May 27, 2010.
In 2012, Ukranian Catholics will celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Lviv archdiocese and now plans are under way for the pope to be a part of that celebration.
Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzyck of Lviv has announced the Pope’s acceptance of an invitation to visit Ukraine and a concrete date is now being set.
The announcement of the papal visit comes at a time when the Russian nation and the Russian Orthodox Church want to reassert more influence in Ukraine.
The Moscow Patriarchate has frequently complained about Catholic activity in Ukraine, which Moscow regards as the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church.
A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church said the Moscow Patriarchate has not received information about the visit from the Vatican so far.
He also said the Catholic anniversary celebration “is not the best occasion for the pontiff’s visit.”
But he said relations between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Roman Catholic Church have significantly improved.