Episcopal and Archepiscopal Nominations
of Andrei Sheptytsky
Athanasius McVay, OSBM
It seems that Graf Andrei Roman Alexander Sheptytsky was pre-destined to become a new-Moses, the spiritual and moral head of the Ukrainian people. Born into a Polonized Ukrainian noble family, Sheptytsky’s surprise decision to embrace the Ukrainian Rite singled him out as a long-awaited reformer and leader of the Greek Catholic Church in Austrian Galicia. His career was closely followed and enthusiastically promoted by the Vatican, the Austrian Government and Polish notables. Nevertheless, when the opportunity first arose for him to become Archbishop-Metropolitan of Lviv, his nomination became entagled in various political and religious concerns. Rather than being made Metropolitan directly, he first was appointed Bishop of Stanislaviv. Only one and a half years later, upon the death of the encumbent Metropolitan, Sheptytsky finally became head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Thenceforth, he led his People as a good shepherd, sacrificing himself for his sheep. This article, based primarily on the correspondence between Vatican officials and the Apostolic Nuncio to Austria, chronicles the events and the issues leading-up to Sheptytsky’s nomination.
article and documents to follow