Too foreign for the 'russkii mir' : Ukrainian Catholics targeted by Russian aggression

2023 Bohdan Bociurkiw Memorial Lecture

Friday, 24 March 2023, 12 p.m. MT

Online only


Russia's war against Ukraine has affected Ukrainian society in its entirety, Ukrainian Greek and Roman Catholics being no exception. Both churches have mobilized all their efforts to overcome the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and to provide various assistance to the military. Russia regards them as foreign bodies on the territory of the russkii mir, agents of the "global West." Therefore, their existence is under the same threat of elimination as anything else related to Ukrainian identity as such. Ukrainian Catholics, however, face other unique challenges. The Holy See's position on Russia's war against Ukraine, and relations between Rome and Moscow, have provoked a heated debate in Ukrainian society and within both churches. This lecture will analyze the threats and consequences of the war for the Catholic community in Ukraine. 

Anatolii Babynskyi completed his doctorate in theology at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv (UCU) in 2020 and is currently a lecturer and researcher at its Institute of Church History. Previously he spent two years in Toronto as a research fellow at the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies. He is the author of The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church: A Short History (2022) and co-author, with Vadym Adadurov and Oleksandr Zaitsev, of a forthcoming book on the image of Andrey Sheptytsky in Ukrainian diaspora historiography and journalism.

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