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Ukraine: First bishop of newly formed UGCC eparchy of Chernivtsi

23. November 2017
Bukovyna is getting ready to a historical event: November 18, the installation of the first bishop of a newly formed eparchy of Chernivtsi, Josaphat Moshchych, is being held. Friday, November 10 he firstly met with journalists. Bishop told about himself, shared some of his plans and how Chernivtsi is getting ready to meet Head of UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav. It’s going to be the first official visit of the Major Archbishop to Bukovyna, as the eparchy, for the first time in 200 of UGCC existence in this region, was proclaimed officially.

“To be honest, I couldn’t even imagine that I would work in Chernivtsi one day, admitted bishop Josaphat. – Likewise, I cannot predict how long I might stay here – for a few years, or, maybe, to get older here… Jesus Christ had 12 apostles, and I have 13. As exactly this number of priests we have in our eparchy. Consequently, I rely on them”.

The first question journalists asked bishop referred to the case of Restoring Pieta at Chernivtsi Central Square. This issue almost provoked a religious dispute in a city in spring. We remind that since 90s historians, statesmen and today’s Greek Catholics have wanted to restore Pieta. However, it wasn’t accepted by UOC KP. Local bishop Danylo even wrote a petition on this matter. Briefly it was about the orthodox believers who prevailed in Bukovyna, and “86 % of Bukovyna orthodox believers had to be captivated by 2% of Greek Catholics? Is it fair that 2 % of Greek Catholics offended religious feelings of 86 % orthodox believers?”

Bishop Josaphat said that he would be investigating this question thoroughly. Despite it he added that he would like to help, first of all, two Greek Catholic communities in Bukovyna which are registered, although not having churches yet. Bishop also mentioned that it’s very important for him to develop and care for good interconfessional relationships in such poly-confessional region as Bukovyna. The emblem of the eparchy has the words like: “Lord, grant us unity”.

The initiative to invite the representatives from different confessions to participate in the Divine Liturgy held by His Beatitude Sviatoslav came from bishop Josaphat. The invitations have already received two bishops of UOC KP Danylo and Onufryi, bishop of UOC MP Meletyi, priests of Roman Catholic Church.

“We want every citizen of Chernivtsi feel that this is truly historic event for the city”, said the senior priest of the church, fr. Valeryi Syrotiuk. – Thus, everybody can hear and see the whole ceremony, a big screen will be installed at the territory of the church. After the Service pilgrims will have a snack with tea at the field kitchen in the church’s yard. The eldest two parishioners will meet His Beatitude Sviatoslav at the music of Bukovyna’s violin”.

The repairing works and the arrangement of the parish house where the eparchial office and bishop’s residence will be located – are almost finished. We remind that September 2, 2017 Vatican informed that His Holiness was familiar with the resolution of the Synod of Bishops of UGCC about forming an eparchy in Chernivtsi. Kolomyia and Chernivtsi eparchy is allocated for forming a territory of the new eparchy, covering Chernivtsi region. The eparchy will be a part of Ivano-Frankivsk diocese.

According to the canons of the Church law, the Synod of Bishops of UGCC concluded an agreement on installing bishop Josaphat Moshchych bishop-auxiliary of Ivano-Frankivsk eparchy, first reigning bishop of Chernivtsi eparchy. Currently bishop Josaphat Moshchych the youngest among the bishops of UGCC. He is 41 years old. (Quelle:, 10. November 2017)