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Author Topic: Josaphat Kuntsevich  (Read 14641 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 06, 2002, 09:23:13 PM »

A saint in the Catholic Church: http://www.yourcatholic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=91

Discuss.

Commentary:

Quote
Most religious, fearing interference with the natively developed liturgy and customs, did not want union with Rome.

And sadly, history proved them right - something sympathetic Catholics admit today.

Quote
Never completely suitable to either side, Roman authorities sometimes raised objection to Josaphat's Orthodox actions.

To try to be an authentically Eastern Catholic is a kind of martyrdom.

Quote
... a dissident group, supported by Cossacks, set up an anti-Uniat bishops for each Uniat one, spread the accusation that Josaphat had "gone Latin," and that his followers would be forced to do the same

St Michael's, whence came St Stephen's Cathedral about which Orthodoc and I were writing, left Holy Ghost Greek Catholic Church in 1906 claiming the same thing, according to a history of St Michael's printed in the 1950s. It seems to have been an exaggeration, even though it came close to coming true with the many latinizations to come. (Dissident = quaint Catholicspeak for Orthodox.)
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2002, 09:36:57 PM »

I'd love to discuss this, but I've been banned and so cannot get to the forum.  Oh well.
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2002, 09:40:06 PM »

OK, here it is in full. Seems to be written Western Union-style, stop!

JOSAPHAT

Also known as
John Kunsevich; Josaphat Kuncevyc; Josaphat of Polotsk; Jozofat Kuncewicz

Memorial
12 November (formerly 14 November)

Profile

His father was a municipal counselor, and his mother known for her piety. Raised in the Orthodox Ruthenian Church which, on 23 November 1595 in the Union of Brest, united with the Church of Rome. Trained as a merchant's apprentice at Vilna, he was offered partnership in the business, and marriage to his partner's daughter; feeling the call to religious life, he declined both. Monk in the Ukrainian Order of Saint Basil (Basilians) in Vilna at age 20 in 1604, taking the name brother Josaphat. Deacon. Ordained a Byzantine rite priest in 1609.

Josaphat's superior, Samuel, never accepted unity with Rome, and looked for a way to fight against Roman Catholicism and the Uniats, the name given those who brought about and accepted the union of the Churches. Learning of Samiel's work, and fearing the physical and spiritual damage it could cause, Josaphat brought it to the attention of his superiors. The archbishop of Kiev removed Samuel from his post, replacing him with Josaphat.

Famous preacher. Worked to bring unity among the faithful, and strayed Christians back to the Church. Bishop of Vitebsk. Most religious, fearing interference with the natively developed liturgy and customs, did not want union with Rome. Bishop Josaphat believed unity to be in the best interests of the Church, and by teaching, clerical reform, and personal example Josaphat won the greater part of the Orthodox in Lithuania to the union. Never completely suitable to either side, Roman authorities sometimes raised objection to Josaphat's Orthodox actions. Archbishop of Polotsk, Lithuania in 1617.

While Josaphat attended the Diet of Warsaw in 1620, a dissident group, supported by Cossacks, set up an anti-Uniat bishops for each Uniat one, spread the accusation that Josaphat had "gone Latin," and that his followers would be forced to do the same, and placed a usurper on the archbishop's chair. Despite warnings, John went to Vitebsk, a hotbed of trouble, to try to correct the misunderstandings, and settle disturbances. The army remained loyal to the king, who remained loyal to the Union, and so the army tried to protect Josaphat and his clergy.

Late in 1623 an anti-Uniat priest named Elias shouted insults at Josaphat from his own courtyard, and tried to force his way into the residence. When he was removed, a mob assembled and forced his release. Mob mentality took over, and they invaded the residence. Josaphat tried to insure the safety of his servants before fleeing himself, but did not get out in time, and was martyred by the mob. His death was a shock to both sides of the dispute, brought some sanity and a cooling off period to both sides of the conflict.
Born
1580 at Volodymyr, Lithuania (modern Ukraine) as John Kunsevyc
Died
struck in the head with a halberd, shot and beaten with staves on 12 November 1623 at Vitebsk, Belarus; body thrown into the Dvina River but later recovered; buried at Biala, Poland; body found incorrupt after 5 years of death
Beatification
1643
Canonized
1876; first Eastern saint canonized by Rome
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You people of Vitebsk want to put me to death. You make ambushes for me everywhere, in the streets, on the bridges, on the highways, and in the marketplace. I am here among you as a shepherd, and you ought to know that I would be happy to give my life for you. I am ready to die for the holy union, for the supremacy of Saint Peter, and of his successor the Supreme Pontiff.

Saint Josaphat
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2002, 12:35:40 AM »


And now for the Orthodox Catholic Version:

