Catholic Church in Ukraine
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The majority of Catholics in Ukraine belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, while significant numbers of others belong to the Latin Church (known as Roman Catholic), Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, or Armenian Catholic Church.
History and data
The Catholic Church in Ukraine consists of members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church as well as the Roman (Latin Rite) Catholic Church in Ukraine, Ruthenian Catholic Church, and the Armenian Catholic Church.
The majority of Ukrainian Catholics belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church in the territories of modern Ukraine has been strongly associated with Poland and Poles, but the church has emphasized a Ukrainian identity since the nation's independence from the Soviet Union.
The history of the Catholic Church in modern Ukraine starts with establishment of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lviv in the 14th century, after annexation of the Kingdom of Ruthenia by the Kingdom of Poland in course of the Galicia–Volhynia Wars.
In 2001, Ukraine was visited by Pope John Paul II, who held official and informal meetings in Kyiv and Lviv. Obviously the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Latin Church in the country warmly greeted a visit from their spiritual father. Non-Catholic religious communities expressed hope that the visit would encourage a spiritual and cultural renewal in a country troubled by economic and social problems.
Catholic charity Caritas Spes (by 2007 information) functions in 12 regions of the country, has 40 centers engaging 500 employees and volunteers. It runs six family-style homes for orphans with 60 children, financed health rehabilitation camps situated in environmentally healthful areas around Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Transcarpathian regions, benefits 2,500 children each year. About 12,000 Ukrainian children, mainly victims of Chernobyl, orphans, and children from poor families, had their health improved in this way in 2002–2007.
In 2005 the number of Catholics was estimated at around 4 million 760 thousand people, which represents 7.3% of the population. Of these, about 4 million are Greek Catholics, and 500-800 thousand Catholics of the Latin rite. There is also a small Armenian Catholic community, although before the Second World War the number of Armenian Catholics in Lviv was significant. A characteristic feature of Ukrainian Catholicism is the predominance of Greek Catholic believers over Latin Catholics. Ukraine is the only country in Europe where Catholics of the Eastern rite prevail over Roman Catholics
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is a Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See. The ordinary (or hierarch) of the church holds the title of Major Archbishop of Kiev-Halych and All Ruthenia, though the hierarchs and faithful of the church have acclaimed their ordinary as "Patriarch" and have requested Papal recognition of, and elevation to, this title. Major archbishop is a unique title within the Catholic Church that was introduced in 1963 as part of political compromise. Since March 2011 the head of the church is Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk.
Latin Catholic Church in Ukraine
The Latin Church in Ukraine had in 2007 905 communities, 88 monasteries, 656 monks and nuns, 527 priests, 713 churches (74 under construction), 39 missions, 8 educational institutions, 551 Sunday schools, 14 periodical editions.
Latin Catholic cathedrals in Ukraine
- Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, in Kamyanets-Podilsky
- Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kharkiv
- Merciful Father Co-Cathedral, in Zaporizhia
- Saint Sophia Cathedral, in Zhytomyr
- St. Alexander Co-Cathedral, in Kyiv
- Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, in Lutsk
- Archcathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Lviv
- Cathedral of St. Martin of Tours, in Mukacheve
- Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral, in Odesa.
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lviv
- Superior Institute of Religious Sciences of St. Thomas Aquinas
- Ukrainian Catholic University
- Granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine
- Ukraine Remembers Visit of John Paul II, Zenit News Agency, June 2006
- Ukraine responds to the Papal Visit, Religious Information Service of Ukraine
- Sixteen Years a Short Period to Learn the Charity Habit, Interview with Caritas-Spes Head of Ukraine, RISU Portal, September 2007
- Catholic Hierarchy Portal News
- Parafiyalna Gazeta (Roman Catholic newspaper), N 24, December, 2007, in Ukrainian
- Roman Catholicism in Ukraine, Religious Information Service of Ukraine web-site
- GCatholic Directory