The Resolutions of the Synod of UGCC, 2015

Thursday, 10 September 2015, 15:39
Glory be to the holy, consubstantial, life-giving and undivided Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and for the welfare of all entrusted to us God’s people. Amen

By the Grace of God


 in Communion with the Holy Roman See


Archbishop - Major of Kyiv and Halych of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church

To the Most Reverend and God-loving Bishops, Reverend Fathers, Venerable Monks and Nuns, Religious and Laity of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church


Declare and Publish

The resolutions
of the Synod of Bishops
of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
31st – 6th of September, 2015, Ivano-Frankivsk


1.   To establish the current state of adopting resolutions of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC of 2014.

2.   To consider the statement of Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC regarding its activity.

3.   To consider the summary of reports of the commissions and departments at the Patriarchal level.

4.   To approve the Report for 2014-2015 of the working group on establishing a strategy for the development of the UGCC till 2020.

5.   To appeal to the superiors of monasteries, and religious communities with a request to intensify their activity in Eastern and Southern Ukraine and for them to draft proposals relating to a more active participation of clergy in “The Vibrant Parish – a place to encounter the Living Christ” program.

6.   To consider the Resolutions of the VI meeting of the Patriarchal Sobor on theme “The Vibrant Parish – a place to encounter the Living Christ” and thank to the Secretariat of the Sobor and its delegates.

7.   Having acknowledged the resolutions of the VI meeting of the Patriarchal Sobor of the UGCC, held on 25th-27th of August, 2015, in Ivano-Frankivsk, and having analyzed our previous experience in implementing the strategy “The Vibrant Parish – a place to encounter the Living Christ”, we now issue these further directives:

A.   To extend the mandate of the working group in establishing the pastoral program “The Vibrant Parish – a place to encounter the Living Christ”.

B.   To the Patriarchal and Eparchial commissions, educational and scientific institutions, monasteries, religious communities, parishes, church organizations and to all laity – to consider in their work the resolutions of the     VI meeting of the Patriarchal Sobor of the UGCC “The Vibrant Parish – a place to encounter the Living Christ”, especially in the preparation of pastoral plans, always being vigilant to maintain Eastern Catholic Church tradition and adherence to Church Law.

C.   That Bishops organise post - Sobor conferences, with a view to creating a Pastoral Plan and implementing the decisions of the Synod of Bishops 2015, the resolutions of the VI meeting of the Patriarchal Sobor, as well as the   resolutions of Eparchial Sobors. This should be done on a Metropolitan, Eparchial and Parochial level.

D.  To help faithful to comprehend the word of God and live in obedience to it:

1)   To prompt priests to diligently prepare for the delivery of the homily during the Divine Liturgy, during the celebration of the Holy Sacraments, Funerals and other services and blessings. They also need to remember the necessity to proclaim God’s word to those who are not baptized and live outside the Church community (kerygmatic proclamation).

2)   To encourage the valuing of the biblical apostolate in every eparchy, exarchate and parish, developing communities by daily reading of the Gospel.

3)    To prompt all the faithful to read the Bible every day – in private and within the family, as well as forming Bible Study groups in parishes, so that God’s word might become spiritual nourishment for everyone.

E.   For giving the faithful of the UGCC a missionary spirit:

1)   To charge priests to awaken the conscience of the laity, regarding the vocation to witness to their own faith as important proof of a Christian way of life;

2)   To charge priests to develop evangelizing and missionary communities in parishes to help different people come to faith in Christ;

3)   To encourage priests and laity to more actively and creatively participate in the UGCC Decade of Mission.

F.   For maintaining an appropriate catechetical service:

1)   To charge the Patriarchal Catechetical Commission to work out and improve programs of catechesis for groups of different ages and professions;

2)   To charge the Patriarchal Liturgical and Patriarchal Catechetical Commissions to work out and disseminate an agenda for a liturgical catechism;

3)   To entrust priests to explain to laity in their holilies and catechetical studies the content and meaning of liturgical services;

4)   To ask bishops to see that every parish has catechesis for people of different ages;

5)   To encourage priests to create and improve the efforts of parochial catechetical schools;

6)   To encourage all the faithful to study the Catechism of the UGCC “Christ Our Pasch”.

