I am among you as the one who serves: enthronement of the Exarch for the UGCC faithful in Italy

Tuesday, 01 December 2020, 20:01
The enthronement of the first Exarch for Ukrainian Catholics of the Byzantine Rite in Italy, Bishop Dionysij Liakhovych, took place in the Cathedral of Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Rome.
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"You are no longer guests or strangers here, but you are fully included as brothers," said Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, congratulating Bishop Dionysij Liakhovych.

Historical event

On the first day of December 2020, an important and, without exaggeration, historic event for both the UGCC and the new wave of Ukrainian migration took place in the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Rome.

Last year the Holy Father decided to establish an Exarchate for Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Italy. And the appointment of the first Exarch at the end of October and his enthronement today testify to the achievement of the appropriate level of maturity of the structure, the formation of which began at the end of the last century, when the mass presence of Ukrainians in Italy began.

Solemn enthronement

On the morning of December 1, 2020, Bishop Dionysij Liakhovych led the Divine Liturgy in the cathedral. He was joined by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Archbishop Giorgio Gallaro, Bishop Irynej Bilyk, representatives of monastic communities, pastoral centers, Ambassador of Ukraine to Italy Yaroslav Melnyk, representatives of Ukrainian public organizations.

Commenting on the Gospel passage from Luke, in which Jesus speaks of His disciples, who must put love above all else, Bishop Dionysij shared his thoughts on what a pastor should be like in the modern world. "The only thing I ask the Lord is for the Spirit of God to guide me," he said, emphasizing the importance of building a family community in the Exarchate.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, papal bulls were read about the establishment of an Exarchate and about the appointment of Bishop Dionysij Liakhovych as the first Exarch for Ukrainians of the Byzantine rite living in Italy. Then Bishop Yosyf Milian read a letter from His Beatitude Sviatoslav, after which the Prefect of the Congregation and a representative of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC carried out an act of enthronement.

Welcoming Bishop Dionysij, Cardinal Sandri encouraged him to develop fraternal communion both with the Episcopate of the UGCC and with the Italian Episcopal Conference. The representative of the Holy Father invited him both to preserve the native customs and traditions and to take steps towards the common proclamation of the Gospel, feeling fully included in the local society.


The UGCC Department for Information according to VaticanNews,

photo by Mykhailo Kovchar


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