UGCC hierarch speaks about plans for world expansion
Greek Catholics plan to develop a pastoral ministry abroad and cooperate in this matter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
The head of the Pastoral and Migration Department (PMD) of the UGCC, Bishop Joseph (Milian), said this to the seminarians of the penultimate year of training on a special course on missionary service in Zarvanitsa on June 26, reports the UGCC website.
According to him, the PMD operates in 44 countries of the world, where there are no hierarchical structures of the UGCC yet, and is responsible for ensuring the spiritual needs of believers in these territories.
"We outreach to about 20 countries, now pastorship for our believers is stable or is available from time to time there. In other countries, we constantly monitor the situation and try to develop ministry. It's not just about the countries of Europe. For example, there are two parishes in the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai). The year before last, more than 1000 people came for a mass in Dubai. There is an invitation to Shanghai, Japan. There was a "foray" in South Africa, where many of our women live. Father Igor Golovko, a pastor in Australia, returning from Europe, visited our community and served our people Divine Liturgies in South Africa. Now we are preparing a visit to South Africa from the PMD," said the Greek Catholic bishop.
He also said that the Pastoral and Migration Department of the UGCC closely cooperates with the Foreign Ministry, in particular with the department that deals with Ukrainians abroad. Bishop Joseph (Milian) noted that during pastoral visits to various countries he meets with local hierarchs of the Roman Catholic Church, representatives of the embassy or consulate of Ukraine, public organizations of Ukrainians and Ukrainian schools.
The Uniate hierarch referred to the "Development Strategy of the UGCC 2020", which states that "the Church will accompany its faithful, wherever they are and whatever their number is. And we are trying to do this."
"If you have a fortune to serve in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, South Africa, the Baltic countries, I can say that we need many priests that our people are waiting for in various parts of the world," the bishop addressed seminarians.
In particular, he said, such ministry should be developed for Ukrainian students, who are increasingly leaving for training in European countries – Poland, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, etc.
Earlier, the head of Ukrainian Greek Catholics, Sviatoslav Shevchuk said why the UGCC needs the status of patriarchy.