Main topic of this year’s Synod of Bishops discussed on the third day

Friday, 14 September 2012, 23:16
On Tuesday, September 11, UGCC Synod of Bishops focused on the main topic of this year’s gathering of hierarchs: Role of the Laity in the Life and Mission of the Church. Four lectures discussed the biblical-theological foundation of the call and mission of the laity (Rev. Taras Barshchevsky), historical context in the development of lay movements in UGCC (Oleh Behen, UCU); lay activity in UGCC parishes today (Rev. Andriy Onuferko) as well as the results of a survey among laity as to their perception of their role in the life and mission of the Church (Metropolitan Lavrentiy (Hutsuliak).

During this discussion, the bishops gratefully noted the dedication and sacrifice of UGCC laity throughout the history of the Church, especially its role in preserving their faith in difficult social-political realities of the last century – four waves of emigration and the persecution of the Church in its native land. The holiness of the laity was recognized by the entire Catholic Church, especially through the beatification of the Pratulyn martyrs and the Blessed Martyr Volodymyr Pryima, who became examples for Greek-Catholics of all times, of faithfulness to one’s Church and the willingness to sacrifice oneself in serving it.

The hierarchs highlighted the importance of the role of the laity in the Church also because it is precisely from the environment of the deeply faithful laity that there are numerous callings to become priests and nuns. In connection with this, special significance is attributed to the spiritual guidance and the pastoral care of families as well as the catechization of children, youth and adults.

The Synod members stated their conviction that the laity should demonstrate and value their particular service in the Church: in order to create together with the priests and the nuns under the direction of the hierarch, the Only Body – a living and life-giving community of Christ’s apostles. In order to give the theoretical discussion at the Synod some reality, the  embers in small groups focused on the role of the laity in the realization of the UGCC Strategy of Development as developed in the Pastoral Epistle by His Beatitude Sviatoslav’s Pastoral Epistle, “A Live Parish --the Place of Meeting the Living Christ” The bishops also examined the possibility of activating laity in the life of the Church in various regions of the world where UGCC exists and difficulties associated with that.

By the resolution of the Synod, further steps will be delineated in order to improve the spiritual education of the laity and to include it more broadly into the mission of the Church.

Secretariat, UGCC Synod of Bishops


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