Ukraine: Transcarpathian believers ask for unification of the Mukachevo GCE with the UGCC
We submit the full text of the document:
To His Holiness the Ecumenical Bishop
Francis, the Pope of Rome.
Copies: Vatican Secretary of State
Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Church,
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri;
to the Apostolic Nunciature in Ukraine;
To the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church,
His Beatitude Svyatoslav Shevchuk.
We, members of the community, Greek Catholics of Transcarpathia, are deeply concerned about the situation that has developed in the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Mukachevo. The further it lasts, the worse it gets. This was caused by a number of factors, both old and New.
In particular, under the previous leadership of the diocese, it was claimed that the GCE of Mukachevo "temporarily" has the sui juris status.
Since the nineties of the twentieth century, a huge number of believers and clergy have opposed this status and supported joining the UGCC. In 2011, a public organization was even created - "Transcarpathian Greek Catholic Union named after Vladyka Ivan Margytych" (who during his lifetime was a great advocate for the entry of the GCE of Mukachevo into the UGCC, had great honor among the faithful, for which he received a very honorable name "public Bishop").
However, recently it turned out that the status of sui juris actually did not exist and does not exist – a letter was published by Archbishop Antonio Franco, Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine under Part 210, dated February 7, 1993, according to which it turned out that the Eparchy actually has the quo status. So it turns out that we've been misled for decades. This shocked the Greek Catholic community.
But in his appeal published on the website of the G.C., the administrator of the diocese, His Eminence Nil, continues to convince the opposite. Moreover, he calls it a Church. This, as well as a number of his interviews, caused a flurry of critical comments on social networks. Even more disturbing were the statements of people close to the hierarch who can be called xenophobic. Speculation continues on the topic of so-called "rusynism", although less than one percent of transcarpathians recognized themselves as such during the last census, while more than eighty recognized themselves as Ukrainians.
The situation is aggravated by the intervention of outsiders who oppose the unity of Greek Catholics in Ukraine, in particular the infamous separatist, priest of the UOC-MP Dimitri Sydor, the Head of the Greek Catholic Church in Hungary, Metropolitan Fulep Kocis, attempts by opponents of unity to enlist the support of politicians, deputies of various levels, government representatives, etc., most of whom are not Greek Catholics at all. It became known that the leadership of the diocese offers priests to sign blank sheets of paper for some kind of appeal, but they do not inform what kind of appeal it will be, with what content, so this is absolutely false and sinful act.
One gets the impression that the leadership of the Eparchy acts not in the interests of Ukraine and the majority of believers, but in the interests of Hungary and Russia, and the latter, as you know, is waging a so-called "hybrid" war against Ukraine and is trying to weaken Ukraine by various methods.
This state of affairs causes great concern, as it discredits and weakens the Greek Catholic denomination in Transcarpathia.
In our opinion, to bring the situation back to normal, the best way out would be to remove from the leadership of the diocese those who, acting in the interests of neighboring states, are trying to prevent overcoming the long-standing anachronism – the non-entry of the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Mukachevo into the UGCC, which contradicts the tradition of the Holy See: in "one state - one Church".
We are absolutely sure that the future of the Mukachevo diocese is part of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, to which we welcome your parental blessing.
On behalf of the Transcarpathian community:
- Volodymyr Pipash, chairman of the Transcarpathian Regional Association VUT "Prosvita" named after T. Shevchenko, chairman of the Council of Zakarpattia Greek Catholic Union of Ivan Margytych, candidate of historical sciences;
- Oleg Kutsyn, participant of the Russian-Ukrainian war, founder and commander of the volunteer battalion "Carpathian sich", honorary citizen of Tyachiv;
- Mykola Vegesh, professor of Uzhgorod National University, ex-rector of Uzhnu, doctor of historical sciences;
- Alexander Maslyanyk, honored journalist of Ukraine, editor and publisher, honorary citizen of Moscow. Rakhiv;
- Fr. Vasyl Danilash, co-chairman of Zakarpattia Greek Catholic Union of Ivan Margitich;
- Roman Kolodiy, reserve colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine;
- Volodymyr Shelepets, candidate of technical sciences, laureate of the State Prize of Ukraine in the field of Science and Technology;
- Vasily Sofilkanych, teacher, chairman of the Mukachevo City District Association "Prosvita" named after T. Shevchenko, honorary citizen of Mukachevo;
- Oleg Galik, retired, ex-director of Uzhgorod hardware factory.
May 2021 (Quelle: www.risu.ua, 9. Mai 2021)