Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 9th September, 4pm

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.




Friday, 24 July 2009

Russian Orthodox Patriarch visits Ukraine


A 10-day trip to Ukraine by Patriarch Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church is to include visits to a monument to victims of the Stalin-era famine, a Liturgy expected to draw thousands to the tense, scenic Crimean peninsula. The visit that starts on 27 July will also include a pilgrimage to Pochaev, one of the most important monasteries in the Orthodox church, located in the heart of western Ukraine, which is also the heartland of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Patriarch Kirill says that the visit is spiritual and not political. Nevertheless, it is important to the Moscow patriarchate that the Orthodox Church in Ukraine remains firmly within its jurisdiction. The Church in Muscovy and the rest of Russia owed its origins to Kievan Rus' adoption of Orthodox Christianity and the primacy of the see of Moscow derived from that of the original Metropolitanate in Kiev. And a very large proportion of the Russian Orthodox Church are in Ukraine. Some observers believe that the Moscow patriarchate's continued hold on the Orthodox Church in the Ukraine enables the Kremlin to ensure continued influence over the affairs of the Russia's large, resource-rich and westward-leaning neighbour.

But in line with other Orthodox countries, there is a strong movement for the Church to achieve self-governing autocephaly, with the lead taken not by a Metropolitan of Kiev appointed under the Patriarch in Moscow, but a by a patriarch of their own in Kiev. Moscow is vigourously resisting this and imposing its authority over the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the name of the territorial integrity of the Moscow patriarchate and Orthodox unity led by the Russian Orthodox Church, the largest and they would say leading Church in the Orthodox world. But already a significant group of Orthodox have broken away from Moscow and established with the backing of the state a Kiev patriarchate, which is not officially recognised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, but is treated pragmatically. There are other groups too. Resolving this division within Orthodoxy which has disturbed fullness of communion has been discussed by Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople at their recent meeting. Perhaps it may be addressed towards a settlement at the forthcoming Pan-Orthodox Council.

Given the sensitivity of this question for the Orthodox of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, largest of the Eastern Churches in communion with the Holy See, has not succeeded in having its leader designated as Patriarch, like the Melkite and Chaldean primates. Nor is the 'patriarchal movement' within the Ukrainian Catholic community seen at Rome as opportune, where the major strategic ecumenical objective is the restoration of communion with the Orthodox. So the leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, even though he presides over a 'patriarchia', is known as a 'major archbishop'. And although not called a patriarch, he is addressed as one: 'His Beatitude'.
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