Josaphat Kuntsevich was born as John Kuntsevich around
1580 (various sources give 1580, 1582 or 1584 as the year of his birth) in
present-day Volodymyr-Volyns'kyy, Ukraine, then the capital of Volhynia
(northwestern Ukraine), which at the time was part of the Polish-Lithuanian
Commonwealth (a multi-ethnic state whose territory included present-day
Lithuania, Belarus, Poland and part of Ukraine).  When John Kuntsevich came of
age, he followed in the footsteps of his family's business in mercantile trade
and went to work as a merchant's apprentice in the city of Vil'nya (present-day
Vilnius, Lithuania) until 1604, when he became a monk under the name of
Josaphat in the Uniate "Basilian" monastic order.  In 1609, he was ordained a
Uniate presbyter, and in 1617 he was consecrated Uniate bishop of Polatsk
(present-day northern Belarus).  While some historical sources indicate that he
drew criticism from his Roman Catholic contemporaries for what they considered
undue devotion to the Byzantine liturgical, devotional and ecclesiastical
heritage of his roots, others indicate that he was quite aggressive and
polemical in the cause of Uniatism, refusing to consider the mere possibility
of equal rights for Orthodox Christians in the Commonwealth, hindering the
consecration of Orthodox Christian bishops and the assignment of Orthodox
Christian clergy within its borders, and resorting to police force to
confiscate Orthodox Christian properties and break up gatherings of Orthodox
Christians in the region.  It is said that he even ordered the exhumation of
dead Orthodox Christians and had their corpses thrown to dogs.  In fact, Leo
Sapyeha, a Belarusian statesman who was at the time chancellor of the Grand
Duchy of Lithuania, Rus' and Samogitia (on whose territory Polatsk was located)
and advocated a policy of religious tolerance, publicly criticized and rebuked
Kuntsevich in writing for intolerant attitudes, harsh language and provocative
actions that fomented civil discord.  Kuntsevich was killed in 1623 by a mob of
angry Orthodox Christians during a visit to Vitsyebsk (present-day northeastern
Belarus), where he led a group of partisans to knock down tents where the
Orthodox Christians were worshipping.  One of his partisans struck a deacon
during the raid, and the enraged worshippers retaliated by attacking Kuntsevich
with sticks and stones, beating him to death.  Pope Urban VIII initiated
canonization proceedings for Kuntsevich five years after his death in 1628,
when his tomb was opened and his body was supposedly found to be incorrupt;
Roman Catholic authorities later beatified him in 1643 and canonized him in
1867.  Uniates and Roman Catholics venerate Josaphat Kuntsevich as a saint and
commemorate him on November 12.

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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2002, 12:52:34 AM »

I saw the earthly reamins of St. Josaphat last summer in Rome.

He is reposed in a see thru old-style-against-the-wall. It is on the backside of the same column of the St. Peter statue with the worn foot.

The area to get to St. Josaphat is usually roped off because of confessions but when I approached the guard, I noticed he was a Ukrainian seminarian and I asked in English if I could go to see St. Josaphat and he said Confession only. I then said "Ya khochu pomolytysya do Svyatoho Yosafata" 8)and he said oh you are Ukrainian! Please come right in! He then showed me his remains which appeared to be intact. He has a mask on but everything else looks as if he is asleep.

He told me how he was killed with an axe blow to the face, thrown in the river, then several motnhs later a light shined rom heaven on his floating body. He was then taken to several places, on the run from Orthodox faithful, and went to Vienna then Rome where he is now.

I don't know much about this saint but there are some articles about him at www.ukrainian-orthodoxy.org
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2002, 04:57:37 AM »

Thank for the 2 versions - most interesting to hear both sides.

Like Mor, I too have been banned,  so when I saw Serge's original post this morning I was grateful for the elightenment

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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2002, 09:42:42 AM »

Thank for the 2 versions - most interesting to hear both sides.

Like Mor, I too have been banned,  so when I saw Serge's original post this morning I was grateful for the elightenment

Let the education continue  Cheesy

What's with this banning?  By whom were you and Mor banned and for what reason?  Huh

Just a footnote: Polish Roman Catholics claim Josaphat Kuncewicz (note the Polish spelling they use in his surname) as one of *their* own, i.e., POLISH.  The largest (Polish) Roman Catholic church in Milwaukee is St. Josaphat's Basilica.

For some years I attended a Polish-American Roman Catholic parochial school, where, in Church History, I learned about the "real" St. Josaphat Kuncewicz, i.e., that he was Polish, not Ukrainian, Belorussian, Lithuanian, etc.!   Grin

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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2002, 10:18:24 AM »

You're welcome.

I was banned from yourcatholic.com too with no explanation. My guess is they have adopted a very narrow, conservative Novus Ordo Roman Catholic 'platform' and weed out anything else - even if it's orthodox and from other Catholics such as the slave. That and they are understandably very upset that Nik is planning to convert to Orthodoxy, so there may be some anti-Eastern backlash going on.

It's ironic that the Poles would claim (St) Josaphat since they historically reject the Byzantine Rite in their country, whether it's practised by Catholics or Orthodox - it is Ukrainian, not Polish, and 'that's bad enough'. (To be fair, there is Russian xenophobia in the other direction - remember, Poland tried to conquer Russia once - False Dmitri, Boris Godunov and all that? - and Russia once owned half of Poland, as recently as the early 1900s.)

There is a Polish Roman Catholic church in my city named for him too. (And if I recall correctly, a Ukrainian Catholic church named for him, somewhere in the same city.)

Does anybody know how Ukrainian Catholics fared around Krakow in the 1960s and 1970s when Pope John Paul II was the Roman Catholic archbishop there?
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2002, 11:06:37 AM »

You're welcome.

<<I was banned from yourcatholic.com too with no explanation.>>

Are they afraid of someone speaking the truth?

<<It's ironic that the Poles would claim (St) Josaphat>>
Not so ironic.  Many Poles will also tell you that L'viv is "really" Lwow, an old *Polish* city, with one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe, the "Polish" University of Lwow.  Cardinal Macharski, the Latin RC Archbishop of Lviv, is evidence of the large Polish population still in this now-Ukrainian city, the same city to which the head of the UGCC, Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, also claims title as "Major" Archbishop.  Somewhat of a rarity in RCism, btw: Two (2) Cardinal-Archbishops of the same city.

