Of the approximately 44 million inhabitants of Ukraine, just under 10% are Catholics. The Catholic Church is represented here by two rites: the Roman Catholic and the Greek Catholic. Seventy years of communism have left their mark on society. Corruption, lack of prospects, economic crisis and the war in the east of the country have caused mainly younger and well-educated people to leave the country. The pandemic has exacerbated the hardship. ACN supports the local Church with coronavirus emergency aid, promotes the training of priests and religious and is involved in Catholic media work.
The consequences of the coronavirus crisis could also be felt by the local Church. In 2020, for the first time, dioceses that had previously managed without support submitted petitions to ACN. For example, the Diocese of Kamyanets-Podilskyi.
Here, the religious sisters normally receive remuneration from the parishes for their service as catechists or sacristans. However, as the Sunday services and thus collections were cancelled for months due to the lockdown and the faithful became increasingly impoverished, the bishop could no longer support the religious sisters with necessities for survival.
Due to the pandemic, many dioceses, which until now had managed without support, have also had to ask for help.
ACN stepped in and helped with coronavirus material aid. Other religious congregations were also granted material aid, as they are indispensable to the Church through their apostolate. In addition, religious also provide important services to society on a daily basis by caring for those seeking guidance, the elderly, the sick, people with disabilities and neglected children. Their work gives many people hope again. Despite the pandemic, the number of priestly and religious vocations in Ukraine remains encouragingly high.
Thus, in 2020, ACN again supported training in numerous seminaries and monasteries. In addition, we were again able to support Catholic media work in the reporting year. Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, Catholic media play an important role in the lives of the faithful. But they also reach out to seekers who have had little contact with the faith and the Church.