Cardinal Josyf Slipyj, leader of the Ukranian Catholic Church, and the fifteen Ukranian bishops who are holding synod in Rome in defiance of the Vatican, yesterday (Monday) celebrated Mass in the little Ukranian church of Sts.
Cardinal Josyf Slipyj, leader of the Ukranian Catholic Church, and the fifteen Ukranian bishops who are holding synod in Rome in defiance of the Vatican, yesterday (Monday) celebrated Mass in the little Ukranian church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus in the city centre.
The Ukranian church has been united with Rome for 375 years, but its exiled bishops are concerned at what they feel is the Vatican's neglect of their followers inside the Soviet Union, who have either been absorbed by the Russian Orthodox Church or continue to practise their own rite in secret.
Earlier film of the bishops was serviced yesterday on Visnews Production No. 12896/71.
SYNOPSIS: At the little Ukranian church in the centre of Rome, the defiant bishops of the Ukranian Catholic Church are continuing to hold their independent synod in defiance of the express wishes of the Vatican. The bishops involved in the dispute are the leaders of the exiled Ukranian church scattered around the world.
On Monday, it was confirmed that the Ukranian bishops were holding a synod in spite of an official ban imposed last week by Cardinal Villot, Pope Paul's Secretary of State. As the implications of the move were still being assessed, the Ukranian faithful gathered in the little church to receive a blessing and the sacraments from their leader, Cardinal Josyf Slipyj. The Cardinal, who lives in Rome, is at the centre of the storm, for he and his followers claim he has the right, shared by Patriarchs of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, to call synods and decide church policy.
The 79-year-old cardinal kept silence for eight years after his release from imprisonment in the Soviet Union. But last month, at the World synod of Bishops, he made a dramatic outburst, accusing the Vatican of neglecting his persecuted followers in the Ukraine and sacrificing his church to the needs of Vatican diplomacy. The bishops do not wish to break with Rome, but they have made it clear they wish for self-government within the Catholic Church.