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Author Topic: Ukrainian Greek Catholics - the result of forceful conversion or not?  (Read 3901 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 18, 2011, 08:57:49 AM »

First time poster, long time lurker here.

In your opinion, hopefully based on historical sources, was the creation of the "Uniate" church in the 1500-1600 in the Galician/ West Ukrainian region, brought about by persecution and violence against the Orthodox population? Or did the Orthodox population have some degree of choice as to whether to join or not join the eastern rite church?

In other words are the Ukrainian Catholics today the result of forceful conversion by Rome or not?
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 09:05:24 AM »

Yes, the Orthodox Church was banned from 1596 to 1633.
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 12:03:58 PM »

Yes, the Orthodox Church was banned from 1596 to 1633.

It would depend on exactly where one was and how one defines 'force' and 'choice.'
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 12:11:51 PM »

First time poster, long time lurker here.

In your opinion, hopefully based on historical sources, was the creation of the "Uniate" church in the 1500-1600 in the Galician/ West Ukrainian region, brought about by persecution and violence against the Orthodox population?

Just to set the record straight.  The province of Galicia dod acept the misnamed "union" of Brest in 1596 and the last remaining Orthodox Church in galicia was closed down by the Austrians in 1785.
If you don't know about the subject go to your local library and take out the history books by Subtelny, Magosci or Sysyn.  All American born historians
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 12:26:20 PM »


The Greek Catholic Church was not limited to what is today Western Ukraine.
The Greek Slavonic Catholic Church encompassed the entirety of the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The eastern borders of the Polish part of the Commonwealth crossed the Dniepr, included all of Ukraine west of the Dniepr. The ruling bishop of the Greek Catholic Church was the metropolitan of Kyiv-Halich. The Unia also encompassed all of modern day Belarus and eastern parts of Russia.
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 02:39:53 PM »

Orthodox were persecuted and denied any hope of social advance in Poland of the day. With the Union of Brest those who acknowledged Rome were officially allowed certain rights and the ability for advancement (they were still second class, the highest posts were reserved for "true" Catholics).

Following the Union however the persecution of Orthodox intensified and for lengthy periods there would be no Bishops in the territory and Churches would be forcibly shut down. I do believe that it was during the Deluge the Russians forced the Poles to allow the Orthodox Church in their (much reduced) borders again.
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 04:55:38 PM »

Yes, the Orthodox Church was banned from 1596 to 1633.

It would depend on exactly where one was and how one defines 'force' and 'choice.'
Actually, no it doesn't. The state declared the Orthodox Church non-existent.
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 06:02:36 PM »

Yes, the Orthodox Church was banned from 1596 to 1633.

It would depend on exactly where one was and how one defines 'force' and 'choice.'
Actually, no it doesn't. The state declared the Orthodox Church non-existent.
Actually, yes it does.  The state declared the Greek Catholic Church non-existent, to no avail.  The existence of the Church, Catholic or Orthodox, depends on Christ not the state; although the institutional operation of the Church can be and was hampered in both instances.
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 06:23:15 PM »

Yes, the Orthodox Church was banned from 1596 to 1633.

It would depend on exactly where one was and how one defines 'force' and 'choice.'
Actually, no it doesn't. The state declared the Orthodox Church non-existent.
Actually, yes it does.  The state declared the Greek Catholic Church non-existent, to no avail.  The existence of the Church, Catholic or Orthodox, depends on Christ not the state; although the institutional operation of the Church can be and was hampered in both instances.
So you saying that Stalin didn't use force, Deacon?

The question was whether force was used or not. Not whence the Church derives her existence.
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2011, 09:19:59 PM »

So you saying that Stalin didn't use force, Deacon?

The question was whether force was used or not. Not whence the Church derives her existence.
[/quote]

No.  Your implication was force or choice were irrelevant because the state declared the Orthodox Church non-existent.
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2011, 10:26:51 PM »

So you saying that Stalin didn't use force, Deacon?

The question was whether force was used or not. Not whence the Church derives her existence.

No.  Your implication was force or choice were irrelevant because the state declared the Orthodox Church non-existent.
Yes, it is irrelevant because the state declaring the Orthodox Church non-existent shows on its face that it was by force.
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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 12:40:27 AM »

Yes, it is irrelevant because the state declaring the Orthodox Church non-existent shows on its face that it was by force.

No it doesn't.  A state can declare anything without enforcing it.  Podkarpatska was, I believe, attempting to tell Byron that there is no simple answer.
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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 12:51:08 AM »

Yes, it is irrelevant because the state declaring the Orthodox Church non-existent shows on its face that it was by force.

No it doesn't.  A state can declare anything without enforcing it.  Podkarpatska was, I believe, attempting to tell Byron that there is no simple answer.

The USSR razing Churches and sending Priests to the gulag (if they weren't killed beforehand) isn't enforcement?  I wonder what is enforcement?   Huh  Roll Eyes  Huh
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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2011, 01:02:57 AM »

Yes, it is irrelevant because the state declaring the Orthodox Church non-existent shows on its face that it was by force.

No it doesn't.  A state can declare anything without enforcing it.  Podkarpatska was, I believe, attempting to tell Byron that there is no simple answer.
And I was telling him that there was a very simple answer:yes, it was forceful conversion.

But besides the facts that the King of the PL Commonwealth enforced Brest-Lvov, there is the simple fact that entities declared non-existent are ipso-facto outlaw.
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« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 01:05:19 AM »

In other words are the Ukrainian Catholics today the result of forceful conversion by Rome or not?

No.  Today's Ukrainian Catholics are in communion with Rome by choice.  After the psuedo-synod of 1946, the UGCC was outlawed, all its churches confiscated, almost its bishops and many of its priests imprisoned and/or martyred.  The UGCC survived underground led by secretly ordained bishops and priests conducting the Liturgy and Sacraments in the woods or homes of the faithful.  In 1989, the Church emerged from the catacombs to resume a normal existence much to the chagrin of the Moscow Patriarchate.
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« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2011, 01:28:22 AM »

In other words are the Ukrainian Catholics today the result of forceful conversion by Rome or not?

No.  Today's Ukrainian Catholics are in communion with Rome by choice.

Yes, sort of like the Irish now being in the Anglo-phone world by choice.

After the psuedo-synod of 1946, the UGCC was outlawed, all its churches confiscated, almost its bishops and many of its priests imprisoned and/or martyred.
Thus reversing the pseudo-synod of 1596.  

The UGCC survived underground led by secretly ordained bishops and priests conducting the Liturgy and Sacraments in the woods or homes of the faithful.  In 1989, the Church emerged from the catacombs to resume a normal existence much to the chagrin of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Yes.  It would have been to the chagrin of the Polish republic, but they nearly wiped them out in Poland before communism, the Soviet uniting Galicia to the rest of Ukraine for the first time in 8 centuries providing the springboard of the remnants of Brest-Lviv.

But back to the OP: yes, as if it had not been for the forceful conversion, and the centuries of followup by Poland, Lithuania and Austria in enforcing that conversion (and the Poles did that even when Poland had been wiped off the map, epitomized by the canonization of Josafat Kuntsevych), there would be no outlaws to crawl out later in the chaos of the fall of communism.
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2011, 01:43:53 AM »

And I was telling him that there was a very simple answer:yes, it was forceful conversion.

But besides the facts that the King of the PL Commonwealth enforced Brest-Lvov, there is the simple fact that entities declared non-existent are ipso-facto outlaw.

There is no simple answer because for some yes it was forced, for others it was not, some embraced the Unia following their bishops and priests.  If this were not so there would be no Greek Catholic Churches today as forced conversions are spectacularly unsuccessful.

The Polish King enforced the Unia so well that Lviv and Przemysl did not accept the Unia until over a century later and Orthodox Metropolitans of Kiev resumed in 1620.
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2011, 06:02:46 AM »

Thanks to everyone for their input. It seems to me that this is one of those instances where from the Orthodox p.o.v. the Union was forced onto the population, whereas from the RC/EC p.o.v. it was not.

However is it safe to say that without this "Union" of Brest, there would not have been a Ukrainian Catholic church in existance today?
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« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2011, 07:51:59 AM »

If the union was so successful, then why, within a few generations of immigrating to the United States, have so many of the UGCC converted to Orthodoxy, when they are in a country where they are free to worship however they choose?

It is because the Unia is a false union. Rome doesn't allow the Eastern Rite Catholics to preserve their Byzantine traditions, and has interfered in dogma, praxis, and in the Liturgy.

Many UGCC clergy became Orthodox when Rome stopped sending Eastern Rite Bishops to the US, and forbid married men from become Eastern Rite clergy, as is allowed in the Orthodox Church.

So although there may not be a sword to their necks, the persecution continues.
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« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2011, 08:26:33 AM »

Rome doesn't allow the Eastern Rite Catholics to preserve their Byzantine traditions, and has interfered in dogma, praxis, and in the Liturgy.

I believe it changed to some extant after Vatican II. As far as dogmas are concerned, well, Eastern Catholics simply cannot say that some RC dogma is wrong. All they can say is that they prefer to pronounce the very same truth in different words -- that's how it works. And by the way, we have to remember that some Byzantine Rite Catholics, especially from the UGCC, just love latinization.
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« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2011, 10:02:44 AM »


The Greek Catholic Church was not limited to what is today Western Ukraine.
The Greek Slavonic Catholic Church encompassed the entirety of the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The eastern borders of the Polish part of the Commonwealth crossed the Dniepr, included all of Ukraine west of the Dniepr. The ruling bishop of the Greek Catholic Church was the metropolitan of Kyiv-Halich. The Unia also encompassed all of modern day Belarus and eastern parts of Russia.
if you check any history book on Ukraine, you can read that the vast majority of people and clergy rejected the "union" so in fact it was not a "union" at all just  some individual bishops and some followers with the suport of the Polish government accpeting the authority of the Pope.
  The local clergy continued for the most part to be Orthodox and celebrate Orthodox sacraments.  Interesting too that the Uniate metropolitan of Kyiv-Halich was unable to enter St. Sophia.  The battle cry of the Kozaks was for the Orthodox Church.  The Kozaks made sure St. Sophia remained in Orthodox hands.  Galicia remained Orthodox and so so did Bukovyna.

Then a new hierarchy was consecrated for the Orothodox populace.  I think it is Sysyn's book that has a map of Catholic bishops and orthodox bishops.
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« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2011, 10:32:57 AM »

And I was telling him that there was a very simple answer:yes, it was forceful conversion.

But besides the facts that the King of the PL Commonwealth enforced Brest-Lvov, there is the simple fact that entities declared non-existent are ipso-facto outlaw.

There is no simple answer because for some yes it was forced, for others it was not,
If there is a train wreck involving thousands, and only one person is killed, it is still a fatal accident.  In the case of Brest-Lviv far more than one person was killed.

By your criteria, the return to Orthodoxy in 1947 was voluntary, both in Ukraine and Romania.  Indeed, in Romania the Vatican's Ukrainians/Ruthenians had a legal ecclesiastical organization during communism. They did not participate in the Vatican's scheme to take over the Romanian Orthodox Church veresus the post WWII regime, hence they were not involved when the union was made on the Orthodox's terms.

some embraced the Unia following their bishops and priests.
And the vast majority rejected and anathematized the "Unia," following their bishops and priest, i.e. the Orthodox ones, and indeed in some sense leading them.

If this were not so there would be no Greek Catholic Churches today as forced conversions are spectacularly unsuccessful.
If only Islamitization were so easily undone!  Alas! Albania and much of the Middle East shows such is not the case. Such was not the case in Malta or Spain either.

In Engliand, after nearly two centuries of being free to do so, those whose ancestors were in obedience to the Vatican returned to it only after the monarch's church began to self destruct.

Nearly four and a half centuries of oppression can yield some results, the Polish Republic taking over where the Austrian Habstburgs left off.  Indeed, the local Poles were keen on suppressing the Ukrainians and Ruthenians, especially but not exclusively the Orthodox ones, under Habsburg auspices.  That is why the bulk of the UGCC is in the West Ukraine, i.e. the area that the Ukrainian Khrushchev got annexed to Ukraine from Poland and Czechoslovakia for Stalin.  Don't know if that is a spectacular success.


The Polish King enforced the Unia so well that Lviv and Przemysl did not accept the Unia until over a century later
Yes, and the continued residence of the EP in Turkey's Istanbul shows how tolerant Islam is, the religion of peace. Roll Eyes

and Orthodox Metropolitans of Kiev resumed in 1620.
Yes, clandestinely and illegally.  Foreign clerics were forbidden, and when the King and Sejm finally admitted that the Orthodox Church had continued to exist, it still refused to recognize the bishops consecrated in 1620.
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« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2011, 11:40:23 AM »

Yes, it is irrelevant because the state declaring the Orthodox Church non-existent shows on its face that it was by force.

No it doesn't.  A state can declare anything without enforcing it.  Podkarpatska was, I believe, attempting to tell Byron that there is no simple answer.

That is exactly my point. Both the Deacon and Isa raise valid points and these illustrate both the complexity and emotional intensity of the impact and continuation of the Unia.

There is no simple answer and the understanding of the issue also differs from where one stands. From the perspective of the Deacon's (if his family was impacted, or at least many of his fellow Byzantine Catholics) as well as my great-grandparents seven or eight generations removed, most non-clergy were likely in a position to either be unaware of the Unia when it occurred or indifferent to its impact. Yes, some rebelled against it, but the reality is that by the end of the 18th century there was little, if any, Orthodox ecclesiastical presence in the lands ruled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In Russia, Uniatism was regarded as not just a religious issue, but a political one in that it represented a 'threat' to the Empire as its followers were perceived as Hapsburg allied enemy of the state.  Just as within Austria Hungary, efforts to restore Orthodoxy were regarded as Russian attempts to undermine the state along what later would become the 'Iron Curtain'.

The creation of a political buffer between Russia and the West was not just a creation of Stalin's mind, but had been a goal of the Tsarist regimes prior to the Revolution. You simply can not disregard the issues surrounding the Unia from geopolitics.

Four centuries later religious attitudes and understandings among the faithful are much different than they were in the past, hence the continuation of the Union has less to do with politics today than it has to do with faith issues.

Likewise, whether we want to acknowledge the reality of it or not, the 'conversions' in the Americas which occurred following the actions of Archbishop Ireland and later, Bishop Basil Takach, were initially not about 'faith' and Orthodoxy per se, but rather about a desire to preserve that which the faithful knew, loved and had preserved over the centuries. In his book, Good Victory, Father Lawrence Barriger addresses that very issue. By the end of the 20th century, Orthodoxy and its praxis had become the core of that movement, but in the beginning that was not the case as I am personally well aware from first and second hand sources and personal accounts of people involved in the movements.

There are no simplistic answers or slogans that can help us all better understand this complex issue.
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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2011, 11:36:28 PM »

Yes, it is irrelevant because the state declaring the Orthodox Church non-existent shows on its face that it was by force.

No it doesn't.  A state can declare anything without enforcing it.  Podkarpatska was, I believe, attempting to tell Byron that there is no simple answer.

That is exactly my point. Both the Deacon and Isa raise valid points and these illustrate both the complexity and emotional intensity of the impact and continuation of the Unia.

There is no simple answer and the understanding of the issue also differs from where one stands. From the perspective of the Deacon's (if his family was impacted, or at least many of his fellow Byzantine Catholics) as well as my great-grandparents seven or eight generations removed, most non-clergy were likely in a position to either be unaware of the Unia when it occurred or indifferent to its impact. Yes, some rebelled against it, but the reality is that by the end of the 18th century there was little, if any, Orthodox ecclesiastical presence in the lands ruled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In Russia, Uniatism was regarded as not just a religious issue, but a political one in that it represented a 'threat' to the Empire as its followers were perceived as Hapsburg allied enemy of the state.  Just as within Austria Hungary, efforts to restore Orthodoxy were regarded as Russian attempts to undermine the state along what later would become the 'Iron Curtain'.

The creation of a political buffer between Russia and the West was not just a creation of Stalin's mind, but had been a goal of the Tsarist regimes prior to the Revolution. You simply can not disregard the issues surrounding the Unia from geopolitics.

Four centuries later religious attitudes and understandings among the faithful are much different than they were in the past, hence the continuation of the Union has less to do with politics today than it has to do with faith issues.

Likewise, whether we want to acknowledge the reality of it or not, the 'conversions' in the Americas which occurred following the actions of Archbishop Ireland and later, Bishop Basil Takach, were initially not about 'faith' and Orthodoxy per se, but rather about a desire to preserve that which the faithful knew, loved and had preserved over the centuries. In his book, Good Victory, Father Lawrence Barriger addresses that very issue. By the end of the 20th century, Orthodoxy and its praxis had become the core of that movement, but in the beginning that was not the case as I am personally well aware from first and second hand sources and personal accounts of people involved in the movements.

There are no simplistic answers or slogans that can help us all better understand this complex issue.
I agree with you to a point (my old priest came from AH, from what is now Slovakia, and he was told by his bishop, just before WWI, to go to the Orthodox bishop in America, not the one the Vatican installed). However, I suspect that Deacon doesn't find the facts of 1947 all that complex.
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« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2011, 12:51:12 AM »

While I agree that there has been injustices committed by both sides throughout history, it is not as if the Catholic Church is completely guilty alone in trying to submit people to her will.

Even before the Union of 1946, going back to the 19Th century, the Tzar's sought to forcefully convert Greek catholics to Orthodoxy by very violent means.  


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_of_Chelm_Eparchy


Conversion
By the end of the 1860s, political circumstances had changed. In 1865, following a failed uprising against Russia by Poles, the autonomous Congress Poland was abolished. After having struggled with Russian authorities, the Uniate bishop Mikhail Kuzemsky issued a letter of resignation and left Chełm. His resignation was not accepted by the Vatican, while the Russian authorities appointed a Galician Russophile priest, Markell Popel, as administrator of the Eparchy, despite Popel living in open concubinage.[3]

The Conversion to Orthodoxy was immediately preceded by the "purification" the Chełm eparchy of all Latin rituals from the Liturgy, ordered by Popel in October 1873. Initially, it was ignored by many priests, until the Russian state ordered them to sign a declaration that they would abide by the new rules by the New Year of 1874. Over twenty priests refused, and were either arrested or escaped to Galicia. Resistance to the changes was widespread among the people, particularly in the northern areas of the eparchy. In numerous parishes, the priests attempting to implement the reforms were dragged out of the church or their belongings were packed outside the rectory. Russian police and Cossacks were used to force the parishioners to accept the new rules; parishioners were sometimes beaten or shot. The struggle over ritual has been described as being comparable to that of the Old Believer schism, and one case of self-immolation was recorded.[4]

The purification having been completed by the end of 1874, from January 1875 until May of that year all of the parishes proclaimed their union with the Orthodox Church. The Uniate eparchy was dissolved and incorporated into the newly created Orthodox eparchy of Chełm and Warsaw, with Bishop Popel becoming suffragan bishop of Lublin resident in Chełm. The Chełm clergy was purged of most of its native priests, who were replaced by emigrating anti-Polish Russophile priests from eastern Galicia. In March 1881, out of 291 Orthodox priests in the former eparchy, 95 were native Chełm priests who had converted, 53 were Orthodox priests who had moved into the Eparchy from elsewhere, and 143 were Galicians. Sixty-six native Chełm priests who refused to convert fled to Galicia, 74 were exiled to Russia proper or imprisoned, and seven died as martyrs. During the struggle over purification and conversion, a total of 600 faithful were deported and 108 lost their lives.[4]



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podlachian_martyrs

I beleive that we should work for justice in this world.  Justice belongs to all men or it belongs to none.  I personally could never support the forced conversion of anyone to a faith other then the one which they choose to belong to.  It a shame if this happened to the Orthodox, but re forcing a conversion on them does not right it or make things square in the eyes of justice.

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« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2011, 01:12:13 AM »

The Chełm clergy was purged of most of its native priests, who were replaced by emigrating anti-Polish Russophile priests from eastern Galicia.
How did they become anti-Polish? From the Poles running Galicia for the Habsburgs. As you sow, so you reap.
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« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2011, 11:46:44 AM »

The Chełm clergy was purged of most of its native priests, who were replaced by emigrating anti-Polish Russophile priests from eastern Galicia.
How did they become anti-Polish? From the Poles running Galicia for the Habsburgs. As you sow, so you reap.

I was thinking about the 1947 'Union' and how it was perceived differently by both the Orthodox 'Greek Catholics' and the Byzantine Catholics over the years. When  I was a child, our annual publication listed "Important Dates in Church History" for the faithful. The years of the Unia were mentioned in negative terms. On a positive note, the list included St. Alexis Toth and 1892, the year 1938 was commemorated as the date of the restoration of Orthodoxy for those in America who formed ACROD and the 1947 actions in Slovakia abolishing the Greek Catholic church were celebrated on those pages  as well.

Time is a funny thing, when the Prague Spring occurred and the veneer of Orthodoxy 'melted' away across Slovakia with the return of the Greek Catholic Church united with Rome the 1947 events no longer were mentioned in any way, let alone a positive one. Many families in America, within the OCA , ACROD and the UOC were chagrined to learn that their European relatives chose to remain as Greek Catholics united with Rome rather than remain with the Orthodox.

Soon thereafter, the 1947 actions were no longer on the list.

After the fall of Communism in the early 1990's when long separated families began the process of getting to know one another it became clear that the issues which led us to Orthodoxy in America and the issues that lead our families in Europe back to open Greek Catholicism were very different indeed. In Europe, anti-Russian sentiment was on the top of the list; in America it was the fear of the 'melting pot' and the forced Latinizations that motivated those who returned to Orthodoxy and stayed there.

It is amazing that in spite of all of the political pressure, economic pressure and physical force and oppression that the ruling political and religious leaders (Catholic and Orthodox alike) placed upon these peoples over the course of nearly four centuries, they tried as best they could to be faithful to the ancient Faith and traditions of their fathers. Hence I am glad that my family returned to Orthodoxy, but I also have a profound respect for those who did not and remained Eastern Catholic as I understand the forces that motivated them. Orthodox Bishops like the late Archbishop Vsevelod and the late Metropolitan Nicholas understood this as well and were respected and mourned by faithful on both sides of the Christian divide between east and west.

What the future will bring is for us to learn and God to know.
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« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2011, 12:52:24 AM »

"but I also have a profound respect for those who did not and remained Eastern Catholic as I understand the forces that motivated them."

Podkarpatska,
I'm trying to better understand why Eastern Catholics are reluctant to re-join the Orthodox church. Can you elaborate on these forces that motivate them to stay EC? Is it simply a matter of anti-Russian/anti-communist sentiments?




 



 

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« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2011, 09:06:40 AM »

"but I also have a profound respect for those who did not and remained Eastern Catholic as I understand the forces that motivated them."

Podkarpatska,
I'm trying to better understand why Eastern Catholics are reluctant to re-join the Orthodox church. Can you elaborate on these forces that motivate them to stay EC? Is it simply a matter of anti-Russian/anti-communist sentiments?

For most ECs, it wouldn't be a matter of re-joining the Orthodox Church*, but rather of joining it for the first time.


*At least not in the literal sense. I suppose you could call it "re-joining" in the sense that their ancestors were Orthodox. Not really the same thing though.
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« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2011, 09:46:00 AM »

"but I also have a profound respect for those who did not and remained Eastern Catholic as I understand the forces that motivated them."

Podkarpatska,
I'm trying to better understand why Eastern Catholics are reluctant to re-join the Orthodox church. Can you elaborate on these forces that motivate them to stay EC? Is it simply a matter of anti-Russian/anti-communist sentiments?

For most ECs, it wouldn't be a matter of re-joining the Orthodox Church*, but rather of joining it for the first time.


*At least not in the literal sense. I suppose you could call it "re-joining" in the sense that their ancestors were Orthodox. Not really the same thing though.

Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics. I am reluctant to speak on their behalf, but I will give it a shot. Perhaps our Melkite friend Neil can expound upon this better than I can but...

Most informed Eastern Catholics do not believe that they are not 'Orthodox'. They perceive themselves as being 'Orthodox in union with Rome.' While that strikes us Orthodox as being illogical in that acceptance of Papal supremacy is at the heart of the disputations between East and West, they somehow have come to view themselves in this manner.

Again, I can only speak to the Slavic experience, but the anti-Russian sentiment has become one of the issues at the heart of the existence of the Eastern Catholic Church in the modern world. The experience of Slavic Greek Catholics who were not of Russian ethnic heritage  in their interactions with Orthodoxy was  molded by the attempts of some forces within Russian Orthodoxy to impose their distinct traditions upon the Ukrainians, Galician and Rusyns by proclaiming that the practices of these groups were all a result of Latin influence. The reality of the situation was that these peoples were never influenced by the Nikonian reforms and maintained their own local hymnology and pious traditions that existed prior to the Unions.
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« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2011, 10:06:14 AM »

podkarpatska, I think you are reading a concession into something that I intended only as a ecumenical courtesy:

For most ECs, it wouldn't be a matter of re-joining the Orthodox Church, but rather of joining it for the first time.

(emphasis modified)

I typically refer to you guys as "the Orthodox Church" (or "the Eastern Orthodox Church" if there's danger of confusion with respect to the Oriental Orthodox) -- not only with regard to posting on this forum, but in life in general. If you would prefer that I named you (as some of my more polemically-mouthed fellow Catholics do) "the Orthodox Church not in communion with Rome" or "the schismatic Orthodox Church" or even "schismatic Easterners", please let me know.


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« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2011, 10:13:36 AM »

podkarpatska, I think you are reading a concession into something that I intended only as a ecumenical courtesy:

For most ECs, it wouldn't be a matter of re-joining the Orthodox Church, but rather of joining it for the first time.

(emphasis modified)

I typically refer to you guys as "the Orthodox Church" (or "the Eastern Orthodox Church" if there's danger of confusion with respect to the Oriental Orthodox) -- not only with regard to posting on this forum, but in life in general. If you would prefer that I named you (as some of my more polemically-mouthed fellow Catholics do) "the Orthodox Church not in communion with Rome" or "the schismatic Orthodox Church" or even "schismatic Easterners", please let me know.



The Orthodox Church not in communion with the Vatican is fine, though it has no reference for us.
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« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2011, 10:27:12 AM »

The Orthodox Church not in communion with the Vatican is fine, though it has no reference for us.

What, you don't like "the schismatic Orthodox Church"? Wink
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« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2011, 10:35:54 AM »

podkarpatska, I don't mean to be annoyed at you; I'm just a little sick of the way this forum has been lately, particularly the lack of consistency with regard to rules of decorum.
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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2011, 11:04:19 AM »

The Chełm clergy was purged of most of its native priests, who were replaced by emigrating anti-Polish Russophile priests from eastern Galicia.
How did they become anti-Polish? From the Poles running Galicia for the Habsburgs. As you sow, so you reap.
A quote from this book on Galicia explains how the former Eastern-Rite priests became anti-Polis and then went to Kholm:

Quote
Roman Catholicism played the role of defining the Other during the formation of Ukrainian national identity in Galicia. …By its very nature, the Greek Catholic Church lacked a spiritual tradition of its own. century, when the benefits of the Austrian educational reforms helped to provide the Greek Catholic Church with a well-educated hierarchy and clergy. Polish-Latin influence oThus, it was bound to oscillate between the two traditions that had given birth to Uniatism, that is, Roman Catholicism and Byzantine Orthodoxy. This became obvious by the mid-nineteenth n the church was strong in 1848 and remained so long afterwards. However, with the defeat of Ruthenian political aspirations after the revolution, this influence became subject to criticism, especially from anti-Polish Galician Russophiles. Within the church criticism took the form of a movement to purify the Byzantine rite in Galicia of its Polish and Latin accretions. 4 As anti-Polish sentiments grew stronger, Greek Catholic purists came very close to Orthodoxy. The purists had been active since the early 1830s. Under the protection and spiritual guidance of Metropolitan Hryhorii Iakhymovych, in the 1860s, they came to occupy a central position in church affairs. 5 This group came to be known as Old Ruthenians (Starorusyny), or the St George Circle, after the name of the church complex at the metropolitan see in L’viv. In their anti-Polish political views, the Old Ruthenians resembled the Russophiles, although they cannot be fully identified with the latter, which was mainly a secular movement. 6 The activities of the Old Ruthenians included, but were not limited to, the restoration of the Byzantine character of their church and advocating the use of a local recension of Church Slavonic in secular writing. When expectations associated with a stronger orientation toward Vienna were dashed by the Austro-Hungarian Polish Compromise of 1867, some Old Ruthenians went even further and took their criticism to its logical conclusion: they converted to Orthodoxy and became Russians. 7 In the 1860s and 1870s a number of Greek Catholic canons left Galicia for tsarist Russia to enter imperial service. Former Greek Catholic priests from the St George’s Circle had a strong hand in the liquidation of the last surviving Greek Catholic parishes in the Russian Empire – those belonging to the Eparchy of Kholm/Che¬m in Congress Poland. Partly as a result of their efforts, the last Greek Catholic Bishop of Kholm converted to Orthodoxy in 1875.




Page 72.
Hann, Christopher (Editor); Magocsi, Paul Robert (Editor). Galicia: A Multicultured land.
Toronto, ON, CAN: University of Toronto Press, 2005.

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« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2011, 11:47:56 AM »

podkarpatska, I don't mean to be annoyed at you; I'm just a little sick of the way this forum has been lately, particularly the lack of consistency with regard to rules of decorum.

I appreciate that as my own family is rooted in Eastern Catholicism and is split between those who have embraced Orthodoxy and those who have not done so. If you have followed my postings over the years you surely know that I have always treated the Catholic Church's position with respect, even when I profoundly disagree with her point of view.

As to the term 'Orthodox in union with Rome', that is not a polemical epitaph hurled by Orthodox apologists at the Greek Catholics, but rather a term that Eastern Catholics themselves have developed in an attempt to define their relationship(s) with Rome and the institution of the Papacy as dogmatized by the Western Church.

For an interesting read on the issue from the Ukrainian Orthodox point of view, and one which is balanced and not full of invective or ill will towards our Eastern Catholic friends, I would lead you to this: http://www.ukrainian-orthodoxy.org/articles/catholic/communionWithRome.htm 

From the Greek Catholic point of view, I suggest this: http://www.byzcath.org/Faith-and-Worship/East-West-Dialogue-Page1.htm  and http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/328501/Orthodox%20in%20Communion%20with%20Rom
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« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2011, 01:01:47 PM »

IAs to the term 'Orthodox in union with Rome', that is not a polemical epitaph hurled by Orthodox apologists at the Greek Catholics, but rather a term that Eastern Catholics themselves have developed in an attempt to define their relationship(s) with Rome and the institution of the Papacy as dogmatized by the Western Church.

For an interesting read on the issue from the Ukrainian Orthodox point of view, and one which is balanced and not full of invective or ill will towards our Eastern Catholic friends, I would lead you to this: http://www.ukrainian-orthodoxy.org/articles/catholic/communionWithRome.htm 

The article which you cite is written by a Ukrainian Catholic man named Alexander Roman  who has a Ph.D. in Political Science.  He is not nor has he ever been a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  The views he expresses are his own views as a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
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« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2011, 01:14:57 PM »

podkarpatska, I don't mean to be annoyed at you; I'm just a little sick of the way this forum has been lately, particularly the lack of consistency with regard to rules of decorum.

I appreciate that as my own family is rooted in Eastern Catholicism and is split between those who have embraced Orthodoxy and those who have not done so. If you have followed my postings over the years you surely know that I have always treated the Catholic Church's position with respect, even when I profoundly disagree with her point of view.

As to the term 'Orthodox in union with Rome', that is not a polemical epitaph hurled by Orthodox apologists at the Greek Catholics, but rather a term that Eastern Catholics themselves have developed in an attempt to define their relationship(s) with Rome and the institution of the Papacy as dogmatized by the Western Church.

For an interesting read on the issue from the Ukrainian Orthodox point of view, and one which is balanced and not full of invective or ill will towards our Eastern Catholic friends, I would lead you to this: http://www.ukrainian-orthodoxy.org/articles/catholic/communionWithRome.htm 

From the Greek Catholic point of view, I suggest this: http://www.byzcath.org/Faith-and-Worship/East-West-Dialogue-Page1.htm  and http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/328501/Orthodox%20in%20Communion%20with%20Rom

Thank you for speaking to me, rather than about me, this time. However, I'm still not really clear on what the issue is. What exactly did I say that you have problem with? I believe that I have already defended my statement:

Quote
For most ECs, it wouldn't be a matter of re-joining the Orthodox Church, but rather of joining it for the first time.

I'm starting to feel like the husband who doesn't know what he did wrong.
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« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2011, 02:48:00 PM »

P.S. In your post this morning you said:

Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics.

I'm thinking that you wouldn't have said that unless you had a problem with something that I said.
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« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2011, 04:51:15 PM »

IAs to the term 'Orthodox in union with Rome', that is not a polemical epitaph hurled by Orthodox apologists at the Greek Catholics, but rather a term that Eastern Catholics themselves have developed in an attempt to define their relationship(s) with Rome and the institution of the Papacy as dogmatized by the Western Church.

For an interesting read on the issue from the Ukrainian Orthodox point of view, and one which is balanced and not full of invective or ill will towards our Eastern Catholic friends, I would lead you to this: http://www.ukrainian-orthodoxy.org/articles/catholic/communionWithRome.htm 

The article which you cite is written by a Ukrainian Catholic man named Alexander Roman  who has a Ph.D. in Political Science.  He is not nor has he ever been a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  The views he expresses are his own views as a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Yeah, but Dr. Roman is pretty pro-Orthoodx.  I told me once that he considered joining the OC at one time, but didn't do so outright due to the troubles in his family that this would cause.
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« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2011, 07:39:35 PM »

podkarpatska, thanks for the pm. The thing is, you still have not shown me what I said that you have a problem with. Please do so in your next post.
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« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2011, 02:59:35 PM »

Christ is Risen!

 The unia was founded at the Laterno Synod of 1215 and in the Bull of Pope Innocente 4th. The unia was created in Poland by two Jesuits and the plan was to Latinize the Orthodox of Poland and south-west Russia(Ukraine). With the help of the Polish King the Synods of Brest was formed. Since then the forced conversion of Orthodox to the Papists began, churches were confiscated, Orthodox were murdered, tortured, or sent into exile. The shame of the unia on the Pope.

