The Slavic Pope Visits the Eastern Slavs
Since the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991 and the return of religious liberty after the collapse of the Soviet Union , Pope John Paul II has been constant in his support for Ukrainian Greek Catholics and in his efforts to improve relations with the Orthodox Christians in Ukraine. His pastoral visit in June 2001 will have unity as one of its principal aims.
But relations with the Holy See are not just a post-soviet phenomenon for Ukraine. In fact, Ukrainian relations with the papacy date back to the early years of Christianity.