September 2, 2013

The Ukrainian Catholic Church dedicated its new cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine, a move some hope will help the Church to be designated a patriarchate.

More than 20,000 people attended the dedication of Resurrection Cathedral, the main event in the anniversary of the 988 baptism of Grand Prince Vladimir, who declared Christianity the official religion in Kievan Rus, lands now making up parts of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

In his Aug. 18 dedication Mass homily, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, major archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, said the cathedral was a sign of the Byzantine church's "unity and catholicity" and would foster closer ties "in the spiritual desert of the modern world," said Shevchuk.

Father Ihor Yatsiv, spokesman for the Ukrainian Catholic Church, said the new cathedral would be the "centre of unity" for Byzantine Catholics.