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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2002, 12:26:52 PM »

Before WWII, L'viv was in fact Lw+¦w, a Polish-majority city, which may partly explain why it is a (the?) center of Ukrainian nationalism/separatism today - it is not Russian historically except perhaps in the Middle Ages. Before WWI it was in the part of Poland ruled by Austria and sometimes was called the German name Lemberg. Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky), head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and living in that city, was a Polish count (German Graf) in the old Austrian nobility. Which is perhaps why he was able to get away with being as Eastern-oriented (and friendly to the Orthodox) in the Catholic Church as he was for his time.
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2002, 12:52:06 PM »

Before WWII, L'viv was in fact Lw+¦w, a Polish-majority city, which may partly explain why it is a (the?) center of Ukrainian nationalism/separatism today - it is not Russian historically except perhaps in the Middle Ages. Before WWI it was in the part of Poland ruled by Austria and sometimes was called the German name Lemberg. Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky), head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and living in that city, was a Polish count (German Graf) in the old Austrian nobility. Which is perhaps why he was able to get away with being as Eastern-oriented (and friendly to the Orthodox) in the Catholic Church as he was for his time.

Ah, Metropolitan Andziej Szeptycki (Polish spelling)!  My 92-year-old mother-in-law, a graduate of the Medical School of the University of Lwow, the same city where my wife was born in December 1939, and an ethnic Pole with no holds barred, would tell you that he was 100% Polish too--the Poles only "loaned" him to the "grecko-katolicki" Ukrainians to keep them in the Unia in her version!  Grin

Yeah, as soon as Lwow again became "Lemberg" with the German Nazi invasion, my in-laws fled from Lwow with their children to the south of Poland.  Soon Lemberg was the Soviet "Lvov," and now the Ukrainian "L'viv."

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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2002, 02:14:03 PM »

Quote
Metropolitan Andziej Szeptycki (Polish spelling)!  

Polish: where you take perfectly good Russian words and throw in a lot of extraneous sh and zh sounds, making speaking it like talking with your mouth full!  Grin

I've been told Poles always speak Russian with a heavy accent.

And the Czech, Slovak and Croatian ways of using the Latin alphabet make much more sense! The Polish system is sadistic.

I think you missed an r: Andrziej Szeptycki. It's still a zh sound in the middle of the word. (Probably really the same as the Czech letter r with a caron mark over it - rzh, like in Dvor+ík, a sound so hard even a lot of Czech kids can't say it right.)
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2002, 02:38:27 PM »

Quote
Metropolitan Andziej Szeptycki (Polish spelling)!  
I think you missed an r: Andrziej Szeptycki. It's still a zh sound in the middle of the word. (Probably really the same as the Czech letter r with a caron mark over it - rzh, like in Dvor+ík, a sound so hard even a lot of Czech kids can't say it right.)

Nope, no "r" in the common Polish spelling of "Andziej," pronounced "An-djey" (like in the Czech "Dvorzak") for "Andrew," Serge.  But "Andrziej" IS an accepted alternate spelling.

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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2002, 02:48:07 PM »

Dziekuje barzdo.
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2002, 02:50:29 PM »

Dziekuje barzdo.

Nie ma za co!

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« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2005, 04:14:50 PM »

Quote
and his body was supposedly found to be incorrupt;

If this is the Orthodox side of history, then I'm afraid I have to say I don't believe the "orthodox" side of the story.
Is St. Bernadette supposedely inccorupt? What about Sts. Germaine Cousin, Romuald, Catherine Laboure, Silvan and the other (approx.) 300 incorrupt Roman Catholic saints? Maybe in 500 years the Orthodox Church will claim that they were supposedely found incorrupt?
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2005, 01:53:44 AM »

Saturday, November 12th, is the feastday of Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych.

As a Catholic, I have a personal devotion to this great saint. I am saddened that the misinformation about him continues to be propagated and believed.

I would like to recommend the book, "Saint Jospahat Kuntsevych: Apostle of Church Unity" by Fr. Demetrius E. Wysochansky, OSBM. It is the most comprehensive book on the life of Saint Josaphat in English. Included are quotes from the sworn testimonies given by eyewitnesses to Saint Josapahat's holiness during the canonization process. Included are the testimonies of Orthodox Christians who persecuted him and yet defended his holiness.

The following link leads to an image of the incorrupt relics of Saint Josaphat at Saint Peter's Basilica:

http://www.stthomasirondequoit.com/SaintsAlive/1fb80200.jpg

Let us pray for unity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches for which Saint Josaphat gave his life.

May God bless you.ÂÂ  Smiley

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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2005, 07:28:01 PM »

[Let us pray for unity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches for which Saint Josaphat gave his life.]

If it is a unity based on the tactics of this so called saint, no Orthodox Catholic will join in prayer.  It would be an insult to our Orthodox ancestors who suffered to remain in the Orthodox Catholic faith under this despot!

What amazes me is that the story changes in each version I read from Roman Catholic or Byzantine ARC's (automonous ritual churches).  In some he was dragged out of his estate, while in others he was dragged out of his Church.  The real story is when he came with his hoods to disrupt an outdoor Orthodox Liturgy  the Orthodox finally had enough of his unchristian deeds.

He was killed and his body was thrown in the river.   Some members of the ARC's under Rome even claim that his body was hacked before thrown in the river.  Yet his body lays uncorrupted in Rome! 

From your version we read -

http://www.stthomasirondequoit.com/SaintsAlive/id549.htm

ÂÂ ÂÂ [John Kunsevich was born in 1580 to a prominent Catholic of the city of Vladimir.  A thoughtful and devout young man, John entered a monastery in 1604, taking the name Josaphat. ÂÂ He became noted for his holiness as a monk, and for his ability as a preacher. ÂÂ Since there was so much opposition to reunion with Rome, Father Josaphat devoted much of his preaching to defending Catholic unity. ÂÂ In 1617 he became archbishop of Polotsk. ÂÂ Here he struggled manfully but successfully to bring about a reform among his clergy and laity.]

[Sometime later a gang entered his church.  Crying out, "Kill the papist," they shot the archbishop, crushed his skull, and threw his body into the river.]

