Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

At the time of, and for three decades after, the Union of Brest, several 'Uniate' churchmen relied heavily on Greek and Slavonic sources for their theology, which, although usually polemical, signalled a flowering of religious thought, dormant during the previous three centuries. As the Church's elites came to be Roman-trained and the Catholic Reformation gained ground, reliance on Eastern sources became far less frequent (a tendency evident in Orthodox institutions as well). During the Hapsburg period theologizing was Scholastic and manualist, centred as it was at state-sponsored universities. The founding of the Greek Catholic Theological Academy in 1928 by Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky, a theologian in his own right, signalled the Church's commitment to finding eastern sources for Catholic doctrine, and - very significantly - to theologizing in greater dialogue with the socio-cultural situation of Greek Catholics. Today, most Ukrainian Catholic theology is thoroughly engaged with Orthodox methods and sources, though the hierarchy has yet to develop a worldwide stance on the filioque, for example. In North America many dioceses omit the addition. The quest for a patriarchate has stimulated reflection on collegiality and the lay movement, especially as the latter has been vocal in support of the cause.

Theologians Lev Krevza (d. 1639) was a noteworthy ecclesiologist of the early period. The two centuries after his death was a theological 'dry spell', in which writing focused on history and liturgical questions. The manualist approach is best represented by the prolific Alexander Bachynsky (d. 1933), who produced textbooks for virtually every field of theology as well as a commentary edition of the Slavonic bible, which for some scriptural books included a Ukrainian translation. Josyf Slipyj (d. 1984), first rector of the Lviv Theological Academy, did systematic theology, combining Scholasticism and Greek sources. His rival, Havryil Kostelnyk (d. 1948), produced a ground-breaking work on the epiclesis (but ended his days in Orthodoxy, as the leader of a Soviet-sponsored group that sought unification with the Moscow Patriarchate). The post-Vatican II generation is represented by: Petro B. T. Bilaniuk (d. 1998) who excelled in historical theology; Myroslaw Tataryn and Sviatoslav Shevchuk, both systematicians; Andriy Chirovsky and Borys Gudziak - ecclesiology and spiritual theology; Andrii Krawchuk and Myroslav Marynovych - ethics and social thought; and Peter Galadza - liturgy. Most of the post-conciliar theology is characterized by an appropriation of Orthodox thought, but with western critical methods and the strong complementarity of Catholic thinking. While most of this work has appeared in the West, the re-emergence of theology in Ukraine will cause this to change.

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