 G.  To gain greater depth in private prayer:

1)   To entrust priests, catechists and parents to explain to children and youth the importance of conversing with God and to show by their own example the role played by private prayer;

2)   To charge priests with paying special attention to the importance of studying the authentic liturgical heritage of the UGCC;

3)   To charge priests with establishing prayer groups in parishes and to minister to them;

4)   To entrust priests and catechists to teach and encourage the faithful to pray daily – in private and together as a family, also before and after meals.

H.  For the renewed participation of the faithful in the liturgical life of the Church:

1)    To ask eparchial bishops to make sure that their cathedrals become examples of authentic liturgical and spiritual life of the Church;

2)    To ask eparchial bishops to make available programs for the training and ongoing formation of parish cantors and lectors;

3)    To remind priests of the need for diligence and attentiveness in the celebration of the Liturgy and to follow directives of the liturgical books;

4)   To charge priests with being attentive to the beauty of liturgical singing, to make sure that the  cantor (and the priest) are articulate and clear in their speech and to encourage the faithful to participate in liturgical singing;

5)   To remind priests about the need to celebrate the Divine Liturgy frequently, especially on Sundays and  Holy Days, or everyday (see can. 378 of CCEC, can. 57 of CPL), as well as the Divine Praises daily according to Canons of the particular law of the UGCC (see can. 22, 56 CPL).

I.    To develop in the faithful the skills of stewardship of God’s gifts:

1)   To ask eparchial bishops to stress the importance of establishing pastoral and finance councils in parishes (see can. 41 of CPL);

2)   To call priests to recognize the gifts and talents of God, sent by Him to His people - each individual person, and to help the laity live their Christian vocation to serve God and others.

J.    To develop among the faithful unity - communion:

1)   To entrust to priests, by their own exsample, to preach unity of spirit, dialogue and cooperation; so that the parish may feel itself more and more a single family of God, realizing that it belongs to a larger family – The Eparchy, The Ecclesiastical Province, The Particular Church (UGCC) and  the Universal Church;

2)   To charge priests with the need to cultivate among the  faithful the idea of bringing to fruition the parish as a “community of communities” to which belong families, different councils, brotherhoods, communities, movements, centres, etc., granting them appropriate leadership and cooperation within the framework of a single parish;

3)   To charge priests to encourage the faithful in praying for the restoration of  the unity of all Christians inspired by Christ’s commandment “So that they may all be one” (see Jn 17,21);

4)   To develop the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ (Kyiv city) as the centre of a Church in Communion – the unity of the UGCC;

K.   To cherish and develop Diakonia – serving each other:

1)   To charge priests to encourage in the laity the realization of their own vocation to express Christian faith in all circumstances of life by undertaking corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

2)   To establish in parishes centres of social service (Caritas and others) for serving our neighbours, inspired by Christ’s love.

8.   To bless the opening of rehabilitation centres for soldiers and all who have suffered from the war in Ukraine. To charge eparchial bishops to contribute to this foundation in all possible ways.

9.   To charge the Coordinating Council on Issues of Pastoral Care in Critical Situations to adapt a programme to develop rehabilitation centres for soldiers and all who suffer from the war.

10.   To issue a statement expressing gratitude to “Caritas Ukraine” and to all its workers and volunteers.

11.   To issue an open letter from the Synod to the international charitable societies and nongovernmental organizations, bishops’ conferences and all people of a good will expressing gratitude for help granted so far and to request for a further solidarity with suffering people in Ukraine.

12.   To ask priests and faithful of the UGCC to pay special attention to refugees. Especially families, children, old and sick people; caring for them, supporting and helping them in appropriate ways.

13.   To consider the statement on building a Patriarchal centre in Kyiv.

14.   To consider the statement on a status of a court system in the UGCC.

15.   To approve a parochial guidelines of the UGCC.

16.   To approve a guidelines for archpriests (deans) of the UGCC.

17.   To approve the Statutes of the Eparchial Sobor of the UGCC.

18.   To approve an instruction on canonical visitations to a parish by an eparchial bishop.

19.   To approve a Typical Norms of the Eparchial Curia of the UGCC.

20.   To approve Typical Formulae for the Sacrament of Matrimony.

21.   To approve typical forms for request for dispensations and permissions (faculties).

22.   To charge the Cannon Law Office of Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC to review legislative acts, adopted by the UGCC Synods of Bishops during 1992-2015, and to perform a detailed analysis as to their introduction and implementation into Church life. Also to present a statement about work accomplished at the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in 2016.