Yet in the other RC version quoted in the first post it says -

Profile

His father was a municipal counselor, and his mother known for her piety. Raised in the Orthodox Ruthenian Church which, on 23 November 1595 in the Union of Brest, united with the Church of Rome. Trained as a merchant's apprentice at Vilna, he was offered partnership in the business, and marriage to his partner's daughter; feeling the call to religious life, he declined both. Monk in the Ukrainian Order of Saint Basil (Basilians) in Vilna at age 20 in 1604, taking the name brother Josaphat. Deacon. Ordained a Byzantine rite priest in 1609.

One has to wonder why this subject is reactivated after such a long time by a new member.  You wouldn't be trolling by any chance.  Are you aware what the Lithuanian Roman Catholic governer wrote about this man you call a saint?

There is another dark side of Josaphat Kuntsevich.Here is what the the Chancellor of Lithuania, Leo Sapiega, the representative of the Polish King, wrote to Josaphat Kuntsevich on 12 March, 1622, which is one and a half years before Josaphat's death:

"...By thoughtless violence you oppress the Russian people and urge them on to revolt. You are aware of the censure of the simple people, that it would be better to be in Turkish captivity than to endure such persecutions for faith and piety. You write that you freely drown the Orthodox, chop off their heads, and profane their churches. You seal their churches so the people, without piety and Christian rites, are buried like non-Christians. In place of joy, your cunning Uniatism has brought us only woe, unrest, and conflict. We would prefer to be without it. These are the fruits of your Uniatism."


Just before his "martyr's end," which occurred on November 12, 1623 in Vitebsk, Kuntsevich ordered the disposal of dead Orthodox by having their corpses exhumed and thrown to dogs. In all of his Polotsky diocese, both in Mogilyov and in Orsha, he pillaged and terrorized the Orthodox, closing and burning churches. Eloquent complaints were sent to judges and to the Polish Sejm.

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« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2005, 08:51:24 PM »

Orthodoc,

Thank you for your reply! Smiley

Yes, I am well aware of the discrepancy, it is not the first time that I have seen it.

Which is precisely why  you should read the book on Saint Josaphat's life  by Fr. Demetrius!

It is well researched. Saint Josaphat was a convert to Catholicism.

Yet, that does not invalidate that Saint Josaphat was a holy man.

I am more than willing to read any biographies that the Orthodox Church has printed on Saint Josaphat's life. Would you be able to provide me with some sources?

Remember, Orthodoc, that discrepancies exist regarding the reason for the Theotokos' apparition to protect the city of Constantinople. Was it to protect the city from a disease or from invaders? Which one is true?

Does that mean that the Theotokos never appeared in the first place? Of course not.

You owe to yourself to read the book. If you still disagree, that is your choice, but at least you will be better informed.

God bless you,  Smiley

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« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2006, 11:31:28 PM »

Orthodoc,

Thank you for your reply! Smiley

Yes, I am well aware of the discrepancy, it is not the first time that I have seen it.

Which is precisely whyÂÂ  you should read the book on Saint Josaphat's lifeÂÂ  by Fr. Demetrius!

It is well researched. Saint Josaphat was a convert to Catholicism.

Yet, that does not invalidate that Saint Josaphat was a holy man.

I am more than willing to read any biographies that the Orthodox Church has printed on Saint Josaphat's life.  (*)  Would you be able to provide me with some sources?

Remember, Orthodoc, that discrepancies exist regarding the reason for the Theotokos' apparition to protect the city of Constantinople. Was it to protect the city from a disease or from invaders? Which one is true?

Does that mean that the Theotokos never appeared in the first place? Of course not.

You owe to yourself to read the book. If you still disagree, that is your choice, but at least you will be better informed.

God bless you,ÂÂ  Smiley

griego catolico




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Saints or Holy men do not plunder churches or murder their inhabitants.

As far as history, I prefer to read what was wtitten by the Roman Catholic Chancellor of Lithuania of behalf of the Roman Catholic Polish King AT THE TIME IN QUESTION -

Even Catholics urged this fanatic, nicknamed "soul-snatcher" by the people, to come to his senses. The famous letter of Chancellor Lev Sapega, the head of Great Principality of Lithuania, written on behalf of the Polish King, better than anything else characterizes the fierce Uniat Kuntsevich and the unfortunate state of Orthodox victims of the Brest Union. Lev Sapega wrote:

 (*) [Here's a source I have already given you.  It is the letter written by the Roman Catholic Chancellor of Lithuania at that time}

«I admit, that I too was concerned about the cause of Union and that it would be imprudent to abandon it; but it had never occurred to me that your Eminence would implement it using such violent measures... You say that you are "free to drown the infidels (i.e. those who have not accepted the Unia - L.P.), to chop their heads off"; etc. Not so! The Lord's commandment expresses a strict prohibition to all, which concerns you also. When you violated human conscience, closed churches so that people would perish like infidels without divine service, without Christian rites and sacraments; when you abused King's favors and privileges -- you managed without us; but when there is a need to suppress seditions caused by your excesses you want us to cover up for you... As to the dangers that threaten your life, one may say that everyone is the cause of one's own misfortune. Stop making trouble, do not subject us to the general hatred of the people and yourself to obvious danger and general criticism... Everywhere one hears people grumbling that you do not have any worthy priests, but only blind ones... Your ignorant priests are the bane of the people... But tell me, your Eminence, whom did you win over, whom did you attract with your severity... It will turn out that in Polotsk itself you have lost even those who until now were obedient to you. You have turned sheep into goats, you plunged the state into danger, and maybe all of us Catholics -- into ruin... It has been rumored that they (the Orthodox) would rather be under the infidel Turks than endure such violence... you yourself are the cause of their rebellion. Instead of joy, your notorious Union brought us only troubles and discords and has become so loathsome that we would rather be without it!» [391].

