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Author Topic: Archimandrite Robert Taft on Ukrainian Catholic Patriarchate  (Read 13973 times) Average Rating: 0
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Deacon Lance
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« on: February 07, 2004, 09:52:37 PM »

Interview with Jesuit Fr. Robert Taft of the Pontifical Oriental Institute
February 4, 2004
By John L. Allen, Jr.
Rome
Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is scheduled to travel to Moscow Feb. 16-20, 2004 for a meeting with the Patriarch of Moscow, Alexy II. In anticipation of Kasper's trip, NCR Rome correspondent, John L. Allen Jr. sat down with Jesuit Fr. Robert Taft of the Pontifical Oriental Institute. Taft, a pioneer in Eastern liturgical studies and a veteran of East/West dialogues, is one of the leading experts on Orthodoxy in the Catholic Church. A transcript of the interview follows.

What’s the argument for erecting a patriarchate for the Greek Catholic church in Ukraine?
The argument is that when an Eastern church reaches a certain consistency, unity, size, consolidation and so forth, it’s a normal step. Furthermore, among the Orthodox it’s often been a normal step taken illegally. For example, the Bulgarians were under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, who according to Orthodox practice, imposed upon them a Greek hierarchy, until the Bulgarians had enough and declared their independence, erecting their own patriarchate. Constantinople refused to recognize it, until they finally realized that nothing’s going to change and so they recognized it. Frankly, my advice to the Ukrainians has always been to do the same thing. Just declare the patriarchate and get on with it. Do it, of course, only if you’ve got the bishops unanimously behind it GǪ
Do they?
Yes, I think they do now. The danger is that if there are even two people who say no, then Rome’s going to say that the bishops are divided and we can’t recognize it. I told them, take two steps. First, publicly declare the patriarchate. Second, request Roman recognition, but even if it doesn’t come, refuse all mail that doesn’t come addressed to the patriarchate. Don’t just pretend, but really do it. The Secretary of State sends a letter addressed to the archbishop? We don’t have any archbishop, we’ve got a patriarch. Send it back unopened, “addressee unknown.”
Why erect it in Kiev rather than L’viv, where the Greek Catholics in the Ukraine are traditionally concentrated?
You have to understand, and this is something that anyone who knows any history has to sympathize with, that Kiev, “Kievan Rus” as they call it, is the heartland of all Orthodoxy among the East Slavs - Belorussians, Ukrainians, and the Russians. To ask one of them to renounce Kiev is like asking the Christians to give Jerusalem over to the Jews, to say we really don’t have any interest there anymore. It’s ridiculous. GǪ
Furthermore, there was a time when all of Ukraine west of the Dnepr River was in union with Rome, and the presiding hierarch was in Kiev. It’s not like there’s never been a Ukrainian Catholic bishop of Kiev, a metropolitan of Kiev. But, you know, you don’t resolve this on the basis of history. History is instructive but not normative. GǪ
Kiev in Ukraine is like Paris in France. L’viv, even though it’s a lovely town, is still a backwater. You’re dealing with a church that has spread beyond the old Galician boundaries, in other words the Western Ukrainian boundaries of its existence. In the modern world people spread all over the place. Even though this is still the heartland, there are Ukrainian Greek Catholics not only throughout Eastern Ukraine but also across Russia, Kazakhstan, you name it. These people have a right to be served. Furthermore, one of the ugly secrets that no one talks about is that it’s quite possible that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church is the largest group of practicing Christians in the country, East or West. I’m talking about those who go to church. You ask the Orthodox in the Ukraine, “How big are you?” and they say, “310 parishes.” But ask them “Who goes to church?” and they say, “We don’t know.” “Eastern” and “statistics” is an oxymoron. One thing that characterizes Ukrainian Catholics is that they go to church, and they practice. Why was the Russian Orthodox church so upset at losing that area back to the Catholic church? That’s where their vocations came from, and that’s where their money came from. Collect a statistic sometime of how many priests who were ordained in the Russian Orthodox church from the end of World War II until the day before yesterday came from Western Ukraine. Certainly it would be an overwhelmingly unbalanced proportion with respect to the size of the Orthodox population.
By the way, almost all the Ukrainian Orthodox today are Catholics who had been forced into the Orthodox Church and for one reason or another remained Orthodox.
Aside from Orthodox sensitivities, is there any argument against erecting a patriarchate in Ukraine?
Oh, good heavens, no. That is, unless you want to ask the question of what right Rome has to erect an Eastern patriarchate anyway. Basically, the scuttlebutt is that the pope said to the Ukrainians, if you can convince Kasper, it’s okay with me. Kasper of course is going to oppose it, and should. Kasper has been given the job of building bridges with the Orthodox, not to dynamite them. I perfectly sympathize. What Kasper’s doing is not following his own personal tastes and needs. He’s doing his job.
But there’s no intra-Catholic reason to object to the patriarchate?
Are you kidding? We’ve got a patriarchate for the Copts whose total membership would fit in this room, for God’s sake. Give me a break. Maybe there shouldn’t be, that’s another question, but there is.
What it is that bothers the Orthodox so much about the idea of a Ukrainian patriarchate?
What bothers them is the very existence of these churches. They look upon all of these people as their property that has been won away, coaxed away, forced away from them. And they’re right. But what they don’t realize is that you just cannot collapse history the way they do. It’s like going on a visit to Greece to the beach because you want to get a suntan, and some jerk points his finger at you as if you fought in the Fourth Crusade. Most Westerners don’t even know what the hell the Fourth Crusade was, and don’t need to know. You’re dealing with people who collapse history as if it happened yesterday. Let me use my classic example of the Anglicans. Does anybody think that Henry VIII took a plebiscite to see if the Catholics in England wanted to separate from Rome? No, they got up one morning and found that they were no longer Catholics. But that’s 500 years ago. It certainly doesn’t mean that the Catholic church could enter England with an army today and force all those people back into the fold. The same thing is true in Ukraine. These people, the Greek Catholics, have been in the Catholic church since 1596, and want to remain there. The Orthodox propose, and it’s hard to even take this seriously, that Eastern Catholics should be given the “free choice” of joining the Orthodox church or joining the Latin church. That’s like telling African-Americans in Georgia that because you’re the descendants of somebody who got dragged there, you can have the “free choice” of living in Albania or Uganda. Maybe they want to stay where they were born, right in the good old USA. To call that a “free choice” is a mockery of language.
The Orthodox say that Union of 1596 was dissolved in 1946.
Everybody knows what a comedy that was. Even the secret police who organized the thing have spilled the beans in print. As everybody knows, all of the bishops of the Catholic church were arrested, so how can you have a synod without bishops? The two or three bishops who were there had been ordained as Orthodox bishops, therefore they were not Catholic bishops, therefore they could not in any canonical way preside over a Catholic synod. Everybody knows this.
So what is the real issue for the Orthodox?
They look upon the whole area of Kievan Rus, which includes what is now Ukraine as well as Muscovy and the area around Novgarod, those are the three historic centers, as their heartland. This would be like for the papacy having somebody come in and take over Italy.
So they’re afraid of a domino effect?
To attempt to apply rational analysis to this is to fail to understand what the East is. Once you get over on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, the further you go South or East from anywhere, the worse everything gets, except the food. Logic gets worse, rationality gets worse, and everything ultimately winds up in hysteria and emotionalism. It’s futile to try and reason about this.
So the Catholic church is never going to persuade the Orthodox to accept the patriarchate?
No, and I don’t think we should even try. To hell with Moscow.
Cardinal Kasper is going to Moscow on Feb. 16, and certainly this issue will be on the agenda. Is it a fool’s errand?