23.   To charge the working group for Particular Law to collect observations and comments on Particular Canons to facilitate further changes and improvements.

24.   To ask the Father and Head of the UGCC to form a working group to further adapt the Particular Law. To be chaired by the Head of Cannon Law department.

25.   To confirm for a five year term the Ecumenical Guidelines of the UGCC.

26.   Concerning the appeal of the UAOC Council  from the 1st of April, 2015:

            A). To affirm a decision made by the Council of Kharkiv and Poltava Eparchy of the UAOC and express our readiness to find ways for renewal of Eucharist Communion and administrative unity between the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and Kharkiv and Poltava Eparchy of the UAOC.

            B). To form a Synodal working group search for a model of administrative unity between the UGCC and Kharkiv and Poltava eparchy of the UAOC with the following membership: His Beatitude Sviatoslav -Chairman; Bishops Evhen (Popovych) and Theodor (Martynyuk); fathers Vitaliy Tokar, Anibal Soutus and Ihor Shaban.

27.   To ask the Father and Head of the UGCC to proceed with developing models to unite all Churches of Volodymyr’s Baptism, in light of the documents of the Universal Church as well as documents and experience’s of the UGCC. To consult appropriate experts in this field.

28.   To consider the statement of the Department of External Church Relations of the UGCC and bless the development of this Department.

29.   To consider the statement of the Patriarchal Liturgical Commission regarding its work for the past 3 years.

30.   To approve Instructions on Holy Communion for children and infants.

31.   To approve The Rite of Chatechumenate and Baptism.

32.   To encourage youth of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church to participate in World Youth Day 2016, in Krakow. To encourage Youth Commissions to cooperate with the Organizational Committee formed for World Youth

33.   To provide proper participation of the UGCC in Extraordinary Year of Mercy, declared by Pope Francis:

            A). Establish an organizing committee on Extraordinary Year of Mercy, Chaired by  Bishop Bohdan (Dzyurakh).

            B). To charge the organizing committee to work upon and coordinate a programme events to celebrate the Jubilee Year. Also to present possible events at the Metropolitan, Eparchial, Protopresbyteral and Parochial levels.

            C). To ask the Father and Head of the UGCC to issue a Pastoral Letter for the Extraordinary Year of Mercy.

            D). To charge Eparchial Bishops and Superiors of Monasteries and Religious Communities to  nominate suitable priests to the  Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization to be appointed  Missionaries of God’s Mercy according to the Norms established by the Apostolic See.

34. To conduct the next UGCC Synod of Bishops 2016 in Lviv-Bryukhovychi.

35. To make “Diaconia” the main theme of UGCC Synod of Bishops in 2016.

36. To approve and publish an Appeal of the Synod of Bishops in responce to bloodshed at the  Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on August 31, 2015.

37. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to His Holiness Pope Francis.

38. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to His Holiness Bartholomew.

39. To approve a text of a synodal letter to Eastern Catholic Churches.

40. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to the Bishops’ Catholic conferences.

41. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to the Heads of the orthodox Churches on East.

42. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to the President of Ukraine.

43. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to the Head of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

44. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to the Prime-minister of Ukraine.

45. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to the Head of UOC (KP), Patriarch Filaret.

46. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to the Head of UOC, Metropolitan Onuphrius.

47. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to the Head of UAOC, Metropolitan Makariy.

48. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to the heads of Protestant communities in Ukraine.

49. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to the non-Christian religious organizations in Ukraine.

50. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to Charitable Organizations.

51. To approve a text of a Synodal letter to the defenders of a Motherland.

52. To approve a text of a Communiqué of the UGCC Synod of Bishops.


+ Sviatoslav (Shevchuk)
Major Archbishop
Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church


+ Bohdan (Dzyurakh),
Secretary of the
 Synod of Bishops


Given in Kyiv,
at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ,
7 September, in the year of Our Lord, 2015



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