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Request of the delegates and guests of the 9th World Congress of Rusyns for recognition of the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Church sui iuris in Slovakia and the appointment of its Rusyn bishop

Programme of the 9th World Congress of Rusyns and the 3rd World Forum of Rusyn Youth

Rusyn matters shal advance

Declaration of delegates of the 8th World Congress of Rusyns held on June 25th, 2005 in Krynica

Rusyn Symbols


Original Rusyn flag available for purchase


The World Congress of Rusyns has made a hundred original flags representing Rusyns in the whole world. The flag is, at the same time, a symbol of this international organisation; therefore, its name is placed in the bottom left corner (authenticity mark) in gold. The flag is made from high-quality non-crease water-resistant material and its layout was approved at the 9th World Congress of Rusyns, which took place in Romania in 2007. The flag can be ordered and purchased from: Svetový kongres Rusínov, Duchnovičovo nám. 1, 081 48 Prešov, Slovakia for 75 $ or 60 €. Take the opportunity and purchase a flag from this limited series.


Sighetu Marmaţiei, June 23rd, 2007                                             

His Holiness

Pope Benedikt XVI




Request of the delegates and guests

of the 9th World Congress of Rusyns

for recognition of the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Church

sui iuris in Slovakia and the appointment of its Rusyn bishop


Your Holiness,

We, the undersigned members of the World Council of Rusyns, being representatives of Rusyn cultural organisations in ten countries around the world associated in the World Congress of Rusyns, met on June 22nd – 23rd, 2007 at the 9th Congress in the town of Sighetu Marmaţiei in Romania. First of all, we would like to greet You, Your Holiness, and send You some heart-felt prayers from Rusyn Greek-Catholics, by which, to almighty God, we pray for You, representative of Jesus Christ on Earth, health and God’s grace in abundance.


At the World Congress meeting, problems of Rusyns around the world were discussed, especially their cultural-national development and recognition of their nationality rights in each country, where they live in high numbers. Among the discussed matters was the situation of Rusyn Greek-Catholics in Slovakia, who encounter injustice in non-recognition of their rights to use their mother tongue, Rusyn, in liturgical ceremonies, the right to post Rusyn priests in parishes with Rusyn congregations and the right to educate Rusyn theologians to preach among Rusyn believers in the Rusyn language. Rusyn priests addressed Your predecessor Holy Father John Paul II in 1997 and later in 2003 with an official request for recognition of the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Church sui iuris in Slovakia, as well as with a request to appoint a Rusyn bishop for this Church. However, the submitted matter has remained unresolved to this day. Rusyns realise the difficulties in resolving their request, but they find it just and fair according to secular and church laws.

That is why we address You, Holy Father, with trust and hope and we believe that our pleas will be heard. Our hope at this time is strengthened by Your increased interest in events within the Catholic Church in Slovakia, about which You were informed at the recent visit of bishops from Slovakia to the Vatican, as well as about the effort to create new bishoprics here. Although in 1968 Annuario Pontifico, the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Church sui iuris was changed to Slovak, the original Rusyn Church sui iuris did not cease to exist. On the contrary, this Church wishes to keep its identity and develop the religious and cultural heritage of its ancestors. It is also proven by the fact that, at the latest census of residents in Slovakia in 2001, 35 thousand Greek-Catholics designated Rusyn their mother tongue.


Your Holiness, on behalf of Rusyn Greek-Catholics, loyal messengers of Cyril and Method and most holy tradition of the Eastern Slavonic Church ceremonies, which link Greek-Catholic  Rusyns not only in Slovakia, but also in Ukraine, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the USA, Canada, and elsewhere in the world, delegates of which represented their brothers and sisters also at the 9th World Congress of Rusyns in Romania, we ask You, who are at the position of the Holiest Office of Roman Pontifex Maxima, to hear the voice of Greek-Catholic Rusyns in Slovakia and renew the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Church in Slovakia. For this deed, You will be sincerely thanked and Your decision will be beatified not only by the contemporary Rusyn Greek-Catholic congregation, but also their successors.


Praise be to Jesus Christ! (Slava Isusu Christu!)


