The Vatican II Decree on the Eastern Catholic Churches – Orientalium ecclesiarum – Fifty Years Later

Organized by the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies

Co-sponsored by:

University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada
17-18 October 2014

On October 17 and 18, the Sheptytsky Institute sponsored an international conference marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Vatican II Decree on the Eastern Catholic Churches. The conference took place at St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. The five plenary speakers were Brian Daley, SJ of Notre Dame University, who spoke on “The Eastern Catholic Churches – A Roman Catholic Perspective Fifty Years after Orientalium ecclesiarum.” This plenary and the other four plenary lectures were all followed by three presentations that took place in smaller sessions simultaneously. A total of fourteen such presentations were made. The smaller sessions were also video recorded whenever they took place in the same hall as the plenary lectures.

The next plenary speaker was the former dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York, Fr. John Erickson. His topic was “The Eastern Catholic Churches – An Orthodox Perspective Fifty Years after Orientalium ecclesiarum.” That evening, Fr. Elias Manon of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) spoke on the history and present work of CNEWA.

The next day began with the First Hour. After this, Melkite Bishop Nicholas Samra of Newton, MA, spoke on “Eastern Catholicism in the Middle East Fifty Years after Orientalium ecclesiarum.” During the afternoon, Professor Thomas Bird of the City University of New York presented a lecture on “Eastern Catholicism in North America Fifty Years after Orientalium ecclesiarum.

Finally, Deacon Roman Zaviyskyy, the dean of theology at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, presented a power point on the present situation of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukraine.

One of the high points of the conference was the Vigil Service (Vespers and Matins) beautifully sung by the parishioners of St. Elias Ukrainian Catholic Church of Brampton, Ontario, where Fr. Roman Galadza is pastor. Trinity College (Anglican) chapel was the site of the very prayerful three-hour service.