No, because Kasper is a rational man. You’ve got two levels: the level of what appears in public declarations and the press, and then the level of face-to-face contacts with people who can be rational, like Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk (the number two official in the Russian Orthodox hierarchy). He’s a rational, intelligent human being, and he’s not an enemy of Catholicism. He has to make certain sounds from time to time. You see, you have to realize that much of what the Russian Orthodox hierarchy does is because of their own lunatic fringe. It’s a mistake to think the patriarch and the permanent synod have the kind of control over their hierarchy and their church that the pope does in the Catholic church. The patriarch of Moscow is not a pope.
What realistically can Kasper hope to accomplish?
By talking turkey the way he did in his article in Civilt+á Cattolica when the Orthodox complained about the creation of the dioceses in Russia, which was translated into other languages, he could make some headway. He laid it right out. There are over 300,000 Catholics in European Russia, 65,000 of them in Moscow alone. To say that a church doesn’t have a right to erect a diocese there is absurd, especially when the Orthodox plant metropolitans wherever they want. Let’s take the example of Austria. Vienna has been a Catholic see since the first millennium, yet the Russian Orthodox have a metropolitan, not just “in” Vienna but “of” Vienna GǪ that’s his title. Yet there probably aren’t 5,000 Russian Orthodox in the whole of Austria. Fair is fair. Is Moscow their canonical territory? Yes, but guess whose canonical territory Vienna is. They come up with the argument, we believe in the principle of “one bishop, one city.” Want to guess how many Orthodox bishops there are in New York? I mean, for God’s sake. The problem is, nobody talks to them like that because nobody knows what I know. Catholics hear this stuff and say, “Oh, gee, aren’t we awful.” Give me a break.
So what can Kasper hope for?
What Kasper can hope for is a renewal of the dialogue. What he needs to do is to reassure Moscow once again is that the Catholic church regards the Russian Orthodox church as a sister church, that we are there to take care of Catholics, not to fish in their pond. We’ve said this a million times. Kirill has been making some good noises lately. He’s said the dialogue has never been interrupted, which is true, and that while the official position of both churches is that we shouldn’t be fishing in one another’s waters, but there are clergy on both sides who don’t respect those norms. There are Orthodox clergy who proselytize among Catholics, we know that for a fact. The Russian Orthodox opened up a parish in Palermo! All the Russians in Palermo you could fit into a telephone booth. Who’s the priest? He’s a converted Catholic. When it was opened up, in the journal of the Moscow patriarchate, it stated quite clearly that this is a step toward recovering the Byzantine heritage of Sicily. Furthermore, there’s a Greek monastery in Calabria that’s also proselytizing among the Catholics. There are loose cannons all over the place.
So Kasper is not going to persuade the Orthodox. Is his goal to soften the blow when it comes?
Yes. I think what Kasper needs to do is to tell them that this is probably going to happen sooner or later, and if you get bent out of shape, that reaction is going hurt nobody but yourself. Nobody. Do we need them? Answer, no. Simple as that.
Do you think they know that?
Probably not, because they know that they control the turf in Russia, and they know there are hundreds of thousands of Catholics in Russia. It’s extremely difficult for the Orthodox to face up to their own reality. They don’t really understand the uses of history. For example, there are hundreds of thousands of Catholics today in Siberia. How come? Because the Russians dragged them there in cattle cars, that’s how come. Let’s say it the way it is. Furthermore, before the war, 20 percent of the population of Siberia was Catholic. Were there Catholics dioceses in Russia before the revolution wiped them out? Yes, there were. I mean real dioceses, not just fictitious apostolic administrations. Real dioceses. If there are Catholic bishops now in regions where there weren’t before the revolution, it’s for the reason I just gave - these people were dragged to those regions in cattle cars. The pope didn’t drag them there. Let’s say it the way it is. They’re incapable of facing reality.
There seems to be a predictable pattern of crisis/reconciliation/crisis in Catholic-Orthodox relations. Are we doomed to keep repeating this cycle?
I think so. In part, because we live in a free world and nobody really controls all of their own people. If the Neocatechumenate crowd decides to show up in some Russian city and cause trouble, who’s going to put them under control? Part of the problem is that this papacy hasn’t controlled some of these new movements. Matter of fact, it encourages them. It’s not the Jesuits who are causing trouble in Russia. It’s not the Franciscans. Part of the problem too is that the Russians are always reacting not so much to what we do, as to how their own constituency reacts to whatever we do. Basically, there are three groups in the Russian hierarchy. You’ve got a real wacko kind of right-wing fringe. These are the ones who would agree with calling Rasputin a saint and that kind of garbage. Then you’ve got people like Kirill, who are open and ecumenical and intelligent, because he’s got an education. Then you’ve got kind of a middle group that’s very conservative but not frothing at the mouth. Kirill’s group is a very small minority. The patriarch is a juggler trying to keep all these balls in the air.
The post-Vatican II goal of the ecumenical movement was full structural unity. Is that a pipe dream with the Orthodox?
No, it’s not a pipe dream, but it depends what you mean. The only possible aim for ecumenism is communion. The old notion that the church begins with God, then the pope, and on down in pyramidal fashion, is gone. What we’re dealing with now is sister churches. That’s what we had before the East/West schism. Does anybody think that Rome had anything to say about who became patriarch of Constantinople? Or who became the metropolitan of Nicomedia? Of course not. These guys were bishops there just like we had bishops here, and when they met they’d say, “You’re a bishop? Hey, I’m a bishop too. How’s it going?” They were all in communion. It’s not like Rome was telling them what to do.
How do we get communion?
First, let’s be clear that this is all we’re ever going to get.
When will we get it?
I don’t know. Certainly not in my lifetime. I would suspect that it’s going to take a few more centuries.
Do you agree that the central problem is the papacy?
Of course. What we’ve made out of the papacy is simply ridiculous. There’s no possible justification in the New Testament or anyplace else for what we’ve made out of the papacy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in a Petrine ministry. I believe that Rome has inherited that Petrine ministry. But there’s no reason on God’s earth why the pope should be appointing the bishop of Peoria. None whatsoever. So we really need a devolution, a decentralization. The Catholic church has become so big that we need some kind of a synodal structure in the West the same way you have in the East. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ought to be a kind of synod of Catholic bishops in the United States. They ought to be able to elect the bishops. Leave Rome a veto, if you want. By the way, this would be no guarantee of better bishops. The notion that the locals will necessarily pick better people than Rome is obviously false, as anybody who knows the East understands. But at least people will see these guys as their bishops and not Rome’s. Make your own bed and sleep in it. The pope could say: ‘You don’t like the archbishop of New York? Hey, I didn’t name him.’
Given all the hassles, is there a case for simply forgetting about dialogue with the Orthodox?
The Catholic church never calls anybody else a “church” if they don’t have an episcopate. In that strict sense of the term, the Russian Orthodox is the largest church in the world after the Catholic church. To ignore them would be like the United States’ policy on China for so many years. There are a billion people over there, and the U.S. tried to pretend they don’t exist. How stupid can you be? So we’ve got to come to terms with Moscow, but they also have to come to terms with us. Like it or lump it.
So, tough love is your approach?
Absolutely. That was one of the problems of the Secretariat of Christian Unity under Willebrands. When the Orthodox would say something outrageous, they would make remonstrances privately, but never did anything appear in public. You can’t do it that way. That makes them think they’re getting away with it. It’s got to be front page, in your face. We shouldn’t have a Catholic bishop in Moscow? Well, let’s see, there’s a Russian Orthodox metropolitan in Brussels, to say nothing of Paris, of London. Up to a while ago, there were three Orthodox bishops in Oxford. All of the Orthodox in Oxford you could fit into a telephone booth. You’ve got to challenge this sort of nonsense.

