On April 24th, 2001, in the presence of the Holy Father, a Decree was promulgated declaring that Mykola Carneckyj and twenty-five others, who were killed “in hatred for the faith” during the communist persecution in the Ukraine between 1935 and 1973 were truly martyrs.
Two months later, on June 27th, Pope John Paul II presided over the Holy Liturgy in the Byzantine-Ukrainian rite, which was celebrated on the Lviv racecourse by Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, the Major Archbishop of Lviv for the Ukrainians. During the Mass, the Holy Father raised Mykola Carneckyj and twenty four of his companions to the dignity of Blessed, in the presence of about one million of the faithful
On that occasion, which was the first time that Beatification according to the Latin rite had been celebrated during an Eastern-rite liturgy, the name of the Redemptorist martyr Methodij Dominik Trcka was missing since he was to be beatified later, on November 4th, in St. Peter’s Square, Rome.
Persecution of the faithful members of the Byzantine Ukrainian rite has its roots in an event in October 1596, when the Ruthenian bishops, gathered for the Synod of Brest-Litovsk took the decision to unite with the Church of Rome, with the approval of Pope Clement VIII. The process of union was completed at the end of the 16th century when the last of the Orthodox dioceses or eparchies acceded to the union; the diocese of Lviv in Western Ukraine joined in thus union in 1677.