With reverence,

members of the World Council of Rusyns

as the executive body of the World Congress of Rusyns:






Chairman Paul Robert Magocsi (North America)

Vice-Chairman Djura Papuga (Serbia) 

Members of World Council of Rusyns:

Mychail Almašij (Ukraine)

Marianna Ljavinyec (Hungary)

Gheorghe Firczak (Romania)

Agáta Pilátová (Czech Republic)

Vladimír Protivňák (Slovakia)

Andrzej Kopcza (Poland)

Natalija Hnatko (Croatia)

Deputy of the World Council of Rusyns Alexander Zozuľák (Slovakia)




of the 9th World Congress of Rusyns

and the 3rd World Forum of Rusyn Youth


Place: Sighetu Marmaţiei (Romania)

Date: 21st – 24th June, 2007 (Thursday – Sunday)


The building of the Lyceum of Arts in Sighetu Marmatiei (Romania), where, on June 22nd - 23rd, 2007, a plenary meeting of the 9th World Congress of Rusyns will take place.


Organisational committee from Romania: Gheoghe Firczak (Chairman of the Cultural Association of Rusyns of Romania), Francinc Oscar Gal (Deputy of the Association), Father Vasile Boicsuc (Senior Deputy of the Association), Vioriorica Boicsuc, Ioan Petreţcki, Maria Ciornei, Ana Baneanski, Ludvic Sabol, Dumitru Bejenaru, Iulius Firczak


21st June, 2007 (Thursday):

After 12.00 Romanian time, (11.00 Central-European time, the programme follows Romanian time) arrival of the participants at the Coroana hotel (Sighetu Marmaţiei, Piaţa Liberăţii, nr. 21), registration, check in.

Individual delegations will be looked after by the following people:

Czech Republic V. Boicsuc, Croatia – L. Sabol, Hungary F. Gal, Poland M. Petreţki, North America I. Petreţki, Slovakia o. V. Boicsuc, Serbia A. Baneanski, World Council of Rusyns G. Firczak, Ukraine M. Ciornei.

15.00 – 16.00 the participants of the congress and guests from Ukraine in particular will be welcomed by the attending members of the World Council of Rusyns (WCoR), at the Solotvino crossing, near Sighetu Marmaţiei.

17.00 – 18.30 – Exhibition Opening showing photographs of the activities of particular member organisations of the World Congress of Rusyns (WCR) in the foyer of the Coroana hotel and a ceremonial presentation of the Rusyn and Romanian version of “The People from Nowhere” (Народ нивыдкы; Popor de niciunde), a book by Paul Robert Magocsi, as well as the latest book by Mária Maľcovs – “The Green Mirage” (Zelená fatamorgána). In the cultural programme, Javorina, a group from Snina (Slovakia) will give a performance.

18.30 – 22.00 dinner at the Coroana hotel

20.00 – 22.00 meeting of WCoR in the Villy Royal restaurant, where the members of WCoR will be staying


22nd June, 2007 (Friday):

6.45 – 7.45 ecumenical liturgy for the congress participants

8.00 – 9.00 breakfast at the Coroana hotel

10.00 – 13.00 plenary meeting of the 9th WCR in the concert hall of the local Lyceum of Arts

10.00 – 10.30 – 1st part all participants will be welcomed by Gheoghe Firczak, the host of the congress meeting, who will lead this part of the plenary meeting. Speeches by the official guests will be given.

10.30 – 11.00 – 2nd part election of the mandate, proposal and electoral committees and the leaders of the following sections: (1) culture and history, (2) literature and journalism, (3) confessional, (4) education, (5) economy and environment. This part will be lead by Alexander Zozuľák, Deputy of WCoR.

11.00 – 11.30 – 3rd part voting on accepting the Association of Rusyn Organisations of Hungary, Slovak Association of Rusyn Organisations and the Rusyn Revival in Slovakia as full members of WCR. Approving of the Rusyn flag and national anthem. This part will be lead by P. R. Magocsi, Chairman of WCoR.