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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2004, 10:06:30 PM »

It seems like Taft is saying all southern and eastern Europeans are a bunch of raving lunatics who are only good for the cuisine. How charitable of him.

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Anthony

"So they’re afraid of a domino effect?
To attempt to apply rational analysis to this is to fail to understand what the East is. Once you get over on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, the further you go South or East from anywhere, the worse everything gets, except the food. Logic gets worse, rationality gets worse, and everything ultimately winds up in hysteria and emotionalism. It’s futile to try and reason about this."
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2004, 12:42:14 AM »

Thanks for this post, Deacon Lance.  If you sourced this from the internet, could you please provide the link? Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2004, 01:32:45 AM »

Does this really come as a suprise to anyone?  It was the next step once the movement of the UGCC headquarters to hundreds of miles from the majority of its people & into the heartland of Ukrainian Orthodoxy was completed.  Once this step is accomplished the next will be for them to go through another one of their constant name changes.  They will soon begin referring to themselves as either 'The Kievan Church' or the 'Church of Kiev'  (only using the NEW spelling for Kiev which I refuse to do).  This will be  done to try and attract the two non-canonical Orthodox jurisdictions  which they already know are based around the same three principles of their own church - nationalism, politics, and ethnic hatred.  

They will utilize the new name to do another rewrite of history by claiming they are the mother church of all the eastern slavs or children of 'Rus'.  Some of them are already claiming this on the 'other' board by insinuating that they are the mother church of those of us who have a Carpatho-Russian (or Rusyn for those who prefer  it) ancestory.

Only problem is we Karpatsko Rus are a little smarter then our Ukie cousins.  We know that our ancestors became Christians under Sts Cyrill and Methodius rather than St Vladimir.  Which means that our ancestors had a culture and were Christians for over a century while our Ukrainian cousins were still bowing down before carved tree trunks!  Unless of course, one of them can prove that a mother can be born 100+ years AFTER her children.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist or have a PHD to figure it all out.

