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Ukrainian Catholic Church


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Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church Tetrapod and Altar Photo by Dreena Buyachek


About the Ukrainian Greek Catholic (Greco-Catholic) Church


Catholics are most commonly associated with the Roman Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church though consists of 23 Churches, the largest being Roman Catholic.  Generally speaking, the the word rite is used to indicate the external performance of some act or deed which has been hallowed by continuous use and tradition.  For example, we have parlimentary rites practised in parliament, family rites used at weddings, and coronation rites practised at the coronations of kings and queens.  A Catholic rite defines the religious customs and religious traditions, brought about by cultural, and geographic separations of the Early Catholic Church.  The religious traditions have been attributed to the four centres of the early church, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople and Rome.  Because of geographic separation, these  churches deviated from each other in forms of worship and religious tradition.  From these centres the 5 Eastern Catholic Traditions developed (Alexandrian, Antiochene (West Syrian), East Syrian, Constantinopolitan, and Armenian), and One Western Tradition (Roman).  Each Tradition has its own rites.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is one of 22 Catholic Churches which observe an Eastern rite.  The rite belongs to the Byzantine or Constantinopolitan Tradition.  There are approximately 16 million Eastern Catholics.  Ukrainian Greek Catholics comprise the largest rite within all Eastern Catholics rites,  numbering about 7 million people.

Within the Western Catholic Church (Roman Tradition), the Roman Rite (Latin) is known as the Roman Catholic Church.  It numbers about 980 million followers.  All 23 churches are in communion with Rome, with the Pope as the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.

The Pope of Rome has three distinct roles: 

  • The Pope is the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.
  • The Pope is the Patriarch of the West and leader of the Latin or Roman Church.
  • The Pope is the Bishop of the diocese of Rome.

All Catholic Churches believe the Pope is the successor of St. Peter the Apostle appointed by Jesus Christ to build his church on earth.  All catholic churches share a common doctrine, but differ in how this doctrine is expressed in worship, and religious tradition.

Other links pertaining to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Rite: