Prefect of Congregation for Oriental Churches to Visit Ukraine


08.07.2008 - On July 10-15 the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, will be in Ukraine. The invitation to visit our country was personally given to Cardinal Sandri during the visit of the Greek-Catholic bishops from Ukraine to the Vatican as part of the «Ad limina Apostolorum,» which was held on January 28-February 2 of this year.

The Congregation for the Oriental Churches was founded by Pope Pius IX on January 6, 1862, as a part of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, receiving the name Congregatio de Propaganda Fide pro negotiis ritus orientalis. Pope Benedict XV on May 1, 1917, renamed it the Congregation for the Oriental Churches (Congregatio pro Ecclesia Orientali).

The creation of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches owes its existence to the special attention of the Roman Pontiffs to the Christian East, and especially to Churches in full union with the Roman See. The Oriental Congregation, as well as all other structures of the Roman Curia, consists of a cardinal-prefect, who administrates it and coordinates and represents it in cooperation with a secretary and his assistant.

The Congregation for the Oriental Churches is engaged in questions of its own competence in relation to every matter which touches the faithful of the Eastern Churches, personally and socially. Thus, for example, the Oriental Congregation from the beginning of its existence has looked after the perfecting of the legislation of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and this work was crowned by the publishing in 1990 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium).

"Cardinal Sandri first visited Ukraine in 2001, when he accompanied Pope John Paul II during his visit to our country. He knows Ukrainians in Argentina (Cardinal Sandri was born in Argentina), but he does not know Ukraine well. Therefore, when he first became Prefect of the Congregation, we invited him to the all-Ukrainian pilgrimage to Zarvanytsya. We understood consequently that for this opportunity it is worthwhile organizing visits to other places so that he could meet with various groups of the Church community. Therefore during the visit, meetings of Cardinal Sandri with seminarians of five of our seminaries in Ukraine, students of the Ukrainian Catholic University, monks and nuns, young people, priests, and bishops will be held." So His Beatitude Lubomyr spoke about the visit of the Prefect of Congregation for the Oriental Churches.;23171/