From their own posts they are ready to turn their backs on both Rome and Moscow if need be.  They seem to think it is up to them to decide whom they want to be in communion with and that in itself is enough to make it happen.  Which proves what I have been saying all along -  they don't base their faith on  Canons, doctrines, dogmas,  theology, or  Hierachal obedience.  Just nationalism, politics, and hatred.  And then they cry that they are abused by both Rome and Moscow who both refuse them autocephally.  Never bothering  to ask themselves WHY?  

Orthodoc


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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2004, 01:46:20 AM »

[Thanks for this post, Deacon Lance. If you sourced this from the internet, could you please provide the link? ]

http://natcath.org/mainpage/taft.htm

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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2004, 03:44:53 AM »

What struck me was these comments:

"Does anybody think that Rome had anything to say about who became patriarch of Constantinople? Or who became the metropolitan of Nicomedia? Of course not. These guys were bishops there just like we had bishops here, and when they met they’d say, “You’re a bishop? Hey, I’m a bishop too. How’s it going?” They were all in communion. It’s not like Rome was telling them what to do."

"What we’ve made out of the papacy is simply ridiculous. There’s no possible justification in the New Testament or anyplace else for what we’ve made out of the papacy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in a Petrine ministry. I believe that Rome has inherited that Petrine ministry. But there’s no reason on God’s earth why the pope should be appointing the bishop of Peoria. None whatsoever. So we really need a devolution, a decentralization."


WOW...at least he's honest about the absolute universal jurisdiction innovation, but doesn't this make him anathema for denying part of the definition of Vatican I about the pope's supreme power of jurisdiction?
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2004, 08:38:11 AM »

Just a little 'moral support' in the struggle against Rome's "Divide & Conquer"ism. Sorry to sound polemical, but it's true- Demetri

Greek Catholic Patriarchate May Stop Ecumenical Dialogue, Says Bartholomew I  
02.05.04 (www.RISU.org.ua) - ISTANBUL, Turkey. Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has asked John Paul II not to establish a Greek Catholic patriarchate in Kyiv, Ukraine, warning him of the risk of a break in ecumenical relations.  
The patriarch's request came in a letter, published in Greek in the patriarchate's Web page, which discusses a document presented by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, to Alexis II, patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.  
Alexis II sent the document, which alludes to the eventual recognition of a patriarchal title for the Ukrainian Greek Catholics, to Orthodox patriarchs.  
In the letter dated Nov. 29, Bartholomew I rejects Cardinal Kasper's document, labeling it "erroneous, confused, unacceptable, provocative," and after a lengthy refutation of the cardinal's historical-canonical document, warns about the possible negative consequences of an eventual recognition of a patriarchal title for the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine.  
"[It] will cause strong reactions on the part of all the Orthodox sister churches and will put a stop to attempts to continue the theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and Orthodox churches," the Italian magazine 30 Giorni reported.  
In his letter to the Pope, Bartholomew I said there is a danger "of returning to the climate of hostility that reigned up to a few decades ago."  
"Therefore," the patriarch wrote, "it is necessary that you assure the Ukrainian people and all the Orthodox Churches with persuasive force that you have no intention of initiating the institution of the Greek Catholic Patriarchate in Ukraine as Cardinal Kasper's text alludes."  
Recognition of the primacy of Peter is a key point in the discussion between Eastern-rite Ukrainian Catholics (who number about 5 million) and the Orthodox.  
Recognizing the level of development reached by its church, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Synod's plenary assembly, held in Kyiv in July 2002, asked the Holy Father to sanction this process by granting it the patriarchal title.  
According to the conciliar decree "Orientalium Ecclesiarum" on the Catholic Eastern Churches, a pope has the faculty to recognize on his own initiative the patriarchal rank of a church without having to submit this recognition to the consensus of other ecclesial authorities.  
The Catholic-Orthodox dialogue has two events planned: Cardinal Kasper is scheduled to meet with Alexis II in two weeks; and Bartholomew I recently said he would visit the Pope on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, in June.  
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2004, 10:34:50 AM »

[WOW...at least he's honest about the absolute universal jurisdiction innovation, but doesn't this make him anathema for denying part of the definition of Vatican I about the pope's supreme power of jurisdiction?]

Of course it does.  What he is saying in essence is that his church is knowingly and willing in communion with, and  has placed itself under, a Patriarch whose authority they question and who professes doctrines they neither uphold as valid or believe in (Papal Supremacy & Infallibility).  In other words, they are knowingly and willingly currently under a heretical bishop!  But he also alludes to the fact that they will remain as such AS LONG AS HE GIVES THEM WHAT THEY WANT.  If he doesn't, they threaten to turn their backs on him.  Hence, doctrines, Canons, dogmas, and Hierachal obedience mean nothing to them.  

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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2004, 12:54:38 PM »

Father Taft isn't a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

In Christ,
Anthony

[WOW...at least he's honest about the absolute universal jurisdiction innovation, but doesn't this make him anathema for denying part of the definition of Vatican I about the pope's supreme power of jurisdiction?]

Of course it does.  What he is saying in essence is that his church is knowingly and willing in communion with, and  has placed itself under, a Patriarch whose authority they question and who professes doctrines they neither uphold as valid or believe in (Papal Supremacy & Infallibility).  In other words, they are knowingly and willingly currently under a heretical bishop!  But he also alludes to the fact that they will remain as such AS LONG AS HE GIVES THEM WHAT THEY WANT.  If he doesn't, they threaten to turn their backs on him.  Hence, doctrines, Canons, dogmas, and Hierachal obedience mean nothing to them.  