11.30 – 13.30 – 4th part the leaders of individual delegations from the WCR member countries (in alphabetical order) will give 10-minute reports; at the end, a 20-minute speech by Paul Robert Magocsi, Chairman of WCoR, will be given. This and the following parts will be lead by A. Zozuľák, Deputy of WCoR.

13.30 – 14.30 – 5th part discussion in which delegates and guests representing individual member countries of WCR, who registered in advance, will give their speeches. 12 participants of the congress can each give a 5-minute speech.

14.45 – 16.00 lunch at the Coroana hotel

15.30 – 21.00 eight 11-member groups of delegates from the individual WCR and World Forum of Rusyn Youth (WFRY) member countries, accompanied by members of the host organisation, will visit 4 Rusyn villages in the Maramoroš area (Bystryj – 40 km away from Sighetu, Kručuniv 15 km, Vyšňa Rivna 30 km and Tysa – 8 km). Transport will be provided by means of 8 minibuses.

19.00 – 22.00 – dinner at the Coroana hotel, a performance by Javorina (literary-singing-musical group from Snina, Slovakia), the singing-dancing group of the Rusyn Cultural-Educational Association from Nový Sad (Serbia), the group “Forum of Youth” based at the “Rusnak” Association (Croatia) and the school folk group Poľana (Deva, Romania).


23rd June, 2007 (Saturday):

8.00 – 9.30 breakfast at the Coroana hotel

10.00 – 13.00 meeting of the congress in five sections in the summer restaurant of the Coroana hotel: (1) culture and history, (2) literature and journalism, (3) confessional, (4) education, (5) economy and environment

at the same time, a meeting of the 3rd WFRY in the restaurant of the Coroana hotel

13.00 – 14.00 ceremonial unveiling of a memorial plate dedicated to the Orthodox Rusyn victims of the trial in 1913 – 1914 at the Town Hall of Sighetu Marmaţiei (former building of the Court)

14.00 – 15.00 lunch at the Coroana hotel

15.30 – 18.30 plenary meeting of the 9th WCR in the concert hall of the Lyceum of Arts, lead by A. Zozuľák, Deputy of WCoR

15.30 – 16.05 – 1st part speeches given by the 5 section leaders on the outcomes of individual sections, 10 minutes each, as well as a speech by the Chairman of the WFRY (15 minutes) on the outcomes of the 3rd meeting of WFRY.

16.05 – 16.40 – 2nd part report on management and approving the changes in the WCR Statute, read by the WCoR Deputy.

16.40 – 17.40 – 3rd part discussion; a maximum of 12 delegates and guests can give a speech, 5 minutes each.

17.40 – 18.00 – 4th part – electing the World Council of Rusyns

18.00 – 18.15 – 5th part electing the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Deputy of WCoR at the 1st meeting of the newly-elected WCoR

18.15 – 18.30 – 6th part accepting the Resolution of the 9th WCR

18.45 – 19.45 dinner at the Coroana hotel

20.00 – 22.00 cultural programme in the concert hall of the Lyceum of Arts. At the beginning of the programme, the Aleksander Dukhnovich Award for Rusyn Literature will be ceremonially presented. The following groups will give performances in the programme: singing-dancing group of the Rusyn Cultural-Educational Association from Nový Sad (Serbia), the group “Forum of Youth” based at the “Rusnak“ Association (Croatia), literary-singing-musical group Javorina from Snina and the singing trio “Magurových” from Humenné (Slovakia), a poetry reading by Valéria Moriljaák (Hungary), singer Oľga Prokop (Ukraine), children’s group Lastivka from Dermanešt, the singing group Holubok from Veľký Pereg and semi-symphonic orchestra Rivulus Dominarus of the Lyceum of Arts in Baia Mare (Romania), which will play the Rusyn Symphony by Dragos Pavliuk.


24th June, 2007 (Sunday):

9.00 – 10.00 breakfast at the Coroana hotel

10.30 – 12.30 meeting of the new WCoR in the café of the Coroana hotel. The other participants can either enjoy time-off or take an excursion through town

12.30 – 14.00 lunch

After 14.00 departure of the participants of the 9th WCR and the 3rd WFRY


8th World Congress of Rusyns in Krynica in the year 2005




8th World Congress of Rusyns took place in well-known spa town Krynica in Poland from 23rd to 25th June 2005. On the first day delegates and guests watched the film “Akcja Wisla” in the cinema Javorina. This film by Andrzej Kopcza reminded all present a big tragedy of Polish Lemkos during a sadly-known event, when Rusyns from Lemkovina were wrongly accused of collaboration with Ukrainian upraising army and they were violently displaced to a wild territory after deported Germans in north-western Poland. The main agenda of the congress was preceded by audience of members of the World Council of Rusyns with the mayor of Krynica Emil Bodžonija  on June 24th, 2005.


The opening ceremony of the Congress took place after this audience – in the cinema Javorina. Representatives of the organisational committee of the congress Helena Duc-Fajfer and Peter Trochanovský welcomed participants of the congress and asked members of the World Council of Rusyns  to take place at the chair table. The chairman of the WCR Andrzej Kopcza officially welcomed delegates and guests of individual states after hymns of Poland and Rusyns. The main agenda was followed by the secretary of WCR Alexander Zozuľák. Heads of delegations of member Rusyn organisations of the World Congress of Rusyns from individual states had a presentation in this program. A. Kopcza, a chairman of the WCR, presented the main report from the last congress in Prešov in the year 2003, who briefly informed the present on success and failures in world Rusyn movement during the last two years, when our people from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary acceded  the European Union. He stressed out that many things have been achieved, however, several basic tasks were not fulfilled,  such as recognition of Rusyns in the Ukraine to be a distinct minority, and Anthology of Rusyn Prose has not been published and others.


Work of member Rusyn organisations in individual states progressed depending on possibilities of those countries and organisations, which operate there. A significant role was played also by a human factor, which can advance forward the work or dampen it totally. Therefore discrepancies appeared, which can be seen in the Ukraine, where publishing activity advances well, Rusyn Sunday schools work actively, but where Rusyns are not recognised as nationality;  problems showed out in Hungary and Slovakia, where several Rusyn organisations started to operate, among which there is often intolerance, which damages common work. Organisations from the Czech Republic, USA, Serbia and Monte Negro presented with noticeable spiritual and material progress. Collaboration of Rusyns in Romania and Croatia intensified, a newly established organisation Rusnak was introduced by its chairperson Ľubka Segedi-Falc.


During the afternoon discussion we had a chance to learn something about successful work of Rusyn Sunday schools at Subcarphatia, activities of which are financed by sponsors like Steven Chepa from Canada, John Righetti and Steven Moldovan from the USA. We also learned about aid of the Society of Friends of Subcarphatian Russia to Rusyns of Subcarphatia, about support of the Carphato-Rusyn Scientific Centre in the USA for Rusyn culture and science in Slovakia and elsewhere in the world as well as about problems of Rusyns of social, economic, educational, religious, and cultural nature. Words of Helena Duc-Fajfer were very inspiring, she called for collaboration of all newly established Rusyn organisations. Jaroslav Sabol from Vojvodina, Serbia and Monte Negro, had an objective presentation, he proposed to create own economic program for Rusyns.


The afternoon of June 24th, 2005 in the cinema Javorina  was marked not only by creative atmosphere, but also festive one. Awards were presented by their sponsor himself, Steven Chepa from Toronto. Specifically,  the 8th Award of Alexander Duchnovič for Rusyn Literature was this year presented to Ahnete Bučko Papharhaji from Nový Sad in Serbia and Monte Negro, the authoress of a collection of poetry and a book for children. The chief editor of Rusyn National Newspaper, magazine “Rusín”,  Rusyn folk calendars and others, secretary of the WCR, one of founders of Rusyn periodical and non-periodical  press in Slovakia after the year 1989 – Alexander Zozuľák from  Prešov in Slovakia as well as a writer from Uzhorod in the Ukraine – Vladimír Fedinišinec were awarded by the Prize for significant work for Rusyn nation for their long-year successful work in the Rusyn movement.


On the same day a presentation of a new Rusyn book took place, within which a book by Paul Robert Magocsi – Naša otcjuznina, published by Valerij Paďak  in his publishing house in Uzhorod, was introduced. The same publishing house published a book Dr. Nykolaj Beskyd – na blaho Rusyniv, a compiler of which is Mgr. Gabriel Beskyd who presented the book. H. Duc-Fajfer presented abundant Lemko production – vocabularies, grammars, and other publications of scholarly nature. Prof. Dymytrij Sydor introduced a Rusyn-English edition of subcarphatian variant of Rusyn orthography. The integral part of this day of the congress was also international exhibition of artistic works of Rusyns in the local Nykifor Drovňak Museum,  where painters such as Anna Gajová, Alexander Zozuľák, Juraj Molnár, Margarita Bonkowska, Agata Bronišewska, and Štefan Telep exhibited their works. (On September 9th, 2005  we had a chance to participate in uncovering of a bronze Monument to Nikyfori Drovňak in Krynica with presence of the author himself, Prof. Czesłav Dźwigaj and many significant personalities. The monument was ceremonially uncovered by the President of the Republic of Poland, Alexander Kwaszniewski.)


A part of the above mentioned day, June 24th, 2005, represented also meeting of the 2nd International Forum of Rusyn Youth, where representatives of youth organisations from Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, USA, Canada, Romania, Hungary, Serbia and Monte Negro were present.


Evening hours belonged to a cultural program featuring folk ensembles like Slavjane from Pittsbugh, Šariš Milk Agro from  Prešov, ensemble of  Courthouse from Russian Kerestúr, along which a well-known composer and singer Mychajlo Boďanec with his hymns song Rusnak performed. A Lemko ensemble Serenča entertained participants of the congress  in the theatre of the cinema Javorina and later at bonfire in Čierny Potok.


The second creative day of the congress was devoted to work in workshops. Delegates worked in cultural, scholarly, educational, mass communication and youth workshop, workshops of international  and economic collaboration.


The last but one point of agenda of the 8th WCR was election of a new World Council of Rusyns, its chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary. For a new World Council of Rusyns were elected: Andrzej Kopcza (Poland), Ďura Papuga (Serbia and Monte Negro), Gheorghij Firczak (Romania), Agáta Pilátová (the Czech Republic), f. Dymytrij Sydor (Ukraine), Paul Robert Magocsi (Northern America), Ľubka Segedi-Falc (Croatia). At its first meeting the new WCR elected for its chairperson academician, professor of the Toronto University, P. R. Magocsi, for its vice chairperson a MP of Romanian Parliament on behalf of Rusyns – G. Firczak and for secretary A. Zozuľák.  The WCR accepted for its new member the Rusyn Cultural Society of Croatia – Rusnak. Delegates further approved that the following 9th World Congress of Rusyns in the year 2007 should take place in Seged in Romania. These points were included in the last point of agenda – an adopted declaration of delegates of the 8th WCR. (Its complete wording is published separately.)


At the end of the 8th WCR a new chairman of the World Council of Rusyns Paul Robert Magocsi expressed his opinion that despite some peripeteia brought by life itself, he is convinced that the Rusyn movement shall not ceased once it joins all powers. Magocsi foresee perspective of Rusyn people first of all in young people and in education, but also in tolerance and ability of representatives of Rusyns to join Rusyns both in their countries and in the international Rusyn movement.

                                   (Narodny novynky No. 25–28/2005, pp 1. and 4., abbreviated)

                                                                                                   Mária MAĽCOVSKÁ, pictures: A. Z. and A. P.


Declaration of delegates of the 8th World Congress of Rusyns held on June 25th, 2005 in Krynica

  1. We appeal to the states where Rusyns live and where law on national minorities has not been adopted yet to adopt it as soon as possible along with the law on its financing.

  2. We appeal to the Government of the Republic of Poland to recognise “Akcja Wisla“ to be illegal and to reduce its consequences. Its 60th anniversary shall be a good opportunity for it.

  3. We joyfully accept democratic changes in the Ukraine made since the end of the year 2004 and we appeal to supreme institutions to recognise Rusyns as a distinct minority as it has happened in other democratic countries of Europe.

  4. We appeal to the states where Rusyns live to help them with preparation of professional experts for teaching of the Rusyn language.

  5. We appeal to the departments of the Rusyn language and literature in Krakow, Novy Sad, Nyregyhaza and the Institute of Nationality Studies and Foreign Languages in Prešov to organise their co-operation and implement exchange of their students.

  6. We bind organisers of the future meetings of the World Congress of Rusyns (WCR) to organise within their framework a scientific conference.

  7. We accept for a full member of the World Congress of Rusyns  the Cultural Society of Rusyns in Croatia – “Rusnak“.

  8. We approve establishment of the World Council of Rusyns (WCR), members of which are the following: Paul Robert Magocsi (North Amerca) – chairman, Gheorghe Firczak – vice chairman, Andrzej Kopcza (Poland), Anna Kuzmiaková (Slovakia) – she suspended its membership in the WCR, Agáta Pilátová (Czech Republic), Ďura Papuga (Serbia and Monte Negro), father Dymytrij Sydor (Ukraine). We also approve Alexander Zozuľak to be a secretary of the WCR – a non-member of the WCR.

  9. As a delegation of Rusyns from Hungary, apart from one its member, was not present at the 8th WCR in Krynica, we bind a newly elected WCR to meet the members of this delegation within December 31st, 2005, where they shall elect their representative to be a member of the WCR.

  10. We approve and authorise the Cultural Society of Rusyns in Romania to organise the 9th World Congress of Rusyns in Seged in the year 2007.

  11. We approve the change of the Articles of the WCR (after its approval by the Ministry of Interior of the SR these articles shall be published in full wording in the section CONGRESS).

  12. We bind the newly elected World Council of Rusyns to carry out the following tasks:

  • to make contacts with such international organisations as the United Nations Organisation, Council of Europe, and the European Organisation for Safety and Co-operation;

  • to create a web site of the World Congress of Rusyns (in the Rusyn and English languages) with its international address and make chief representatives  of member organisations of WCR to send information on their activities and problems of all Rusyns to this web site. (Note: a similar web site has been already created with the address:, which you can view and it shall be made in three language versions:  Rusyn, Slovak, and English and where you can already find information on the World Congress and Council of Rusnys and other matters dealing with Rusyns, Rusyn studies, mainly in Slovakia, but also in the world.);

  • to make contact with representatives of governments and supreme institutions of the states where Rusyns live and inform them on problems of Rusyns;

  • to prepare and publish at the web site of the WCR a schedule of Rusyn cultural events;

  • to ask for a financial aid for cultural and publishing activity of the WCR international organisations and foundations;

  • to assist with organisation of the 3rd International Congress of Rusyn Language in Krakow in the year 2006;

  • to connect and inform (via Internet and in writing) interested entrepreneurs in economic co-operation.


Rusyn Symbols

The present Rusyn symbols were approved of at the 9th World Congress of Rusyns on June 23rd, 2007 in Sighetul Marmaţiei (Romania).

Coat of Arms


In the period of the first Czechoslovak Republic (1918 – 1939), the coat of arms belonged to one of its parts – the Sub-Carpathian Rus. At present, it is a coat of arms for Rusyns throughout the world.

Description:  in the left half there are three golden stripes on a blue background, in the right half, in dark red, there is a Carpathian bear standing on hind legs with an open mouth on a silver background. The bear symbolises the Carpathian mountains, the three golden stripes (according to some researchers) symbolise three rivers: Uh (Už), Latorica and Tisa.




The dimensions of the flag are 2:3 height to width, the most common size being 1 000 mm high and 1 500 mm wide. The upper half (500 mm) is blue, the lower half is white (250 mm) and red (250 mm).

Blue is the colour of the deep skies, a perspective representation of the Carpathian mountains, hope for a better future, the colour of rational reasoning, freshness of the spirit and the body and undying diligence.

White is the colour of traditional peacefulness, hospitability, kindness, tolerance, peace, moral and physical purity, high culture and the natural pacifism of Rusyns.

Red associates with all that lives and is beautiful, with the aesthetic ideal of Rusyns, and it symbolises energy and health in man.