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The Head of the UGCC presides consecration of bishop Andriy Khimyak

February 19, 2023, 20:01 145

On February 19, 2023, on Meatfare Sunday, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, presided over the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with the rite of the episcopal consecration of the new Auxiliary Bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy Andriy Khimyak, at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv.

The Head of the UGCC presides consecration of bishop Andriy Khimyak

Bishops Bohdan Dzyurakh, Apostolic Exarch for Ukrainians in Germany and Scandinavia, and Stepan Sus, Curial Bishop of the Kyiv-Halych Major Archbishop, were the co-consecrators.

Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine, also took part in the Liturgy of the ordination of Bishop Andriy Khimyak and wished the newly ordained bishop that the Apostle Andrew would always accompany him. “The Church has consecrated you today as an auxiliary bishop for the Kyiv Archeparchy, so one might think you are called only to help the shepherd and head of this Church. But the name of the Apostle Andrew, which you bear, implies a different truth. Every day, every Christian and, moreover, a bishop is called to follow Jesus boldly and without hesitation, as if we were always the first to open the way for others. It is both the beauty and the difficulty of the Christian vocation and the bishop’s mission.”

Anica Djamic, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Croatia to Ukraine, and Larissa Galadza-Cronin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to Ukraine, also attended the ordination ceremony.

The Head of the Church noted that we are experiencing a joyful and bright moment — we have seen how Christ, our eternal Shepherd, cares for each of us. “He sends us a new bishop for our Church. We know that a bishop has a triple task: to preach God’s word, to bless God’s people, and to lead Christ’s Church. But what does it mean to preach the Gospel of Christ today?

Preaching the Word of God means to convey the one you preach, to acquaint a person of our time with the one who will sit on the throne of his glory one day, with the one who will judge the living and the dead, with the one who is the source of our life, the content of our ministry. Woe to the preacher who does not see the one he preaches about,” said the Head of the Church.

“The second task is to bless God’s people. It means filling everyone with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Today we hear about the special mandate that the new bishop receives in these prayers of the episcopal ordination. He has the task of perfecting the souls entrusted to him,” the archbishop noted.

“Someone thinks,” said the Primate, “that being a bishop means to ascend to the highest level of the church career. And this is a big mistake because a bishop must see God present among God’s people, must see God in the face of the latter, and among all of us, he must be the first to approach the one he sees: the hungry, the poor, the thirsty, the needy. That is why Christ said: ‘Whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all, first in service.’”

The Head of the Church expressed his joy that he had received another assistant who would be able to share with him the complicated pastoral task.

He noted that Ukraine had seen a lot over the past year. “We have seen Russian tanks, death, pain and suffering, blood and tears of our people. But we have also seen that God is with us. Christ is with the least of these, those whose life rights are taken away. We saw Christ being crucified once again in the body of Ukraine. I thank everyone for vividly feeling where Christ is in this military aggression,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

“And today, Bishop Andriy,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav, “joins the ministers with a special mission to show the modern Ukrainian where God is when the enemy is killing us.”

In his speech, the newly ordained bishop expressed his gratitude to His Beatitude Sviatoslav for his trust in him as his assistant and to Bishops Bohdan and Stepan for being his co-consecrators.

The UGCC Department for Information

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