1914-Austro-Hungarian Empire-eradicates Orthodox believers. A great number sent to concentration camps, Talerhof and Terezin.
1917-and after- Catholic interventionists attacked the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, forming an anti-Orthodox uniat pact with the atheist and bolsheviks.
1943-1944- Hundreds of Ukrainian Orthodox priests eliminated and tortured by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, aided by uniate Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj.
1938- Volhynia, Western Ukraine, the Polish government oversees the destruction of more than 190 Orthodox Churches, and over 150 Churches turned over to the Latin Rite. This was occurring all over the Carpathian Mountain regions in Poland,Western Ukraine, and Czechoslovakia.

In the U.S., when Eastern Rite Catholics began to return to Orthodoxy(because of Latinization), the Austro-Hungarian officials, along with Latin hierarchies requested that Rome step in to establish an Eastern Rite church, to stop the flow to Orthodoxy. The conflicts did not end with Eastern Rite eparchies established in the U.S. Conflicts, some physical, occurred in Orthodox Churches that were more Russian in nature. Ukrainian Nationalists instigated conflicts by their anti-Russian propaganda. (My mother and her family were witnesses to these conflicts in Jersey City. There was one Church. Sts. Peter & Paul Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church, where these immigrants, Rusyns/Lemkos worshipped. After these conflicts ,a separate Ukrainian and Byzantine Catholic church was established.*)This was occurring in Western Ukraine where Moscow,and Russia, were blamed for their ills. It was the Russians that destroyed and suppressed their Eastern Rite faith and churches, not the Communists. Ukrainian Nationalist propaganda at its best.The truth, the facts, are ignored. The Orthodox Church, under the Communist regime, was attacked, suppressed, Churches,and monasteries destroyed or closed. Countless believers murdered or sent to the gulags. Most of the Communist leaders were not even ethnic Russians.

The problems caused by Roman Catholic aggression in Poland and Ukraine, violent actions of Greek Catholics against Orthodox believers being deprived of their Churches and their religious rights is still occurring. When will a Pope speak out against this?

The title should read:Orthodox - forceful conversion to Catholicism

*I must point out that the Russian hierarchy at that time was involved in Russifying these immigrants. My opinion is that most of these people were not concerned with nationalistic rhetoric(Ukrainian Nationalists), but their Orthodox Faith. In many areas. later on, an Ukrainian Orthodox Church was established,separate from the Russian Church. I always wonder if the Russian hierarchy had been more attuned to the situation, established an Ukrainian Orthodox Church, understood that these Rusyns/Lemkos were not ethnic Russians, would these conflicts have been reduced?



 
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« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2011, 04:24:11 PM »

IAs to the term 'Orthodox in union with Rome', that is not a polemical epitaph hurled by Orthodox apologists at the Greek Catholics, but rather a term that Eastern Catholics themselves have developed in an attempt to define their relationship(s) with Rome and the institution of the Papacy as dogmatized by the Western Church.

For an interesting read on the issue from the Ukrainian Orthodox point of view, and one which is balanced and not full of invective or ill will towards our Eastern Catholic friends, I would lead you to this: http://www.ukrainian-orthodoxy.org/articles/catholic/communionWithRome.htm 

The article which you cite is written by a Ukrainian Catholic man named Alexander Roman  who has a Ph.D. in Political Science.  He is not nor has he ever been a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  The views he expresses are his own views as a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Yeah, but Dr. Roman is pretty pro-Orthoodx.  I told me once that he considered joining the OC at one time, but didn't do so outright due to the troubles in his family that this would cause.
he is quite a character and loves to cite all his ancestors and relatives.  But the fact is that Alexander Roman is NOT Orthodox and has a doctorate in Political Science not theology. His words or writigns should not be used to express an Orthodox view because he IS NOT ORTHODOX>
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« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2011, 04:29:54 PM »

"but I also have a profound respect for those who did not and remained Eastern Catholic as I understand the forces that motivated them."

Podkarpatska,
I'm trying to better understand why Eastern Catholics are reluctant to re-join the Orthodox church. Can you elaborate on these forces that motivate them to stay EC? Is it simply a matter of anti-Russian/anti-communist sentiments?


The Ukrainian Catholics who live in what used to be called Galicia have developed their own historical traditions and culture.  Generations have lived and died in that church so they are not influenced by arguments of history.
What is interesting is that their dreams of spreading their church beyond the borders of historical Galica and converting Ukrainian Orthodox in the rest of Ukraine has not happned.
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« Reply #44 on: April 25, 2011, 09:36:14 PM »

It would appear that I've caught podkarpatska at a bad time. Maybe one of the other Orthodox here could be so kind as to explain to me how "Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics" in the following post:

For most ECs, it wouldn't be a matter of re-joining the Orthodox Church*, but rather of joining it for the first time.


*At least not in the literal sense. I suppose you could call it "re-joining" in the sense that their ancestors were Orthodox. Not really the same thing though.
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