"Persecution of the Orthodox (raised by Kuntsevich) repeated the horrors of the first centuries of Christianity" [391]. One of them took place on May 22 of 1620 in the Trinity Monastery near Polotsk where local inhabitants gathered to express their indignation at the ferocious persecution of the Orthodox which was instigated by Bishop Kuntsevich of Polotsk. These people suffered a terrible fate: an armed crowd of Uniats surrounded the monastery and set it on fire. As the fire was raging and destroying the monastery and burning alive everyone within its walls, Iosafat Kuntsevich was performing on a nearby hill a thanksgiving service accompanied by the cries of the victims of fire ... [393]

At last people's patience gave way, and in 1623 this "Papist and soul-snatcher", as he was called, was killed by the people of Vitebsk who suffered greatly from this fierce Uniat. King Sigizmund III severely punished the people of Vitebsk for the murder of Kuntsevich thereby earning the praise of Pope Urban VIII. Following the petition of the King and Jesuit court-preachers along with the Uniat-Jesuit party, the Pope acknowledged Kuntsevich as "blessed". At that time the Vatican could not call him a "saint" because everybody knew of his brutality, his scandalous disposition and his self-interest. To this testifies the above-cited letter of Chancellor Lev Sapega, a Latin who considered that he disgraced himself even by just corresponding with Kuntsevich. However, in spite of everything the Roman Pontiff decided to glorify Kuntsevich: "Only the Pope desirous of insulting and humiliating Orthodoxy could agree to acknowledge Iosafat as a martyr and thus delude and deceive gullible people. Jesuits-Uniats have even invented various miracles, which allegedly occurred at Iosafat's grave. The clumsiness of some of them may testify to their falsity..." [394]

========

Rather than a rewrite of history written centuries later.

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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2006, 11:55:22 PM »

Reply:


Saints or Holy men do not plunder churches or murder their inhabitants.

As far as history, I prefer to read what was wtitten by the Roman Catholic Chancellor of Lithuania of behalf of the Roman Catholic Polish King AT THE TIME IN QUESTION -

Even Catholics urged this fanatic, nicknamed "soul-snatcher" by the people, to come to his senses. The famous letter of Chancellor Lev Sapega, the head of Great Principality of Lithuania, written on behalf of the Polish King, better than anything else characterizes the fierce Uniat Kuntsevich and the unfortunate state of Orthodox victims of the Brest Union. Lev Sapega wrote:

 (*) [Here's a source I have already given you.ÂÂ  It is the letter written by the Roman Catholic Chancellor of Lithuania at that time}

«I admit, that I too was concerned about the cause of Union and that it would be imprudent to abandon it; but it had never occurred to me that your Eminence would implement it using such violent measures... You say that you are "free to drown the infidels (i.e. those who have not accepted the Unia - L.P.), to chop their heads off"; etc. Not so! The Lord's commandment expresses a strict prohibition to all, which concerns you also. When you violated human conscience, closed churches so that people would perish like infidels without divine service, without Christian rites and sacraments; when you abused King's favors and privileges -- you managed without us; but when there is a need to suppress seditions caused by your excesses you want us to cover up for you... As to the dangers that threaten your life, one may say that everyone is the cause of one's own misfortune. Stop making trouble, do not subject us to the general hatred of the people and yourself to obvious danger and general criticism... Everywhere one hears people grumbling that you do not have any worthy priests, but only blind ones... Your ignorant priests are the bane of the people... But tell me, your Eminence, whom did you win over, whom did you attract with your severity... It will turn out that in Polotsk itself you have lost even those who until now were obedient to you. You have turned sheep into goats, you plunged the state into danger, and maybe all of us Catholics -- into ruin... It has been rumored that they (the Orthodox) would rather be under the infidel Turks than endure such violence... you yourself are the cause of their rebellion. Instead of joy, your notorious Union brought us only troubles and discords and has become so loathsome that we would rather be without it!» [391].

"Persecution of the Orthodox (raised by Kuntsevich) repeated the horrors of the first centuries of Christianity" [391]. One of them took place on May 22 of 1620 in the Trinity Monastery near Polotsk where local inhabitants gathered to express their indignation at the ferocious persecution of the Orthodox which was instigated by Bishop Kuntsevich of Polotsk. These people suffered a terrible fate: an armed crowd of Uniats surrounded the monastery and set it on fire. As the fire was raging and destroying the monastery and burning alive everyone within its walls, Iosafat Kuntsevich was performing on a nearby hill a thanksgiving service accompanied by the cries of the victims of fire ... [393]

At last people's patience gave way, and in 1623 this "Papist and soul-snatcher", as he was called, was killed by the people of Vitebsk who suffered greatly from this fierce Uniat. King Sigizmund III severely punished the people of Vitebsk for the murder of Kuntsevich thereby earning the praise of Pope Urban VIII. Following the petition of the King and Jesuit court-preachers along with the Uniat-Jesuit party, the Pope acknowledged Kuntsevich as "blessed". At that time the Vatican could not call him a "saint" because everybody knew of his brutality, his scandalous disposition and his self-interest. To this testifies the above-cited letter of Chancellor Lev Sapega, a Latin who considered that he disgraced himself even by just corresponding with Kuntsevich. However, in spite of everything the Roman Pontiff decided to glorify Kuntsevich: "Only the Pope desirous of insulting and humiliating Orthodoxy could agree to acknowledge Iosafat as a martyr and thus delude and deceive gullible people. Jesuits-Uniats have even invented various miracles, which allegedly occurred at Iosafat's grave. The clumsiness of some of them may testify to their falsity..." [394]

========

Rather than a rewrite of history written centuries later.

Orthodoc

Seems the proper and suitable demise of this tirant.  Seems also that any love that he should have shown to his fellow Christians was empty and null.