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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2004, 01:55:42 PM »

Father Taft isn't a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

In Christ,
Anthony

========

According to his biography which can be found at -

http://www.ichistory.org/pages/guests/guests25.html

He most certainly is.  He is an Eastern Catholic who accepts Papal authority (or at least when it suits him) from his remarks in the interview.  In which he certainly makes it clear he is speaking on behalf of the UGCC.  

From the above mentioned website that contains his autobiography -

In 1998 he was elevated to Mitred Archimandrite by Archbishop Sulyk (UGCC) in recognition for his services to Eastern Churches.

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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2004, 07:52:57 PM »

It seems like Taft is saying all southern and eastern Europeans are a bunch of raving lunatics who are only good for the cuisine. How charitable of him.

In Christ,
Anthony

"So they’re afraid of a domino effect?
To attempt to apply rational analysis to this is to fail to understand what the East is. Once you get over on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, the further you go South or East from anywhere, the worse everything gets, except the food. Logic gets worse, rationality gets worse, and everything ultimately winds up in hysteria and emotionalism. It’s futile to try and reason about this."


Orthodox Christians, both convert and cradle, living in Eastern Europe or the West, have said far worse things about Western Civilization, Western Culture and religion, and the United States. Its pretty obvious to me that the East has been hysterical at times-the Christological controversies pretty much define fanaticism.
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2004, 07:59:52 PM »

Orthodoc,

But he still isn't a Ukrainian Catholic, he is a Russian Catholic directly under Latin obedience.

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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2004, 08:49:54 PM »

Orthodoc,

The UGCC has always been the UGCC, your thinking of us Byzantine Catholics who use to be Greek Catholics.

I also find it odd that a person who is constantly deriding the autonomy of Eastern Catholic Churches, gets upset when one starts acting autonomous indeed autocephalous.  In fact they are not acting any different than the Bulgarian Orthodox who declared themselves autocephalous and waited for everyone else to get used to it.  The Serbs, Romanians, and Albanians, and Estonians had to fight for their autocephaly/autonomy as the Ukrainian Orthodox are doing now.

Archimandrite Robert raises some interesting points that I had not thought of the first being that the UGCC might have the most practicing members of any of the Churches in Ukraine.  If this is so I can understand why the MP fears the UGCC and maybe it should.  Maybe the MP will find itself with even emptier churches if the UGCC has a patriarchate.  All in all I don't see what the fuss is.  The UGCC is a patriarchate in all but name anyways.  This is like the stink they put up about the Latins formalizing dioceses in Russia.  What changed?  Oh yeah the MP started bribing politicians to deny visas to and deport non-Russians clergy.  Too bad the MP won't be able to use that angle in Ukraine.

By the way, Archimandrite Robert was also given the rare award of a second pectoral cross from the Ecumenical Patriarch but he isn't Orthodox.  As Anastasios said, Archimandrite Robert is a Russian Catholic and a Jesuit.  However, the general of the Jesuits is an Armenian Catholic so he is  directly under Armenian obediance.Wink

Fr. Deacon Lance

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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2004, 11:41:42 PM »

Deacon Lance writes:

[I also find it odd that a person who is constantly deriding the autonomy of Eastern Catholic Churches, gets upset when one starts acting autonomous indeed autocephalous. In fact they are not acting any different than the Bulgarian Orthodox who declared themselves autocephalous and waited for everyone else to get used to it. The Serbs, Romanians, and Albanians, and Estonians had to fight for their autocephaly/autonomy as the Ukrainian Orthodox are doing now.]

Tell you what I find odd.  And thats the fact that you bring up Orthodox precedents to try and justify a Patriarchate for the UGCC.  Especially since this same church turned its back on Orthodoxy in 1596 including its canons, doctrines, and administrative  regulations in favor of the canons, doctrines, and administrative regulations of the RCC  when they agreed to accept  Papal authority.

Thats like me, an natural born American, immigrating to Canada and becoming a Canadian citizen.  And, after awhile deciding to become the Canadian Premier and quoting, instead of Canadian laws or precendents,  American laws and precedents to justify my claim.  American law and regulations I  turned my back on when I received Canadian citizenship.

The fact of the matter is that when the UGCC accepted Papal authority it also accepted all that goes with it.  Including the 'Code of Canons Of The Eastern Churches' formulated for them by Rome.

If I may quote from these Code of Canons for all the Eastern Catholics under Romes authority

Title IV:  The Patriarchal Churches -

Canon 57:  The erection, restoration, modification and suppression of patriarchal Churches ARE RESERVED TO THE SUPREME AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH.

What any Orthodox Church did to proclaim or declare itself as autocephallous has no bearing on the subject of autocephally for any of the Eastern Catholic Churches under the authority of Rome.  We Orthodox are governed by  a different set of rules and regulations.  Rules and regulations that you all rejected starting in 1596.

Orthodoc

P.S.  Those those of you who may be Canadian do not be offended.  I'm just using this as an example.  You can substitute any country you like in the analogy.  I will always be indebted to our Canadian neighbors for what they did for our American hostages in Iran.  I will remember them with respect & gratitude forever for this act courage!

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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2004, 01:13:37 AM »

Orthodoc,

I love your straighforward answers, man!

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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2004, 01:15:03 AM »

Dear Fr Lance,

To expound on my last post: Orthodoc has a very valid point which is Rome could wake up tomorrow and declare that there is no Melkite patriarchate.  Sure it might cause all sorts of problems but they could.  In the 1950's Pope Pius XII *appointed* the Maronite patriarch when the election was troubled.  What's up with that?!

