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 10th June, 4pm

SSJC Committee Open Meeting: Monday 19th June, Cathedral of the Holy Family. 6-15 Liturgy, Talk at 7-15, followed by meeting.

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.













Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Ukraine: A Word from the Ukrainian Barricades - the Ukrainian Catholic University | George Weigel, National Review Online

While press and media cover reports the demonstrations in Maidan Square and those of us in London know about the repeated efforts of the Ukrainian community here to keep their country's problems - government and business corruption, and an anti-democratic administration with no mandate for pro-Putin policies that has locked up the previous president and now opposition leader on trumped up charges  - to the care and attention of the United Kingdom government, little is being reported on the sustained and determined witness of the Ukrainian Catholic Church since its post-Soviet liberation, and especially the Ukrainian Catholic University, to honesty and integrity in public and commercial life.

The greatly admirable last dean, Dr Borys Gudziak (now Eparchial Bishop of the Ukrainian Eparchy in France, to whom Many Years), energetically travelled the world to raise funds for UCU, a remarkable and flourishing new university on something of a shoestring, which can be seen as a refoundation of an historic theological institute founded by  the great Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytsky. UCU until Soviet suppression, has two noteworthy institutes in particular. The first is its Institute for Ecumenical Studies, which serves the Ukrainian Catholic Church's service to Christian unity and reconciliation both towards the Catholic and Protestant West and towards the Orthodox East, especially in Ukraine itself where the Orthodox Church is divided among at least three separate jurisdictions not in communion with one another, including the presence of the so-named Local Russian Orthodox Church, known as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate. Recently, there has been a tentative improvement in relations between the Ukrainian Catholic Church and Moscow, marked by words of respect from Moscow and conciliatory words from Patriarch Sviatoslav of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. So, the current demonstrations in Ukraine are not to be seen as a straight campaign pro the EU and contra Russia under Putin, who clearly wants Ukraine in his sphere of influence as in Soviet days and who last week fancied Russia under his presidency as a Christian power providing the rest of the world with its moral compass. Instead the context is that of sustained efforts at a truthful coming to terms between Ukraine and Russia as nations with entwined and even common histories, mirrored in relations between the respective Churches, on the basis of mutual respect, integrity and freedom.

The second institute is UCU's Business School, which has been a powerhouse in promoting Christian principles of honesty and justice in both commercial and financial dealings, as well as public and political life. It has thus served as a courageous observatory, without fear or favour, on abuses in public administration and corruption in office, in trade and in industry.

What follows is an article by the renowned US Catholic journalist and author, George Weigel, on the witness of the Ukrainian Catholic University community to moral probity, ethics in public and economic life, and against the corruption and dishonesty that infects Ukraine's foreign relations at the moment, and thus its economic, cultural and intellectual health. UCU has paid dearly not for its challenge to the present government's policies but for its dedication to the truth and honesty.

The link below George Weigel's comments leads to two important documents recently sent to him. In a throwback to the Soviet era, the first is a Memorandum "On complications in the relations between the Ukrainian Catholic University and Ukrainian government in 2010–2013", charting harassment of UCU by the State Security Service and the Education Ministry. The second is a December 11 Appeal from the UCU Students for solidarity and support.

In reading them, it should be remembered that Ukraine's neighbour, Belarus, which also forms part of the notional  former Soviet space and current Russian sphere of influence, the Catholic Church is actively persecuted by the Communist dictatorship. There is a great deal more riding on the freedom of Ukraine and the liberty of conscience and religion currently being played out than a rivalry between the EU and Russia.

The resolution of the current drama of Ukraine will touch both the moral and cultural future of the European project and the global strategic issue of whether something resembling the old Soviet Union will be de facto established by the Russian government of Vladimir Putin using bribes and coercion. In that unfolding drama, often referred to as EuroMaidan (a neologism that combines the aspirations of Ukraine’s democratic dissidents and the informal name of the square in Kiev where mass demonstrations continue), a leading role in the effort to reform a corrupt, post-Communist Ukraine is being played by the faculty and students of the Ukrainian Catholic University.
UCU is itself something of a miracle, having been born from beneath the rubble of Soviet-era religious persecution, during which the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was forcibly suppressed and was, for more than four decades, the world’s largest underground religious body. Today, UCU is providing an impressive and unique model of higher learning in the “former Soviet space,” emphasizing the development of personal character and public moral culture as well as intellectual and professional competence, to meet the challenges of a society wrecked by the hammer blows of Soviet totalitarianism. UCU has paid a price for its commitment to intellectual and moral truth, suffering continuing harassment from the government and security services of the Yanukovych regime in Ukraine. Yet the people of UCU remain unbowed, and both faculty and students have been active participants in the EuroMaidan demonstrations and in similar protests in Lviv, where the university is located.
The following two documents, recently sent to me from Lviv, usefully illustrate the dynamics of today’s Ukrainian drama. The first may help Western readers understand just how a corrupt, thuggish, post-Communist regime operates. The second gives a flavor of the witness that students whose teachers care about both intellectual and moral formation can offer Ukrainian society. It is instructive to note that much of the EuroMaidan protest has been led by young people who have grown up since Ukraine achieved its independence in 1991; they have no memory of the Communist regime, and they want a normal, European future, which they associate not with MTV, but with democracy, solidarity, and respect for human dignity.
Read the UCU statements online here:
A Word from the Ukrainian Barricades | National Review Online
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