The Religious Information Service of Ukraine has posted some commentary
from Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv and Patriarch of the
Ukrainian Catholic Church, about newly elected Pope Francis:
I would first like to say that the newly elected Pope Francis was
mentored by one of our priests, Stepan Chmil who is now buried in the
basilica of St. Sophia in Rome. Today’s Pope, during his time as a
student of the Salesian school, awoke many hours before his classmates
to concelebrate at our Divine Liturgy with Fr. Stepan. He knows our
Tradition very well, as well as our Liturgy.
The last time I had an opportunity to see him was as I was preparing
to leave Argentina for Ukraine. I asked him to bear witness to the
process of beatifying Fr. Stepan Chmil, to which, he gladly agreed. The
Holy Father very well knows not only of our Church, but also our
liturgy, our rites, and our spirituality.
Apart from this, Pope Francis, as archbishop of Buenos Aires, was
assigned as ordinary for Eastern Catholics, specifically those who at
the time did not have members of their own hierarchy. Our Eparchy in
Argentina is, let’s say, suffragan to the Archbishop’s seat of Buenos
Aires. In this way, Cardinal Bergoglio, always took care of our Church
in Argentina; and as a young bishop, I took my first steps in episcopal
ministry under his watchful eyes and help. Because of this, I am
positive that the Holy Father will be a great help to our Church, and I
expect that great things await our Church with this Pope.
He observes what many others have as well, that Pope Francis is "an
incredibly modest person" who as an archbishop and cardinal lived a
simple lifestyle and dresses in simple clothing, visted the poor, and
spent time in "the most impoverished
As a Jesuit, Pope Francis is an incredibly deep intellectual. I can
attest to the fact that his homilies are quite short, sometimes no
longer than five or six sentences, but he manages to fill them with
such deep meaning, always leaving the faithful in silent contemplation
upwards of five-to-seven minutes".
Read the entire piece on the RISU website. The first line of the Vatican bio for Pope Francis states, "Cardinal
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina,
Ordinary for Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina who lack an Ordinary of
their own rite, was born on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires."