The small church of the Byzantine rite, unified with Rome, has met for its first synod in a century. It wants its own bishop and resources for priestly education.
Bergamo (kath.net/jg) The Russian Greek Catholic Church accuses Pope Francis not to taking their concerns into account so as not to jeopardize the approach to the Russian Orthodox Church. This has been reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The leadership of the church, which is unified with Rome, wishes for its own bishop and resources for priestly formation. Currently, the Russian Greek Catholic Church is headed by Joseph Werth SJ, the Latin diocesan bishop of Novosibirsk.
"The survival of the Russian Greek Catholic Church is at stake," says Lawrence Cross, one of her priests, who lives in Melbourne, Australia. The head of the Russian Greek Catholic Church is meeting for the first synod for a century in Bergamo (Italy).
The relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church is strained. The Moscow Patriarchate tolerates the Greek Catholic clergy in Russia. However, a bishop of the Greek Catholic Church in Russia is unacceptable to the Orthodox, says Ronald Roberson, an adviser to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the United States. [But Orthodox Bishops in Italy are acceptable?]
With fewer than 30,000 members, the Russian Greek Catholic Church is one of the smallest churches in Rome. Most of them live outside Russia. There are communities in Western Europe, the USA, South America and Australia.