Biography of Metropolitan Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia


On February 18, 2019, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, appointed Bishop Borys Gudziak Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians and Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the United States, thus approving the recommendation for appointment offered by the Synod of Ukrainians Catholic bishops, who met in September 2018 in Lviv. His enthronement took place on June 4 at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia.

Borys Gudziak was born in 1960 in Syracuse, NY, the son of Ukrainian immigrants. He obtained a degree in philosophy and biology from Syracuse University in 1980 and then studied in Rome, in the circle of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj. He obtained an STB degree in theology from the Pontifical Urban University in 1983, then returned to America to pursue a doctorate in Slavic and Byzantine cultural history at Harvard University, which he successfully defended in 1992.

In 1995 he obtained a license in Eastern Christian Studies from the Pontifical Oriental Institute. He was ordained a priest on November 26, 1998.

In 1992, he moved to Lviv where he founded and directed (1992-2002) the Institute of Church History. In 1993 he was appointed chairman of the Commission for the Renewal of the Theological Academy of Lviv. From 1995 to 2000 he was vice-rector of the Lviv Theological Academy, then as rector from 2000 to 2002. In that year, Father Gudziak became rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University (founded on the basis of the Academy), and in 2013 its president.

In 2012, Father Gudziak was appointed Bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Bishop Borys is also a member of the Permanent Synod of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and head of the Department for External Relations of the Church.

In 2016, with the help of American consultants experienced in church administration as well as business, Bishop Borys initiated a strategic pastoral planning program to create an eparchial vision for his future activity and growth, increased le number of priests and parishes, established a new financial model for the sustainability of the eparchy and largely engaged the laity.

During the 2013-2014 Maidan Movement for Human Dignity, Bishop Borys was an active supporter and regularly appeared on major global TV channels and media providing expert commentary.

Bishop Borys has received numerous awards and distinctions. In 2015, he became Cavalier of the Order of the Legion of Honor (Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor), the highest decoration in France. In 2016, he received the Jan Nowak-Jeziorański Prize in Wroclaw, Poland, in recognition of his work in shaping civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2018, he received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Syracuse University, and a literary award from the Ukrainian section of PEN International.

He travels around the world with lectures and lectures on theology, history, spirituality, education, society and current challenges in Ukraine. He speaks English, Ukrainian, Italian, Polish, French, Russian and German.

Bishop Gudziak is the author of a number of scholarly works, including a doctoral thesis on the history of the Church in the sixteenth century, published under the title “Crisis and Reform: The Kyivan Metropolitanate, the Patriarcat of Constantinople, and the Genesis of the Union of Brest ”(Cambridge, Mass .: Harvard University Press, 1998), as well as numerous articles in European and North American academic journals. He has also written articles in popular magazines, newspapers, commentaries on political, cultural and religious affairs, position papers on university programs and educational reform, and introductions to scholarly and spiritual publications. . Bishop Borys is one of the authors of A Pope Francis Lexicon, edited by Cindy Wooden and Joshua J McElwee (Collegeville, Minn .: Liturgical Press, 2017) and of a collection of essays on the future of the Europe.

He continues to be an active member of the Ukrainian Scout Organization Plast and the head of its supervisory board. He is an honorary citizen of Lviv.

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