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« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2006, 02:11:28 AM »

DO NOT condemn a man or person. Leave that up to God. We
can only condemn his actions and that in case these truly
were his actions. I agree that it wasn't right to kill for
the Union but don't play God (no offence, I just mean
do not act as if you know everything for sure and you
can condemn him).

I too condemn these actions if they really occured.
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« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2006, 01:24:29 PM »

Bob,

The letter you cite is by no means proven to be authentic and many, both Orthodox and Catholic, consider it spurious.  On the otherhand, even if the letter is authentic it does not mean it is truthful.  St. Josaphat was in the unenviable position of being hated by both the Orthodox and Polish Latin Catholics.  As a Lemko Rusyn you know well that the Polish persecuted Greek Catholic and Orthodox alike, considering both to be foreign and a threat to Poland.  Greek Catholics who stood up to the Polish nobility and hierarchy and resisted the assimilation of their people into the Latin Church were slandered almost from the time of Union through to Metropolitan Andrew Sheptitsky.  Even now tensions remain, the most recent incident being in the late 90's the Polish hiearchy trying to force married Greek Catholic priests out of Poland back to Ukraine.  Archbishop Lubomyr stood his ground and the priest remain.

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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2007, 10:04:55 PM »

Josaphat Kuntsevich, Apostle of Church Unity???

  Well, I guess if he satisfied his wish and killed ALL oof the Orthodox, there would have been unity of a sort . . . from what I read, he was nothing more than a murderer!
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« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2007, 08:24:35 AM »

Like television, I guess we shouldn't believe everything we read or see and assume they're true or accurate.  Let's stop dredging up old threads and posting nonsense like this, and start behaving like adults.
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« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2007, 10:46:12 PM »

welkodox wrote:

   "Like television, I guess we shouldn't believe everything we read or see and assume they're true or accurate."

   I saw the information that I wrote about in a standard Russian Orthodox hagiography concerning the Martyrs of Brest; there was, I beleive, also an article accompanying the hagiography concerning the actions of Joaspahat Kuntsevich. Both the hagiography and the article included information about Josaphat Kuntsevich that was gruesome in the extreme, detailing his murders of Orthodox believers if they refused to convert to Papism; his maniacal hatred of the Orthodox; and his psychotic insistence that thebodies of the Orthodox he murdered NOT be buried, but be allowed to be consumed by dogs.
   Now, I do not know about welkodox, or anyone else on this forum, but I do not consider material in Orthodox hagiographies to be fairy tales, or pious childrens stories, or wishful thinking. I consider them to be the truth. Not "sort of the truth," or "the truth as THEY see it" vs. "the truth as WE see it," and so on. Possibly, I am not overly sensitive to other peoples "take" on the truth. I would never deny that I thought Josaphat Kuntsevich was a murderer becasue it would not go down good with a Roman Catholic. I would never deny Christ because I thought it would not go down good with a Mohammedan. I would nbever deny God because I thought it would not go down good with an atheist.
   When I signed up to this forum, I thought-possibly mistakenly-that the truth was one of the things people here were looking for. If I am mistaken, and this is not the place for such "radical" thoughts, and everyone is simply here to tell each other how lovely we think THEIR religions are, and how, though they may be heretics, or atheists, we do not want to say any little thing that they may object to, but we whould just try our best to make them fell all nice and warm and fuzzy-let me know now, and I iwll gladly not visit again.
   Apparently, this is the type of behavior that welkkodox means by "being an adult." Sorry, sir, never did subscribe to that theory. Never will. And, whether or not you think I am or am not an "adult" means absolutely nothing to me.
   To possibly make things a bit more clear, maybe I should do it with a question:
 
   HOW IN THE WORLD could anyone possibly come up with the notion that Josaphat Kuntsevich, who was a murderer of the Orthodox, and who refused to allow their murdered bodies to be buried, preferring to have them eaten by dogs, be some sort of "signpost" for unity between the Roman Catholica and the Orthodox?

  If whoever came up with this brainstorm is not aware of the Orthodox thought about Josaphat Kuntesevich, maybe they should look that up and become familiar with it.
  And yes, we are asked to forgive. So, if Josaphat is forgiven, the fact remains that he was a murderer of the Orthodox. No? Then WHY would he be put forth as a "signpost" for unity? Possibly, Hitler and Himmler could be the patron saints of the State of Israel? How about Charles Manson as a caretaker for young girls and pregnant women? Or maybe O.J. Simpson could be an advocate for battered women? Jeffrey Dahmer as a guardian angel for young men? No? Why? Have you not forgiven them? Or-too close in  time? Only murderers of centuries ago are "forgivable"? Only murderers deeds which have been seemingly far eclisped by the mists of time are okay to "work with"? Only murderers who are remembered by those strange foreign people who are probably wrong about them anyway are really the good guys? Only those who are called murderers in those silly saints stories written in-of all places-Russia!-why how could you?
  Yes, please, lets all be adults. But, I am really seriously looking for an answer about WHY Josaphat Kuntsevich and Unity could be mentioned in the same breath-other than, of course, aboslute ignorance. Maybe if someone can answer that, rather than give a little sermona about "adults," it would be meaningful.
   
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« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2007, 12:35:53 PM »

Perhaps you accept Maria Monk as a faithful account of Catholicism in North America.  The luridness of the stories however is usually a pretty good indication that the content is not historically accurate, nor even close; and does indicate the prejudices and/or intentions of the author.

