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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Ukrainian eparch reflects on New Evangelization


From the Website of Vatican ( Pope Website )
links:  http://www.news.va/en/news/ukrainian-eparch-reflects-on-new-evangelization

Ukrainian eparch reflects on New Evangelization

2013-01-25 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) The Catholic university contributes toward the New Evangelization when, in addition to offering quality education, it prays together, fosters the beauty of the liturgy and reaches out to the marginalized, said the new eparch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in France.

Bishop Borys Gudziak was appointed the first bishop of the newly created eparchy on 19 January. The American-born eparch is also rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Bishop Gudziak offered some reflections on the Year of Faith and on the renewed efforts in the Church for evangelization. The latter, he said, also requires Christian communities to foster relationships of mutual love. Many parish communities currently lack respect and fraternal love, he lamented.

In terms of offering witness to the world, the Greek Catholic Church, which suffered throughout most of the 20th century under the former Soviet Union, offers an important “witness to truth in the face of pressure” and serves as “a sign of Christian freedom,” he said.

He added that a new church-wide catechumenate program is being developed in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church this year. It follows the completion of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Catechism, which was published in the original Ukrainian in June 2011; it is currently being translated into several languages.


The 500-page catechism articulates “the Catholic faith in the Ukrainian Catholic incarnation” and is the result of a 10-year effort. The 52-year-old bishop described it as “a sign of real ecclesial maturity” and “a very important instrument” in accompanying the faithful and catechumens in this Year of Faith.


Bishop Gudziak elaborates on these points in this interview with Laura Ieraci:
Excerpts of the interview below:

What is the role of the Catholic university in the New Evangelization and what is the specific contribution of the Ukrainian Catholic University to this effort?

Bishop Gudziak: ... The (Ukrainian Catholic University) has set a standard of quality in its education, in its public outreach, in its social discourse, which is contributing to the good name of the Church in Ukraine, which otherwise today is suffering through a period of rising authoritarianism, rampant corruption and profound demoralization among young people. So, for a university to … be explicit in its contribution towards evangelization, it needs to pray together, it needs to foster the beauty of the liturgy and it really needs to reach out to the marginalized in society, the poor, those who are ostracized. Whether it’s in the academic programs or in the everyday community life, this is what UCU is trying to foster.

What is the particular witness of Greek Catholic Church in this Year of Faith?
Bishop Gudziak: There isn’t an exceptional witness just for this year; there is the witness of the Greek Catholic Church, which in the 20th century, for a better part of it, was the biggest illegal church in the world. And, in the Soviet Union, it was the biggest body of opposition to the totalitarian system. And it carries into the 21st century this posture and moral standing of a witness to truth in the face of pressure, swimming against the current. I think it is precisely the fact that the Church in its highest levels and in its official policy did not collaborate with the authorities, it is a sign of Christian freedom in a land where there are many shackles, the shackles of history, wounds of the past, which debilitate real, authentic and full human development, and I think that is the fundamental way in which the Church witnesses. ...

What do you think is necessary for the New Evangelization to get off the ground in general?


Bishop Gudziak: Many people view the Church, and sometimes not without reason, as carrier of limits, of negations, of prohibitions and do not see the Gospel and the life of the Church and the life of Christians as something fully liberating and that which makes us fully human. I think we have to show a lot of mutual love. It’s where there is joy and peace that people want to be and if we look around not all of our Christian communities are characterized by fraternal love, respect, joy and peace. It is this type of life, this nature of relationships that we need to foster.





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