01-06-2012

Conference Marking 50th Anniversary of Second Vatican Council Held in Lviv

konf2.jpgOn May 31, at the Catholic University in Lviv, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, a three-day international conference was launched. It is attended by approximately 100 scholars and clergymen representing various denominations. They are to discuss the historical, ecumenical, ecclesiological, and theological aspects of the activity of the Council, and its influence on the modern life.

As he opened the forum, Rector of UCU Fr. Borys Gudziak stressed that the conference is aimed primarily to help better understand the Second Vatican Council. He reminded the audience that the council was held at the time of profound social changes when television appeared and air travel became available to ordinary people. However, there was also the iron curtain dividing the two worlds. To Greek Catholics living in Ukraine, the decisions of the council remained actually unknown for a long time.

“Church historians stress that the Ecumenical Council appreciably influenced many generations in the Church. At the same time, in Ukraine, the interpretation and realization of the council still remain of a special importance. For the documents of the council and its spirit were not available for Ukraine,” said the Rector of UCU.

The question of the importance of the council was also addressed by the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine, Thomas Edward Gullickson and Bishop Milan (Shashik) of the Mukachiv Eparchy of the Greek Catholic Church.

The Head of the Roman Catholics of Ukraine, Metropolitan Mieczyslav Mokrzhytski stressed that the fathers of the Second Vatican Council aspired to renew the Church and reorganize it so that it should show its understanding of the development of the world and join that process.

“The Second Vatican Council has not changed the teaching of the Church but developed it,” said the metropolitan.

konf.jpgCardinal Lubomyr Husar greeted all the participants on behalf of the Head of UGCC, Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk. The cardinal called the audience to pay as much attention as possible to the conceptualization of the events connected with the council and to receive them in their hearts.

“In the last 50 years, many things have changed in the world. But I think we have not fully understood the spirit of the blessed Vatican Ecumenical Council. We should benefit spiritually from the fruit of the Holy Spirit Who spoke to the Holy Church. I would like to express my personal wish and that of all of us, the conscious members of our Church, bishops, clergymen, monastics, lay people, receive and really benefit from the God’s grace, the lessons which the Lord gave us through the Council. In other words, we want not only to look back but to live and think about the future,” stressed Cardinal Lubomyr.

The event is organized by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies of UCU (Lviv), Institute of Religion and Society of UCU (Lviv) and Institute of St. Clement the Pope of UCU (Rome).

www.risu.org.ua

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