If you want to dredge up 400 year old history and re-live it, then do so.  It's always fascinated me since I became aware of the phenomenon to see people who five years ago were not Orthodox, suddenly become rabid zealouts concerned with what happened in Byelorussia in the 17th century or Constantinople in the 13th.
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« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2007, 03:15:00 AM »

   I am not yearning to relive something that happened 400 years ago; neither am I the object of your fascination who has been Orthodox for five years, transforming into a rabid zealot.
   I have absolutely no idea who Maria Monk is, nor, I think, would I be interested. And you know, some of the stories concerning the various genocides of the 2)th century were pretty lurid-yet, I would not advise confronting victims of the Turks, Kurds, Nazis, Communists, or Ustashi as "not historically accurate."
   However, if you enjoy assuming a very lot without knowing very much, be my guest! You are obvioulsy easily amused.
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« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2007, 07:59:48 AM »

I am not yearning to relive something that happened 400 years ago; neither am I the object of your fascination who has been Orthodox for five years, transforming into a rabid zealot.

I'll agree with you that you're not the object of my fascination.  I will disagree with you on the rabid zealot part.  When you post in the style of, and say things like a rabid zealot, people are going to assume you are just that.  I do find it a strange phenomenon that this happens to people.

Quote
I have absolutely no idea who Maria Monk is, nor, I think, would I be interested.

Well, for those playing at home, Maria Monk was the subject of a book that is now regarded as fictitious.  It was written during an era of heated Anti Catholic rhetoric in the United States, and is filled with salacious and sensational details in order to show how bad the Catholics were.

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

Quote
And you know, some of the stories concerning the various genocides of the 2)th century were pretty lurid-yet, I would not advise confronting victims of the Turks, Kurds, Nazis, Communists, or Ustashi as "not historically accurate."

I know that has nothing to do with something printed in a hagiography somewhere.
 
Quote
However, if you enjoy assuming a very lot without knowing very much, be my guest! You are obvioulsy easily amused.

As evidenced by my continued participation in the thread, I am indeed very easily amused.

I'm unlocking as a desire was expressed to continue the discussion.
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« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2007, 10:19:09 PM »

welkodox:  "I know that has nothing to do with something printed in a hagiography somewhere."


Oh no? Check out the New Martyrs of Serbia - see what the pious Catholic Ustasha did to them! Or would I be a raving zealot to protest?
 
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2007, 04:02:15 PM »

Are there in English any biographies of St. Josaphat Kuntsevich written along the traditional Orthodox anti-Josaphat line which are equivalent to that of Fr. Demetrios in terms of their depth of detail and historiographical integrity?

Even a less lengthy support of the claims, one which provides more documentation than Chancellor Sapika's letter, for instance, is something I'd find worth reading.  I really want to take seriously the Orthodox claims, but so far I've seen nothing historiographically impressive issuing from those quarters.   
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« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2008, 06:54:52 PM »

Thank for the 2 versions - most interesting to hear both sides.

Like Mor, I too have been banned,  so when I saw Serge's original post this morning I was grateful for the elightenment

Let the education continue  Cheesy

What's with this banning?  By whom were you and Mor banned and for what reason?  Huh

Just a footnote: Polish Roman Catholics claim Josaphat Kuncewicz (note the Polish spelling they use in his surname) as one of *their* own, i.e., POLISH.  The largest (Polish) Roman Catholic church in Milwaukee is St. Josaphat's Basilica.

For some years I attended a Polish-American Roman Catholic parochial school, where, in Church History, I learned about the "real" St. Josaphat Kuncewicz, i.e., that he was Polish, not Ukrainian, Belorussian, Lithuanian, etc.!   Grin

Hypo-Ortho

Yes, it is interesting how the first churches named after him, in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee are Polish/Kashubian Latin churches.  The first Ukrainian use I've seen is the cathedral in Western Canada, and I'm not sure it's not due to the similiarity to Joachim (the two are confused here in Chicago), the name of the mother French parish there.
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« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2008, 05:40:48 PM »

Are there in English any biographies of St. Josaphat Kuntsevich written along the traditional Orthodox anti-Josaphat line which are equivalent to that of Fr. Demetrios in terms of their depth of detail and historiographical integrity?

Even a less lengthy support of the claims, one which provides more documentation than Chancellor Sapika's letter, for instance, is something I'd find worth reading.  I really want to take seriously the Orthodox claims, but so far I've seen nothing historiographically impressive issuing from those quarters.   

Yes, I too am interested to see if there has been any serious research on the part of the Orthodox Church regarding the claims against Saint Josaphat.  So far, I have not seen any.

It should be noted that in Fr. Demetrius' book on Saint Josaphat, Chancellor Leo Sapiah severely punished those who murdered Saint Josaphat.  That would imply that he eventually believed in Saint Josaphat's innocence against claims of doing violence against Orthodox Christians. 
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« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2008, 11:25:16 PM »

Are there in English any biographies of St. Josaphat Kuntsevich written along the traditional Orthodox anti-Josaphat line which are equivalent to that of Fr. Demetrios in terms of their depth of detail and historiographical integrity?

Even a less lengthy support of the claims, one which provides more documentation than Chancellor Sapika's letter, for instance, is something I'd find worth reading.  I really want to take seriously the Orthodox claims, but so far I've seen nothing historiographically impressive issuing from those quarters.   


Yes, I too am interested to see if there has been any serious research on the part of the Orthodox Church regarding the claims against Saint Josaphat.  So far, I have not seen any.

It should be noted that in Fr. Demetrius' book on Saint Josaphat, Chancellor Leo Sapiah severely punished those who murdered Saint Josaphat.  That would imply that he eventually believed in Saint Josaphat's innocence against claims of doing violence against Orthodox Christians. 


Reply:

Though I realize that you and others who accept the supreme authority of the Pope over all Christians will probably at this point not accept anything written by an Orthdox Catholic.  However, you might want to acquire the following book by a widely respected  Professor of Slavic history -

(*)  Dimitry Pospielovsky is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Western Ontario.  He is the author of The Russian Church Under The Soviet Regime, 1917-1982v (SVS Press, 1984) and is one of the foremost authorities on Russian Church History.


