Pope Benedict to visit Ukraine in 2012..

Pope Benedict XVI will visit Ukraine in 2012 on the occasion of the celebration of 600 years since the Episcopal capital of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lviv was moved from Halych to Lviv.
"The Holy See has accepted the invitation for Pope Benedict XVI to visit Ukraine in 2012, the specific date is now being decided," archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki told the 35th conference of Roman Catholic bishops of Ukraine.  The former Pope, John Paul II, visited Ukraine in June 2001. It was the first papal visit since the country gained independence. 

Under the Soviets, the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine was the largest illegal religious body in the world, and one of the most persecuted. The legendary Ukrainian Cardinal Josef Slipyi, who spent two decades in the gulags, once said that his church had been buried under "mountains of corpses and rivers of blood." During his 2001 visit to Ukraine, John Paul II beatified 27 Greek Catholic martyrs under the Soviets

Given that history, the church's recovery in the short span of time since the Soviet Union imploded has been nothing short of miraculous. In 1939, the Greek Catholics boasted 2,500 priests; by 1989, the number had fallen to just 300. Today it's back up to 2,500, with 800 seminarians in the pipeline. Greek Catholics played key roles in the "Orange Revolution" of 2004/05, which for a brief, shining moment, promised to bring democracy and the rule of law to Ukraine.

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