(Sokal, Lviv) Fr. Petro Loza was consecrated as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Eparchy of Sokal-Zhovkva Diocese, in Sokal, Lviv on 12th July 2018. The Bishop’s consecration took place during a pontifical liturgy, on the feast day of the Cathedral of the Holy and Supreme Apostles Peter and Paul. The chief celebrant who consecrated Fr. Petro, was patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (further UGCC), the two other Bishops who participated, were Bishop Ihor (Vozniak), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Lviv and Bishop Mykhaylo (Koltun) the Eparch of Sokal-Zhovkva
In his sermon, the head of the UGCC pointed out that before our very eyes Christ Himself has chosen, called and now appointed another one of His servants as a pastor for the Ukrainian nation. Today we witnessed the Bishop’s ordination of our confrere, Bishop Petro.
Who is a bishop? He is an heir to the apostles. “Today we received a new heir to the apostles, who will carry the Word of God into this world, who has been entrusted in a very special way with the preaching of the Gospel, and teach people the path to salvation,” – said Sviatoslav, head of the UGCC.
In addition to the role of a teacher, a bishop should sanctify God’s people, according to his beatitude. By this, he means that the bishop should pass on the fullness of the Holy Spirit, who came down on him on this day, to all of God’s people, to administer the Holy Sacraments, ordain new priests, build the Kingdom of God here on earth, which Christ Himself said is already among us.
The newly ordained bishop also obtained his Bishop’s Crosier – the symbol of his special pastoral ministry, the type of service referred to as administrating, i.e. to lead all to God, to eternal life, especially to those souls which the Lord God has entrusted to him.
The faithful also witnessed one more symbolic gesture – the rite of brotherly communion, which was given to the newly ordained bishop. After he received his consecration, all the bishops present opened their arms to embrace him, each repeating “peace to you my brother and fellow minister”
“We have brought him into the college of the heirs to the apostles, we have recognized him as one of us. It is very important that there are also bishops of the Latin Rite among us. Today bishop Petro has entered into communion with all the heirs of the apostles in the worldwide church, all who are in union with the heir to the apostle Petro of our time. Today we have all seen an icon of the worldwide church”- added the head of our church.
He had a special greeting for bishop Mykhaylo (Koltun), the Eparch of Sokal-Zhovkva. “Today you received another worker for preaching the Word of God.”
The head of our church also congratulated bishop Petro on this day: “I thank Our Lord and God, that on behalf of the Holy Father and our Synod I was the first to open my arms to you in communion. I remember how your heart shuddered when you heard about the call to this apostolic ministry. How hard it was for you to accept this decision. However, you opened yourself up to God’s call with faith! We know, that from this day onward your life will change. But be assured, he who leans on the rock which is Petro, will never be shaken.”
Many bishops of both the UGCC and RCC together with a big number of priests, religious and the faithful from Ukraine took part in the pontifical liturgy and ordination of the new bishop,
Department of information of UGCC
Translation: Fr. Taras Kchik, CSsR.