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« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2004, 01:21:59 AM »

Orthodoc,

I don't need to justify a UGCC Patriarchate.  The facts speak for themselves.  The UGCC is the largest and best organized EC Church and possibly has the most practicing members of any Church in Ukraine.  The only thing that has prevented them from being recognized as a patriarchate is Rome's desire to maintain good terms with the MP and through them the rest of Orthodoxy.  The UGCC is tired of waiting and being snubbed by Rome, knowing the MP is never going to be happy.  The Vatican is starting to realize the same.

Your anology fails, because we are not talking about politics although that is certainly how the MP plays it.  I concede that without Papal recognition the legitimacy of the title will be contested.  But if the UGCC appropriates the title, Rome will eventually concede it.  However, in the end, how is it going to matter?  Is the MP going to be worse to us?  The MP, and now it looks like the EP too, will blame Rome for not keeping the UGCC in line and use it as an excuse for breaking off dialog or trying to get Catholicism outlawed in Russia or whatever response the MP will issue.  I think Archimandrite Robert's feelings are those of most in the Catholic Church.  

Fr. Deacon Lance
   
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« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2004, 01:35:25 AM »

Anastasios,

Or the Pope could wake up tomorrow and suppress the Fransican Order.  The point is neither are going to happen.  Nor would the Pope's say so make the Melkite 's accept it.  Just as the Pope's consent doesn't make the Ukrainian Patriarchate materialize out of thin air.  Something has to exist for the Pope to recognize.  The UGCC is a patriarchate in everything but name.  It is time to stop playing ecumencial games to keep the MP happy and do what is right for the UGCC.

Also one either believes in the Petrine Ministry or one does not.  The Pope choosing a Patriarch is not without precedent and in the case of the Maronites at the time it was needed and aan exercise of this ministry.  On the otherhand the Pope recently chose not to exercise this perogative with the Chaldeans when they failed to elect a patriarch and brought them to Rome to vote agian.  The Papacy has evolved, and for the better I think, although it has a way to go.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2004, 01:41:42 AM »

Fr Lance,

One could believe in the papal ministry without buying into immediate universal jurisdiction.

And the pope did supress the Jesuits...what's to stop him from supressing something else? Or changing things around? Just because JP2 is in now doesn't mean his successor will be the same...

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« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2004, 08:15:10 AM »

I really don't understand all the furor over this one.  The formation of the UGCC Patriarchate, if recognized by Rome, would be simply another church in communion with Rome that the Easter Orthodox are NOT in communion with.  The number of bodies in church would not change.  

OTOH, if the UGCC persists with its declaraction and Rome reacts negatively, then the UGCC would effectively isolate itself from both Churches, which doesn't seem to bother them.

I agree with Orthodoc's observations.  We agree the UGCC cannot legitimately claim autocephaly, but what if they did?  I believe the  Orthodox and Catholic world scoff.   The UGCC needs to remember where their roots are, and come back to Holy Orthodoxy, which is where they belong.   Trust me.  I'm formerly UGC.
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« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2004, 10:27:12 AM »

[I agree with Orthodoc's observations. We agree the UGCC cannot legitimately claim autocephaly, but what if they did? I believe the Orthodox and Catholic world scoff. The UGCC needs to remember where their roots are, and come back to Holy Orthodoxy, which is where they belong. Trust me. I'm formerly UGC.]

I agree with what you say.  Because its apparent  that their loyality to Rome is not that strong.  And that their union with Rome is not based on any doctrinal, dogmatic, or theological beliefs or committments.

However, after reading some of their posts both here and elsewhere, the question becomes - Are they really ready for autocephally?  They don't seem to have a clear view of just what the church is and how its organization stucture operates on both the Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic side.

I think this can be perceived as a certain degreee of ummaturity by both Rome & the Orthodox Catholic world.
Their whole attitude seems to be -"To hell with them all.  We'll just do what we want and  eventually they will all have to accept it.  

Personally, with an attitude like that, one is not ready for either automony or autocephally!    Of this both Rome and Moscow seem to agree.

Orthodoc


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« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2004, 11:41:45 AM »

[The UGCC is the largest and best organized EC Church and possibly has the most practicing members of any Church in Ukraine.]

That statement is HIGHLY DEBATABLE Father Deacon.  Sounds like you are beginning to believe your own propaganda!  The insinuation that only Greek Catholics go to church or pratice their faith on a regular basis is really pushing it.

[But if the UGCC appropriates the title, Rome will eventually concede it.]

Only time will tell.  However, if and when it does, it will be telling the world that its Hierachal structure and obedience is no longer effective or working as it was intended.  And, if it is true to its own canons, it will be forced to break communion with what would now have  become a disobedient and therefore schismatic church.  Similiar to what it has done with other groups that have either reacted to Vatican II or Papal claims in the past.

Besides, if the UGCC is the already the best organized of the Eastern Catholic Churches under Romes authority, then why the need for a title change?

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« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2004, 12:48:40 PM »

Orthodoc,

"That statement is HIGHLY DEBATABLE Father Deacon.  Sounds like you are beginning to believe your own propaganda!  The insinuation that only Greek Catholics go to church or pratice their faith on a regular basis is really pushing it."

It is debatable for certain.  I did qualify that statement with possibly.  However,  Archimandrite Robert is a straight shooter.  If he estimates the UGCC has the most practicing members I belive him, because when the info doesn't favor the Catholics he states that too.  The insinuation is not that Greek Catholics are the only ones practicing, only that they have proportionaly the most practicing members of the churches in Ukraine, which I don't find hard to believe.

"Only time will tell.  However, if and when it does, it will be telling the world that its Hierachal structure and obedience is no longer effective or working as it was intended.  And, if it is true to its own canons, it will be forced to break communion with what would now have  become a disobedient and therefore schismatic church.  Similiar to what it has done with other groups that have either reacted to Vatican II or Papal claims in the past."

