Major archbishopric, 1 (Ukrainian); archd., 2 (1 Armenian and 1 Latin rite); dioc., 9; (6 Byzantine rite, 3 Latin); a.a., 1; pat. ex., 1; card., 1 (Ukrainian Major Archbishop Lubachivshky); abp., 2; bp., 19; parishes, 3,126; priests, 2,294 (1,889 dioc., 405 rel.); p.d., 5; sem., 1,392; bros., 293; srs., 910; bap., 27,476; Caths., 5,635,000 (11%); tot. pop., 50,640,000.
(Please scroll down for the list of abbreviations.)
Independent republic bordering on the Black Sea; former USSR republic; capital, Kiev. The baptism of Vladimir and his people in 988 marked the beginning of Christianity in the territory of Kievan Rus, which is included in today's Ukraine. The 1596 union of Brest brought the Ukrainian Byzantine-rite community back to communion with Rome. The Eastern Catholic Church was officially suppressed and underground in the USSR from the late 1940s; all of its bishops were killed or imprisoned and its property seized by the government and given to the Orthodox. Some Catholic priests continued to minister clandestinely under communist rule.
As the Eastern Church regained its legal status under Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, serious tensions arose with the Orthodox over ownership of property and the allegiance of priests and lay people. Latin-rite dioceses were re-established in1991. In the late 1990s, rising inflation and weakening currency, aggravated by the government's and some companies' failure to pay wages, led Ukrainian Church leaders to fight homelessness and hunger.
(The above exert comes from Our Sunday Visitor's 2000 Catholic Almanac and is used on this web site with the publisher's permission.)
Abbreviations (in order in which they appear): arch–archdiocese; dioc.–diocese, ap. ex.–apostolic exarchate; prel.–prelature; abb.–abbacy; v.a. –apostolic vicariate; p.a.–apostolic prefecture; a.a.–apostolic administration; mil. ord.–military ordinate; card. –cardinal; abp.–archbishops; bp.–bishops (diocesan or secular priests; rel. –those belonging to religious orders); p.d. –permanent deacons; sem. –major seminarians, diocesan and religious; bros.–brothers; srs.–sisters; bap.–baptsims; Cath. –Catholic population; tot. pop.–total population; (AD), apostolic delegate (see Index: Papal Representatives).