The Theology and Liturgical Work of Andrei Sheptytsky (1865-1944)

Peter Galadza (Author)


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by Peter Galadza (Author)

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Sources of Sheptytsky’s Theology, 77-80
Chapter 2 The Characteristics of Sheptytsky’s Theology, 119-120

Metropolitan Archbishop Andrei Sheptytsky is arguably the most important Ukrainian churchman in modern history. His efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust, for example, have become legendary. This is the first comprehensive study of the sources and characteristics of his theology, as well, as the first full account of his liturgical initiatives.

As primate of the Greco-Catholic Church in Galicia (1901 – 1944), Sheptytsky undertook a revision of liturgical books, and published several pastorals on worship. The guiding principle of these initiatives was “unionism,” the desire to attract Eastern Orthodox to union with Rome. Sheptytsky’s theology, however remained markedly Tridentine and scholastic. Thus it was an inadequate foundation for his efforts to “re-Byzantinize” his Church’s worship.

Sheptytsky’s liturgical reforms were also plagued by ethno-national struggles. Galicia’s shifting borders caused liturgical practices to become emblems of allegiance to conflicting Russian, Austrian, Polish, and Ukrainian interests. Some of Sheptytsky’s fellow churchmen denounced his Easternizing efforts as attempts to Russify their Church, or otherwise distance it from Rome.

In 1938, once the Vatican had become convinced that his liturgical work was grounded in unionistic motives, it took over Sheptytsky’s liturgical program as part of its own campaign to “win back” the Orthodox this resulted in the Recensio ruthena, a set of liturgical books which remain authoritative for Ukrainian Ruthenian and Slovak Byzantine Catholics to the present day.

Co-published with Pontificio Instituto Orientale. Volume 272 of their on-going series Orientalia Christiana Analecta.


  1. Ihor Vasylyshyn review in Ostkirchliche Studien 61 (2012) 1-2 (German)

Language: English
Softcover: 524 pages
Publisher: Pontificio Instituto Orientale and The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies (December 2004)
ISBN: 1-895937-13-2

Purchase this title for a discount with the Sheptytsky Scholar Bundle.

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Page Count

524 pages