Well that has been happening for a while and not just with Eastern Catholics.  The Vatican is regularly ignored on an ongoing basis on a variety of subjects.  However, the UGCC claiming the title of Patriarchate is hardly one worth breaking communion over.  And truly the proof will be in the next election.  If the UGCC Synod enthrones the next hierarch without waiting for confirmation from Rome and Rome doesn't break communion with them they have a Patriarchate de facto.  The only difference in the CCEO between a major archepiscopate and a patriarchate is that the former must have its archbishop confirmed by Rome before enthronemewnt and Rome could decline and demand another election.  A patriarchate's synod elects and enthrones its patriarch who then requests communion with Rome.  This could be denied but once enthroned the patriarch is patriarch.  A slight but significant difference.

"Besides, if the UGCC is the already the best organized of the Eastern Catholic Churches under Romes authority, then why the need for a title change?"

Why did the Muscovite Church imprison the EP until he made them a patriarchate?  Why did the Bulagrians risk isolation form the rest of Orthodoxy to claim the title?  Shouldn't all sees other then Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem be only Archeparchies like Greece or Cyprus?  I guess it is a prestige thing.  It is an acknowledgement that a Church has reached full maturity.  As Archimandrite Robert points out there are Catholic patriarchates with less membership and organization and who have suffered less.  For goodness sake their are three Latin archbishops (Venice, Lisbon, Goa) parading around with the title even though they are nothing more than Metropolitans.  It is about respect and recognition of what the UGCC has been through and accomplished.  If it is just a title, why does the MP care so much?

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« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2004, 12:52:05 PM »


I agree with what you say.  Because its apparent  that their loyality to Rome is not that strong.  And that their union with Rome is not based on any doctrinal, dogmatic, or theological beliefs or committments.

Hello!  They are Catholic, not Orthodox.  If they don't hold to the doctrines/dogmas of the Catholic Church then they are not Catholic by definition.  If this were the case they may not necessarily be Orthodox but they would not be Catholic either.  Oh I opine that they believe the Catholic Church's doctrines which makes them Catholic, not that they would deny having some issues with Rome over polity and ecumenical relations with the Orthodox.  I don't perceive that they want to be Orthodox either given the history of the liquidation of EC eparchies in Western Ukraine (Transcarpathia) and Galicia during the decades of Communist domination.

Quote
However, after reading some of their posts both here and elsewhere, the question becomes - Are they really ready for autocephally?  They don't seem to have a clear view of just what the church is and how its organization stucture operates on both the Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic side.

I doubt that the Eastern Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches understand "autocephaly" as the Orthodox do.  Different Church polities.  Oh I think that the EC Churches understand Rome quite well in their good and not so good dealings with Rome over the centuries

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« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2004, 02:20:25 PM »

[It is debatable for certain.  I did qualify that statement with possibly.]

Then why even state it in the first place?

[If he estimates the UGCC has the most practicing members I belive him, because when the info doesn't favor the Catholics he states that too.]

So now you are stating that what you classify as debatable and a possibility in the above sentence is now  believed to be true based on the comments of one man who seems to be speaking on behalf of the UGCC but is not part of the UGCC or living in Ukraine?

[The insinuation is not that Greek Catholics are the only ones practicing, only that they have proportionaly the most practicing members of the churches in Ukraine, which I don't find hard to believe.]

So then why is the largest newly built Church in Ukraine Orthodox and part of the UOC-MP?  I find the above statement an offense to all Orthodox Catholics within Ukraine.  You might want to  access the OCA website for  pictures of Metropolitans visits to Ukraine to see the crowds of devout Orthodox  people everywhere he goes.

[If it is just a title, why does the MP care so much?]

Because we Orthodox are fully aware of the agenda and the way it will be used to prey on the fierce nationalism and religious ignorance of the people to sheep steal.  History has already taught us that the old Roman Catholic belief that stated - "As long as everything looks the same, and sounds the same, a religiously uneducated people will believe it is the same!"  It was used to very succesfully in the past by your ancestors to attract millions away from true Orthodoxy into Uniatism. You have already readopted the old title of 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome' to back it up.  History does repeat itself, doesn't it?

[Shouldn't all sees other then Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem be only Archeparchies like Greece or Cyprus?  I guess it is a prestige thing.]

You guys should have thought of that when you went runnng back to Rome after the fall of communism and once again bowed down before the Pope and  pledged your loyality to him.  And by doing so agreed to all the implications that go with it.  Now you still want a relationship with him BUT ON YOUR TERMS.  Will be interesting to see what happens.  I now understand what a RC priest friend means when he says that the Ukrainians  are nothing more than a thorn Romes side and they would be better off without them.

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« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2004, 02:27:02 PM »

[If they don't hold to the doctrines/dogmas of the Catholic Church then they are not Catholic by definition. If this were the case they may not necessarily be Orthodox but they would not be Catholic either.]

Yep!  That about describes them.

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« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2004, 03:03:04 PM »

Orthodoc,

"Then why even state it in the first place?"

Because I believe it is probably correct.

"So now you are stating that what you classify as debatable and a possibility in the above sentence is now  believed to be true based on the comments of one man who seems to be speaking on behalf of the UGCC but is not part of the UGCC or living in Ukraine?"

Yep.  I suppose a poll or census is in order but until that happens I'll trust Archimnadrite Robert for the reasons already stated.

"So then why is the largest newly built Church in Ukraine Orthodox and part of the UOC-MP?"

Because the UGCC Patriarchal Sobor isn't completed yet.

"You might want to  access the OCA website for  pictures of Metropolitans visits to Ukraine to see the crowds of devout Orthodox  people everywhere he goes."

