BILYK, O.S.B.M., IRYNEY IHOR (1950- )
Eparchial bishop emeritus of the Ukranian Catholic Eparchy of Buchach. Served as auxiliary bishop of the Ukraining Greek Catholic Eparchy of Ivano-Frankivsk from 1989-2000, as an Eparchial Bishop of Buchach from 2000-2007 and a Canon of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore since July 2007.
SIG – Signature as Bishop of Ukraine, signed on a card with the papal coat of arms. Acquired in person during the last consistory.
Bilyk hails from a family of clandestine Greek Catholics. Attended three different universities but was excluded twice because of religious persecution. After compulsory servie in the Soviety Army, he graduated in the faculty of Physics in Taras Shevchenko National University of Kylv in 1977. He then worked for nearly 10 years in the Soviet north Caucausus in Kabardino-Balkar ASSR.
During this period he was a clandestine member of the Order of Saint Basil the Great, from which he was professed in 1967. He was ordained in 1978 after having completed clandestine theological studies. He continued his studies, after liberty of Ukrainian Catholics at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Acquinas, Rome.
He served as a priest in secret in the period of persecutiion and, later, as rector of the newly revised theological academy in Ivano-Frankivsk.
In 1989 he was consecrated bishop making his episcopacy the last in the “catacomb church” before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.