----------

The Orthodox Church And The History Of Russia...Professor Dimitry Pospielovsky



Page 96-97

The Polish government could ill afford continuous persecutions of the Orthodox.  A war with Turkey loomed on the horizon, and in 1621 the Cossacks presented an ultimatum to the Polish Crown, stating that unless all persecution of the Orthodox Church ceased, they would refuse to fight the Turks.  In response, the 1623 Sejm declared toleration of the Orthodox Church and permitted the legimitization of Orthodox bishops and the restoration of their dioceses.

But the joy of the Orthodox was short lived.  The legalization of the Orthodox Church resulted in a mass return to Orthodoxy of the uniates, particularly in Eastern Belorussia, where the unia had been imposed only recently, and where the fanatical Uniate bishop Josaphat Kuntsevich of Polotsk and Vitebsk responded with bloody attacks on Orthodox households and churches with the help of locally stationed regular troops at his disposal.  Even uniate bishop Metropolitan Rutskii in vain called on Josephat to exercise moderation.  Then the citizens of Vitebsk rose in revolt, lynched the bishop, and threw his body in the Dvina.  A few days later the body was recovered from the water by the Uniates, and Kuntsevitch was proclaimed a martyr-saint, highly revered by the UGCC to this day.

Roman Catholic revenge was immediate and brutal.  Ten citizens of Vitebsk were executed, the city lost its immunities granted under the Magdeburg Law, and all Orthodox churches, including those situated on the brotherhood lands, were closed and confiscated.  Everywhere in the commonwealth, the Orthodox lost the right not only to build but even to repair churches; and Pope Urban VII proclaimed that any Roman Catholic who dared to oppose the use of the sword against the Orthodox would be excommunicated.

<snipe>

The status of the Orthodox Church after Kuntsevich episode remained so tragic, that Job, the Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev, secretly appealed to the Tsar micheal of Russia in 1625 to annex Rus' parts of the Commonwealth to Muscovy.

----------

Orthodoc 


« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 11:27:47 PM by Orthodoc » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2008, 05:42:38 PM »

Quote
Reply:

Though I realize that you and others who accept the supreme authority of the Pope over all Christians will probably at this point not accept anything written by an Orthdox Catholic.  However, you might want to acquire the following book by a widely respected  Professor of Slavic history -

(*)  Dimitry Pospielovsky is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Western Ontario.  He is the author of The Russian Church Under The Soviet Regime, 1917-1982v (SVS Press, 1984) and is one of the foremost authorities on Russian Church History.


----------

The Orthodox Church And The History Of Russia...Professor Dimitry Pospielovsky



Page 96-97

The Polish government could ill afford continuous persecutions of the Orthodox.  A war with Turkey loomed on the horizon, and in 1621 the Cossacks presented an ultimatum to the Polish Crown, stating that unless all persecution of the Orthodox Church ceased, they would refuse to fight the Turks.  In response, the 1623 Sejm declared toleration of the Orthodox Church and permitted the legimitization of Orthodox bishops and the restoration of their dioceses.

But the joy of the Orthodox was short lived.  The legalization of the Orthodox Church resulted in a mass return to Orthodoxy of the uniates, particularly in Eastern Belorussia, where the unia had been imposed only recently, and where the fanatical Uniate bishop Josaphat Kuntsevich of Polotsk and Vitebsk responded with bloody attacks on Orthodox households and churches with the help of locally stationed regular troops at his disposal.  Even uniate bishop Metropolitan Rutskii in vain called on Josephat to exercise moderation.  Then the citizens of Vitebsk rose in revolt, lynched the bishop, and threw his body in the Dvina.  A few days later the body was recovered from the water by the Uniates, and Kuntsevitch was proclaimed a martyr-saint, highly revered by the UGCC to this day.

Roman Catholic revenge was immediate and brutal.  Ten citizens of Vitebsk were executed, the city lost its immunities granted under the Magdeburg Law, and all Orthodox churches, including those situated on the brotherhood lands, were closed and confiscated.  Everywhere in the commonwealth, the Orthodox lost the right not only to build but even to repair churches; and Pope Urban VII proclaimed that any Roman Catholic who dared to oppose the use of the sword against the Orthodox would be excommunicated.

<snipe>

The status of the Orthodox Church after Kuntsevich episode remained so tragic, that Job, the Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev, secretly appealed to the Tsar micheal of Russia in 1625 to annex Rus' parts of the Commonwealth to Muscovy.

----------

Orthodoc 




Thank you for the recommendation. I will see if I can get it through interlibrary loan.

Does the section you quote have footnotes that would lead to others sources, specifically primary sources?
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« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2008, 06:33:47 PM »

Chancellor Sapika's letter, for instance, is (...) 
Chancellor Leo Sapiah severely punished those (...)

You guys make him sound Italian or somethin'.

His name was Lev Sapiha (Suh-PEE-huh) (Сапіга in old Ukrainian). (Poles pronounced "Sapiega," but he was not an ethnic Pole.)
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« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2011, 04:08:38 PM »

Are there in English any biographies of St. Josaphat Kuntsevich written along the traditional Orthodox anti-Josaphat line which are equivalent to that of Fr. Demetrios in terms of their depth of detail and historiographical integrity?

Even a less lengthy support of the claims, one which provides more documentation than Chancellor Sapika's letter, for instance, is something I'd find worth reading.  I really want to take seriously the Orthodox claims, but so far I've seen nothing historiographically impressive issuing from those quarters.   

Have you read Prof. John Paul Himka's “The Canonization of Iosaphat  Kunstevych and its Reception in Galicia”, pages 28-32 in  Religion and nationality in Western Ukraine: the Greek Catholic Church and Ruthenian National Movement in Galicia, 1867-1900 
http://books.google.com/books?id=j2yhkvCx60IC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
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