A New Head of the RCC Kharkiv-Zaporizhzhia Diocese consecrated

On February 14, 2020, the episcopal consecration and enthronement of Pavlo Honcharuk took place, following his appointment by Pope Francis on January 6 as the ordinarian bishop of Kharkiv-Zaporizhzhia diocese.  

Bishop Pavlo Honcharuk will preside over the largest diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine, which also includes the occupied territories of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

He will be the fourth ordinarian bishop since the foundation of Kharkiv-Zaporizhzhia Diocese.


In general, the jurisdiction of the diocese extends to the structures of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine in the territories of Kharkiv, Poltava, Sumy, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk regions. The diocese has 7 deans divided according to the administrative boundaries of the oblasts. A fifth of the diocese is covered by war. It is no coincidence that Pope Francis appointed a famous chaplain to the bishop of these territories.  


According to the Catholic magazine Credo, the celebrations took place on the holiday of patron saints of the Kharkiv-Zaporizhzhia Diocese - Saints Cyril and Methodius. The consecration was led by Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti.

 The whole episcoate of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine arrived for the consecration.

 Archbishop Claudio said, addressing the new bishop:

"This is a boundless territory that is entrusted to you. The Pope has drawn attention to you in light of your personal abilities, and especially because of the mercy you have placed on the coat of arms. Given your efficiency, time and effort you put into your work. All the testimony given by everyone who knows you says that you are a great man of labor. And in a diocese like this, if there is no good worker, then nothing can be done. We need a person of good health who can travel and preach a lot. You are a specialist in diocese management because you were an economist.


Your diocese is a "diocese of war." This is an aspect we cannot ignore in Ukraine. And you know directly, from within, the reality of war. You know what a tragic and dramatic experience this is. As long as this war continues, it will deeply mark the state of mind of this diocese. But we know that the day of peace will come ... Peace is an objective reality that has its roots in God. You will be called to enter homes and preach "peace to this house" ... It is important that you be full of peace yourself. And that you may be so persuaded in telling this world that it may rest on the people to whom you will direct the word!”


In his word, the newly ordained ordinarian bishop referred to the slogan of his bishop's coat of arms: “God is love. And I'm not afraid. God has explained to me who He is. He gave me the answer who I was, who I should be, what I was meant for. It was God-Love who told me where to go. Love answered all my questions. I thank Him for having created me and called me to be "in Him and with Him." He is the soul of my soul. It is the greatest value that only exists and cannot be overcome even by death. This is the wealth God has bestowed upon me, and this wealth is He Himself. Many thanks to You, Lord, for this great gift - a life that signifies existence in love. I would like to convey my gratitude to Pope Francis through Archbishop Claudio Gugerorotti for honoring me with higher service.


Biographical information

Pavlo Honcharuk comes from a large Catholic family. Born January 16, 1978, in the village of Kornachivtsi of Khmelnitsky region. In 1995 he entered the Higher Theological Seminary in Horodok. In 2002 he was ordained a priest in Kamianets-Podilskyi. Since then he has served in Kamianets-Podilsky diocese of the RCC. First, he served as vicar of the cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. He was the rector of the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Dunaivtsi for seven years. From December 5, 2003, he headed the Caritas-Spes diocesan branch in Kamianets-Podilsky. In 2010, he obtained a license in canon law, majoring in matrimonial law, from Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. He worked as a judge and defender of the marriage ties in the Episcopal Court. He was also a housekeeper in the Diocese of Kamianets-Podilsky. On January 6, 2020, he was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Kharkiv-Zaporizhzhia . The Episcopal consecration and enthronement took place on February 14, 2020.

Photos courtesy of CREDO


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