Sixteen Ukrainian Catholic bishops today (Monday) held on independent synod in defiance of Pope Paul.?
Sixteen Ukrainian Catholic bishops today (Monday) held on independent synod in defiance of Pope Paul. They met for three hours behind closed doors at the tiny Ukrainian church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus in Rome.
The meeting followed ceremonies on Sunday to celebrate the 375th anniversary of the Union of the Roman and Ukrainian Churches, and was held in defiance of a warning by the Pope's Secretary of State, Cardinal Villot, that it was illegal.
The Ukrainian bishops-in-exile are reported to be resentful at the Vatican's alleged failure to look after the interests of their six million followers in the Soviet Union.
SYNOPSIS: Sixteen bishops of the Ukrainian church in exile met today in Rome in defiance of Pope Paul. The Pope's Secretary of State, Cardinal Villot, issued a ban after reports that the Ukrainian bishops were planning to hold an independent synod.
But the bishops went ahead with their meeting, thereby staking a claim for self-government within the Roman Church. The Ukrainian church leaders are reportedly attempting to win back rights and powers similar to those held by other Eastern churches in communion with Rome. The sixteen bishops represent the Ukrainian church in exile in all parts of the world. Absent from the deliberations were the four bishops in the Soviet Union on of who is in prison - the other three are known only to their congregations.
Underlying the bishops defiance is a feeling that the Vatican has neglected in interests of their followers in the Soviet Union, paying more attention to the problems of the Russian Orthodox Church. They want their leader, Cardinal Slipyj, to be accorded equal status with the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow.