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Australian Archbishop accompanying Pope to Ukraine

Adelaide's Coadjutor Archbishop Philip Wilson has been invited to join Pope John Paul's pioneering trip to Ukraine next month.

The pilgrimage has been described as an "ecumenical obstacle course" that will have lasting ecumenical consequences for the church, with the Pope travelling to countries where no modern pontiff has been and where Catholics are a small minority.

Archbishop Wilson, who will arrive in Ukraine on 22 June at the invitation of the Ukraine Bishops Conference, told The Southern Cross that it is a great honour to be part of such a celebration of the gifts that the Ukraine church brought to the global Catholic community.

"I have always believed that the presence of the Ukrainian, the Melchite, Maronite and the other churches within the Catholic Church of Australia is really a great blessing from God for us," Archbishop Wilson said. "They have made a great contribution, and continue to do so, with the different ways of doing the things that unite us."

Archbishop Wilson said at the recent 50th anniversary celebrations of the Ukraine church's arrival in Australia, the Ukranian Cardinal Lubomyr Husar had been "very happy at the presence of so many of the Australian Latin Church bishops in their celebrations".

The Ukraine visit has its own multilingual website

Southern Cross