[Ed. – Everything old is new again. Exactly what we need: more political reasons for Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians to be divided. Why don’t we just reset the calendar to ca. 1620 and be done with it?]
According to Bishop Jacek Pyl, the Vatican does not officially recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and still considers his diocese as part of the Catholic Church in Ukraine.
“Our diocese was partitioned, but canonically nothing has changed,” he said. Pyl was born in Poland, and now serves as the auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Odessa-Simferopol, charged with the pastoral care of Latin-rite Catholics in Crimea.
The bishop said that “the Catholic Church continues to function in this region. The Vatican does not officially recognize the annexation of Crimea,” he said.
Pyl explained that his ordinary bishop, Bronislaw Bernadsky, “has a residence in Odessa.” He further said that as auxiliary bishop, “I live in Crimea from the beginning, and on December 22, 2014, the Holy See appointed me Pastoral Delegate to the District of Crimea and Sevastopol, which, according to the agreement with the Russian government, was established exclusively for administrative purposes.”
“Some believers left Crimea and some new believers came,” he added. “The annexation of Crimea divided some families and brought confusion. The Church tries to overcome these divisions and unite people around Christ.”