Ukraine's Eastern Bishops Discuss Cooperation With Polish Church

LVIV, Ukraine — Ukraine's Eastern Catholic bishops met in late July to discuss cooperation with the Church in Poland.

The bishops agreed to promote historical examples of positive coexistence between Ukrainians and Poles and to promote joint religious and cultural exchanges among Polish and Ukrainian youth. The bishops also said the Church should provide university and seminary courses to promote a better mutual understanding of Eastern and Western Church traditions.

The territory around the Ukrainian-Polish border has shifted several times throughout history. Many ethnic Ukrainians live in Poland, and the Archdiocese of Przemysl-Warsaw was set up for those Ukrainians of the Eastern rite. Many ethnic Poles live in Ukraine and make up the largest portion of the Latin-rite Church there. One of Lviv's two archbishops, Cardinal Marian Jaworski, is Polish.

At the synod, which took place July 29-30 in Sambir, the bishops also agreed to participate in the government-sponsored commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet-imposed famine in Ukraine. They said they would write European bishops and Ukrainian bishops in other countries asking them to inform their faithful about the 1932-33 famine, in which a quarter of Ukraine's rural population perished.

The bishops will meet again in November.