John Paul II, Eastern Europe and the Church in the East

On the 19th anniversary of the papal pilgrimage to Ukraine

What was John Paul II’s programme toward the Church in the Soviet Union? What inspired him, and whom did he work with? How did the KGB respond to his activities? These are some of the questions we want to pose during the online debate organised by the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding (CPRDiP). On the 100th anniversary of John Paul II’s birth and the 19th anniversary of his pilgrimage to Ukraine, we particularly want to discuss the Ukrainian aspects of the Polish pope’s pontificate.

Guests of the CPRDiP debate will be Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki, metropolitan of Lviv, who served as John Paul II’s secretary in 1996-2007; Myroslav Marynovych, a Ukrainian dissident, vice rector of Ukrainian Catholic University and honorary president of the Ukrainian PEN Club; and Andrzej Grajewski, an outstanding researcher on the history of the Catholic Church, deputy editor in chief of Gość Niedzielny (Sunday Guest) for many years, and a member of the CPRDiP Council since 2011.


Maria Przełomiec is a journalist, a former correspondent of the BBC Polish section who’s now with the Polish Television. She specialises in subjects related to the former USSR. Since 2007 she has presented the TVP Info programme Studio Wschód (Studio East).

Andrzej Grajewski, PhD, is a political scientist and a Catholic journalist; in 1999-2006 a member of the Council of the Institute of National Remembrance. Since 1998 he has been deputy editor in chief of Gość Niedzielny.

Myroslav Marynovych is a professor, vice-rector for mission of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv and president of the university’s Institute of Religion and Society. He organises and participates in numerous ecumenical meetings and meetings in the field of interfaith dialogue.

Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki is a Polish Roman Catholic clergyman, papal secretary in 1996-2007, coadjutor archbishop of Lviv in 2007-2008, archbishop metropolitan of Lviv since 2008, chairman of the Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops of Ukraine in 2008-2018 and deputy chair since 2018.

DATE: Wednesday, 24 June, 2020, 5 pm
LOCATION: CPRDiP YouTube and Facebook pages

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