19.02.2007, [19:16] // UGCC // RISU.org.ua

Greek Catholics in Russia Need Separate Church Structure, Ukrainian Bishop AgreesNovosibirsk – A meeting including a bishop and a priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) recently held in Novosibirsk, Russia, concluded that the country’s Greek Catholics need a separate church structure. ugcc.org.ua posted the story on 12 February 2007.

The meeting gathered 18 Catholic priests of the Byzantine rite who minister in Russia. They discussed and resolved issues of pastoral care for their faithful.

This was the fifth meeting of the priests since 20 December 2004, when Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Werth was appointed ordinary for Catholics of the Byzantine rite in Russia.

Bishop Stepan Meniok, representative of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC and exarch of Donetsk and Kharkiv, Fr. Vasyl Hovera, a UGCC priest who is apostolic visitor for Greek Catholics in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, Fr. Cyril Vasil, vice-rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute and dean of the Faculty of Eastern Canon Law, and Fr. Alexey Dolgov of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church participated.

They discussed the problem of the government’s refusal to register Greek Catholic parishes in the structure of Roman Catholic dioceses. The participants of the meeting see only one solution: to have a separate church structure for Catholics of the Byzantine rite. With time, such a central religious organization could register the Greek Catholic parishes. According to the participants, registration is needed for the normal life and further development of the religious life of Greek Catholics living in Russia.