A walk to commemorate legalization of the Ukrainian Greeek-Catholic Curch will take place in Lviv on October 19, 2014
October 16, 2014
On October 19, 2014 in Lviv the Archeparchy of Lviv will have a procession on the occasion of the 25th anniversary since the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church came from the underground existence.
The Information Department of the UGCC has reported that the walk will start at 15:00 at the church of St. Michael the Archangel and will commemorate the 25 anniversary of coming from the underground existence and “to pray for peace in Ukraine and in the world.”
Historical note: At the beginning of the Second World War the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church had 2387parishes and 3.6 million faithful, 2352 diocesan priests, 31 men’s monasteries and 121 woman’s convents and monastic houses, the Theological Academy and three seminaries, with 480 enrolled students.
After the failure to force the Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishops to deny communion with Rome of 1496, on March 9-10, 1946, the Soviet authorities gathered under the fear of death 216 priests in Lviv at the Cathedral of St. George, for the so-called “Synod of Lviv.” The meeting abolished the Union of Brest, in which the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church officially entered into the communion with the Holy See. In the same meeting the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was forcibly joined to the Russian Orthodox Church. The authorities arrested and sent to labor camps hundreds of priests, monks, nuns and faithful with their families and children.
Between 1946 and 1989 the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church was the largest persecuted church in the world. At the same time it was the largest structure of public opposition to the Soviet system in the USSR.
Despite severe persecution, the Church continued to live underground as a carefully structured system of secret seminaries, monasteries, parishes and youth groups until it came out from underground existence on December 1, 1989.