11. Return to Kyiv 2005

Having revived in western Ukraine, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church implemented a series of reforms concerning the territorial division of eparchies, expanded the jurisdiction of the Major Archbishop and the Synod of Bishops to the entire territory of Ukraine, except Transcarpathia, where the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has an autonomous status.

In 2004, His Beatitude Lubomyr (Husar), who was the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church at that time, with the approval of the Synod of Bishops and with the blessing of the Pope, made the decision to return the See of the Major Archbishop of the Church from Lviv to Kyiv. The official date of return was the 21 st of August 2005. As of this day, the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church holds the title of Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych.

Since that time, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has activated its ministry throughout the entire territory of Ukraine. In the course of the recent reorganization of the Church at the end of 2011, three new Metropolitan provinces were established in the country. All of them are located in the western part of the country and include three Galician and two additional adjacent oblasts.

Lubomyr Husar described the return to the See of the Head of the Church to Kyiv and the construction of the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ on the banks of the Dnieper River as the symbol of “our internal unity.”

“The history of our Church,” His Beatitude told the media, “has 1025 years since the Christianization of Kyivan Rus’. In 1596, a part of the Church joined the Union of Brest. We have always maintained contacts with both the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Apostolic Capital. On the one hand, it was a blessing for us, and on the other — has led to the schism of the Orthodox Church. Since that time, both our Churches have developed independently throughout Ukraine. After the partition of Poland the lands east of the Zbruch River ended up in the hands of the Russian Empire, which sought to eliminate our Church. This led to the transfer of the See of the Metropolitan of that time from Kyiv to Lviv (1806), the territory of the Habsburg monarchy, where we were free to develop. The transfer of the See of the Head of the UGCC from Lviv back to Kyiv in 2005 marked the return to the state that existed before separation. The Greek Catholic Church is not a Western, but an all-Ukrainian reality.”

The UGCC is a part of the Universal Church with the status of a self-governed Major-Archepiscopal Church. Its head, the Major Archbishop, is in communion with the Holy Apostolic See of Rome. It is the largest among the 22 self-governed Eastern Catholic Churches.