The Russian Greek Catholic Global Congress took place in San Felice del Benaco, Italy, from 6th to 9th of June 2017. The Congress marked the centennial anniversary of the first Synod of the Russian Greek Catholic Church in St Petersburg, Russia, and continued a series of congresses during the twentieth century. It was attended by the representatives of the Russian Catholic communities from Russia, Australia, the USA, Italy, Germany, Spain, Argentina, France, Belgium, the UK, the Netherlands, and Latvia.
The congress consisted of keynote speeches and fora. It also featured an intensive liturgical dimension. It began with the Moleben to the Mother of God and Enthronement of Her Fatima icon, continued with Vespers and Divine Liturgy, and ended with a Panakhida (a memorial service for the departed).
In his welcome speech, Archpriest Dr Lawrence Cross, the moderator of the congress, addressed the current situation and problems of the global Russian Catholic community. He in particular indicated difficulties in communication with the churches of Rome and Moscow. He also touched on the issue of the church's identity. Instead of calling it "Uniate" church, he suggested using the term "Uniting" church. He called for revival of this church in accordance with this name. Fr Sergey Golovanov brought to the audience his experiences from Russia in its present socio-political situation. Very Rev Prof Peter Galadza from Canada tried to define a new rationale for the church. He called it "yurodstvo" in the time of trouble. Prof Adam DeVille from the US offered a psychological insight to the possible mission of the church regarding reconciliation of the Catholic and Orthodox traditions. Very Rev Dr Cyril Hovorun from the US suggested new ecumenical patterns in addition to the traditional ecumenical dialogues. Rev Dr Yury Avvakumov focused on the figure of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky. Finally, Mr Anatoliy Babynskyi from Ukraine suggested a new path for the Russian Catholic community, from polemical apologetics to the building of bridges.
The Congress passed several unanimous resolutions dealing with matters of Russian Greek-Catholic Church governance and welfare.
June 9, 2017
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