CfP: Silenced Church The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Between the Soviet Authorities and the Vatican (1944–1978)

Call for papers

Silenced Church. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Between the Soviet Authorities and the Vatican (1944–1978)

International Conference
German Historical Institute Warsaw, 15th – 16th February 2024
Organizers: Miloš Řezník, Viktoriia Serhiienko

After the Second World War the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church found itself in a situation where its leadership had to deal with the Soviet authorities on its own. After the liquidation “councils”, starting with the L’viv Council in 1946 and ending with the Council of Prešov in 1950, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church strived to survive in underground. At the same time, it became a hostage to attempts of establishing a political dialogue between Moscow and the Vatican, as well as to the search for ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church. How all those projects affected the situation in western Ukraine on the ground? How the Vatican policies developed and how those developments influenced the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church?


In addition to the triangle: Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church – the Soviet authorities – the Vatican, our conference aims to reveal and analyze the influence of such actors as the Russian Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian nationalist underground, the Roman Catholic bishops, primarily of those countries where Greek Catholics lived, the Ukrainian diaspora, etc. The main focus is put on Ukraine, but a transregional approach is especially welcome in papers that would examine similar church-state relations in Central and Eastern Europe of that time.

A non-exclusive list of issues that are expected to be in the focus of the discussion can be summarized as follows:

  • the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church as an object and subject of international and domestic politics;
  • common and distinctive features in postwar church-state relations in Central and Eastern Europe;
  • conflict lines, as well as the space for interaction between Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic bishops, priests, and believers;
  • polysemantic meaning of the Orthodox choice for the former Greek Catholics;
  • continuity of local traditions in the face of changing institutional subordination.

The conference will take place at the German Historical Institute Warsaw from 15th to 16th February 2024. We encourage young scholars (doctoral students and postdocs) to apply.

The event will be held in English. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered for participants with accepted contributions. There are no participation fees.

Please send your applications in English (approx. 300 words) together with a short CV to by 31 December 2023, indicating the title of the conference.

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