Professors of UCU’s Department of Church History took part in an international conference on the theme “The Greek-Catholic Church in Slovakia in the Light of the Jubilee.” The event happened on February 16, organized by the Greek-Catholic Theology Faculty of the University of Presov. Also participating in the conference were scholars and professors from Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. The scholarly event was ceremonially opened by Metropolitan Jan Babjak of Presov, the Rector of the University of Presov, and Fr. Peter Sturak, PhD, Dean of the Faculty.
UCU’s representatives spoke on the following themes:
- “The witness of the martyrs and confessors of the faith of the 20th century – The source of life of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church” (UCU’s Vice-Rector for Program Development and the Director of the Department of Church History Oleh Turiy)
- “The liquidation of the Greek-Catholic Metropolitanate of Halych in the context of Joseph Stalin’s ‘holy war’” (Assistant Professor Svitlana Hurkina)
- “Persecution of the Greek-Catholic clergy in the Lviv Archeparchy during the first Bolshevik occupation (1939-1941)” (Senior lecturer Fr. Taras Bublyk)
Oleh Turiy in his report emphasized the historical and theological dimensions of the witness of the UGCC martyrs of the 20th century. In his talk the vice-rector underlined the importance of seeing the life and activities of priests, religious communities, and the laity through the prism of three virtues: FAITH, HOPE, LOVE.
In her presentation Svitlana Hurkina with more detail presented to the participants of the conference the process of the liquidation of the UGCC in the 1940s against the background of Stalin’s ‘holy war.”
During his report Fr. Taras Bublyk analyzed the issues of the resistance and adaptation of Greek-Catholic priests in the conditions of the atheist communist regime.
It is worth noting that UCU and the Greek-Catholic Theology Faculty of the University of Presov have worked in close scholarly cooperation for many years now. On this occasion at the initiative of UCU’s Institute of Church History the banner-exhibit “The Greek-Catholic Churches of Central-Eastern Europe” was given as a present. The exhibit is dedicated to the fate of Greek-Catholics after World War II under the communist totalitarian regimes in Ukraine (Halychyna and Transcarpathia), Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Romania.