VATICAN CITY (RNS) — When 12 Greek Catholic bishops from Ukraine met with the Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday (Sept. 10), the retired pontiff invited them to be a force for unity in today’s “increasingly fractured and divided world.”

Benedict, and other Vatican leaders, had a particular part of the world in mind. 

Located on the fault line between East and West, Ukraine is the epicenter of tensions that have not spared the region’s Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches. 

But, strengthened by the ties forged in Rome in the past week, in which 47 bishops of the largest Eastern Catholic church met in Rome, including 10 from the U.S. and Canada, Ukraine’s Greek Catholics are poised to become the Vatican’s voice in Eastern Europe.

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