, with nearly 8% of the population, or five million faithful.

Pope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Aid to the Church in Need
What happens when a million children pray the Rosary?
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.