Russian Byzantine Catholic Churches
News and Recent Events

Normalization of the Canonical Position of the Catholics of Byzantine Rite in Russia

Omsk, Jan. 31, 2005

According to mass media Nuncio in Moscow archbishop Antonio Menini on meeting of the Conferences of the catholic bishops reported that Pope John Paul II appointed bishop of Latin rite Joseph Werth SJ as Ordinary for the Catholics of Byzantine rite in Russia on 18th of January 2005.


Bishop rite Joseph Werth SJ will lead the Catholics all Byzantine rites in Russia (i.e. Russian (Byzantine Slavonic) and Ukrainian (the rite of UGCC)). The official text of the Papal document until it is published in connection with need its exact translation into Russian.

The normalization of the structures catholic churches of Byzantine rite runs in condition of the action special Code of the canon for oriental catholic churches (CCEO) and the documents of 2nd Vatican Council , which speak on Byzantine communities not as about component of the Roman catholic church, but as about "churches of own right", residing in full communion with Roman church. Besides, all interesting, what theological by term will is interpreted Latin word "ordinarius". It is expected that bishop Joseph Werth SJ will is presented to all priest and religious of Byzantine rite, which serve on territory of the Russia.

Presently in Russia constantly or temporarily live 6 priests, realizing serving in Byzantine Ukrainian rite (3 of them are citizens of Russia) and 6 priests, serving on Byzantine Slavonic rite (one of them on old rituals). All are people to citizens of Russia.

After achievement of the religious liberty in Russia Roman Catholics church have got the temporary church structures in 1991, which 11 years were after transformed in the full-fledged dioceses. The Catholics of the Byzantine rite all this time made the difficult work on legalizations of their own structures.

All priests of Byzantine tradition in Russia have perceived the news about normalizations of the church life through appointment of Bishop Josef Werth SJ, as long hoped-for event, which they drew near their own prayer.

―Fr. Sergey Golovanov

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Last modified on Tuesday March 01, 2005 at 8:52 AM EST