Catholic Church and Associations in Ukraine

by Marharyta Chycherska

Today, in the conditions of building a democratic and rule-of-law state in Ukraine, the
formation of national consciousness, the revival of national spirituality, and the affirmation of
the priority of universal human values in Ukrainian society, significant importance is given to
the religious factor. Overall, it can be predicted that, especially during the Russian
Federation’s war against Ukraine, there will be a further enduring influence of religious
factors on the social development of Ukraine. At the same time, the multifaceted and
contradictory nature of religious influences on socio-political life requires active state policy
in this area. [1].
The nature of state-church relations is one of the main indicators of the level of development
of both the state and a particular denomination, as they are directly related to the
implementation of the principle of freedom of conscience as one of the main components of
the fundamental rights and freedoms of man. [1], с. 500–502].
On October 1, 2020, a department for religious affairs was created within the Secretariat of
the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, which is responsible for considering at the government
level all issues related to the activities of existing religious organizations in the state. [2].
Thanks to the active and conscious activity of the Ukrainian people in the field of religion,
basic values of freedom of conscience and democratic principles of ideological pluralism
have been established in state policy in the field of religion, and there is a multi-confessional
religious environment. This contributes to the constant quantitative growth and qualitative
functioning of religious organizations of different denominations, including the Catholic faith,
and the holding of ecumenical dialogue between churches. In 2021, the AUCS “Obnova”
held an ecumenical meeting in Chernivtsi, where they discussed the topic “What is Choice
for a Christian”. Thanks to such meetings, we have the opportunity to get to know each other
better, which helps us to live in peace and prosperity.
Catholic organizations in Ukraine are engaged in various types of activities aimed at
supporting and developing the Catholic community in Ukraine.
Realizing the necessity and importance of dialogue between churches in Ukraine,
establishing good relationships and cooperation in spreading universal human values,
reviving spirituality, and striving for the establishment of partnership between the state and
the church to solve social problems, discussing and resolving current issues in the religious
sphere, Ukrainian Catholic churches in cooperation with Christian churches and religious
organizations of other denominations play an extremely important role in the processes of
consolidating Ukrainian society.[3].
The Association of Ukrainian Catholic Students “Obnova” was founded by the titans of the
Greek-Catholic Church – Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi and Patriarch Yosif Slipiy in 1930
in Lviv.
In the time of the Soviet occupation, Obnova hadn`t chance to exist in Ukraine and that why
it was forced to suspend its activities. Nevertheless, our branches was developed in different
countries: USA, Spain, Canada, Germany. And it helped to preserve Ukrainian culture and
In 1992, our emigrants went back to Ukraine and they resumed the activities in Lviv.
Currently, there are 5 active centers in Ukraine: Lviv, Chernivtsi, Ternopil, Kyiv and one in
Poland (Lublin) together we have 125 active members and around 100 seniors, not actively
These centers form the Federation.

From March 10th to 12th, 2023, the international conference SEFAP 2023 took place in
Trento, Italy, organized by FUCI. The theme of the conference was “Migrants and Migration,”
where current problems were discussed in the conditions of war in Ukraine, migration, and
the economic benefits of migration by Leoluca Orlando, protest against integration and
assimilation, among others. The issue of racism was also discussed, with Leoluca Orlando
stating, “I am a racist because there is only one race – the human race.”
Additionally, the theme of a healthy society was addressed, focusing on three main aspects:
equality (“Protection of common values” (traditional values)), freedom (“Freedom is not
mutual without mutual love”), and the importance of peace (“Building a future democratic
society with the foundations of solidarity and friendship with all other people and countries”),
with Michele Nicoletti (President of FUCI Foundation) emphasizing these points.

1. Bezruk, O. O., Blikhar, V. S., Herasina, L. M., et al. (2019). Polityko-pravova mental- nist
ukrainskoho sotsiumu v umovakh yevropeiskoi intehratsii [Political and Legal Mentality of
Ukrainian Society in Terms of European Integration. Trebin, M. P. (Ed.). Kharkiv: Pravo [in