I saw them, very nice.  You will notice that Archimandrite Robert reference is primarily to Eastern Ukraine and I notice the Metopolitan didn't go there, but confined his visit to Kyiv and Western Ukraine.  Perhaps becasue there were no crowds to be had in the East?  The Pope also  had crowds of faithfulwhen he went to Ukraine.

"History does repeat itself, doesn't it?"

Do you hear that noise?  It is the wind of change.  If the Spirit is moving, nothing the MP can do can stop it.  The MP should stop crying and pouting and start evangelizing.  If they are "true" Orthodoxy then they shouldn't have any problem with us "Uniates".   On the other hand, if they are not perhaps they should be worried.


"Now you still want a relationship with him BUT ON YOUR TERMS."

What's wrong with negotiating about jurisdcitional/disciplinary matters?  The Orthodox do it all the time.  Look at the American Greek and Antiochian Archdiocese.

Fr. Deacon Lance








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« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2004, 03:48:55 PM »

[I saw them, very nice.  You will notice that Archimandrite Robert reference is primarily to Eastern Ukraine and I notice the Metopolitan didn't go there, but confined his visit to Kyiv and Western Ukraine. ]

Last time I checked Kiev was considered as part of Eastern Ukraine.

[Perhaps because there were no crowds to be had in the East?  The Pope also  had crowds of faithful when he went to Ukraine. ]

Yes and how many of them were imported from Poland, Lithuania, Western Europe,  North & South America. Australia, etc. rather than from Ukraine?  Wasn't there an edict sent out that all the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops worldwide along with the clergy & faithful were to go try and go to the 'Motherland' to greet the 'Vicar of Christ'?

[The MP should stop crying and pouting and start evangelizing.  If they are "true" Orthodoxy then they shouldn't have any problem with us "Uniates".   On the other hand, if they are not perhaps they should be worried.]

Ah!  So finally the true intentions surface!  True Orthodoxy will win.  Of that you can be sure.

[What's wrong with negotiating about jurisdcitional/disciplinary matters?  The Orthodox do it all the time.  Look at the American Greek and Antiochian Archdiocese.]

Whats wrong with it is it is not the way the Catholic Church under Rome's authority which you are part of is structured.  What's wrong with it is that you are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and it won't fit.  Which is the whole fallacy of the Unia in the first place!  

What's wrong with it is, that by your pledge of loyality to the Pope and his professed Supremacy & Infallibility, you don't get to call the shots....HE DOES!  There is no room for negiotation within the Roman Catholic Hierachal structure!  You can request, but you can't bargain with the infallible 'Vicar of Christ' since he calls all the shots and you are required to accept them.   Once again, these are the rules you agreed to abide by when you ran back to him.

Within the Orthodox Catholic structure no Patriarch is considered infallible or supreme OVER the others [well there is one who thinks he is, but we all know he's fighting for his very existence, so we just shrug him off when we read his press releases] .  Big difference when it comes to administrative issues and negiotations.  You once again use Orthodox precedents which are no longer applicable to your Church to try and prove a point.

[Because the UGCC Patriarchal Sobor isn't completed yet. ]

Is this the one in Kiev that is being financed by the 'Knights of Columbus'?  Any statistics that show it will be the largest Cathedral in Ukraine?

Orthodoc

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« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2004, 04:24:53 PM »

Orthodoc,

"Last time I checked Kiev was considered as part of Eastern Ukraine."

It is? Last time I checked a map it was dead center.  It also wasn't so far east that it wasn't part of the original Union of Brest.

"Yes and how many of them were imported from Poland, Lithuania, Western Europe,  North & South America. Australia, etc. rather than from Ukraine?  Wasn't there an edict sent out that all the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops worldwide along with the clergy & faithful were to go try and go to the 'Motherland' to greet the 'Vicar of Christ'?"

Don't know but I wouldn't imagine a significant number and I never heard of any "edict"?  Were the Ukrainian faithful invited for this historic occasion? Certainly.

"Ah!  So finally the true intentions surface!  True Orthodoxy will win.  Of that you can be sure."

Then quit complaining and mind your own business.  The Catholic Church has a mandate to spread the Gospel as she understands.  It would be a sin not too.  The Orthodox Church feels the same way.

"Whats wrong with it is it is not the way the Catholic Church under Rome's authority which you are part of is structured."

Says you.  You have no comprehension of how the Catholic Church works although you obviously consider yourself an expert.  How do you think a Church gets elevated in status from Eparchy to Metropolitan to Patriarchate.  They request recognition and negotiate with Rome on why it is the right thing.  The Catholic Church does have and believe in synodality along with the Petrine perogatives.  Your caricatures of the Catholic Church fail in every way.

"Is this the one in Kiev that is being financed by the 'Knights of Columbus'?  Any statistics that show it will be the largest Cathedral in Ukraine?"

Don't know but I wouldn't be surprised if the K of C gave a generous donation.  No, I don't have statistics, it was meant tongue in cheek.  DOes it really matter who has the biggest building?  A big building can still be empty.

Fr. Deacon Lance




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« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2004, 05:05:57 PM »

[Do you hear that noise? It is the wind of change.]

Nah!  Thats the sound of all your Cossack ancestors who died for 'True' Orthodoxy (rather than the Polish version)  under the sword of the Pole turning in their graves as your Bishops were bowing down before the Polish Pope.

Their souls had just gotten over the shock when  last year the the chief Hetman of all the Ukrainian Cossack tribes [who also happens to be a retired colonel in KGB intelligence]  travelled all the way to Rome to make the Polish Pope an honorary Cossack!  Wonder how 'his holiness' was able to keep a straight face!  It will take awhile before the sound is quiet over those two acts.

[Then quit complaining and mind your own business.]

You started this thread and asked for feedback.  Not me.

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« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2004, 05:31:44 PM »

I have noticed a number of "differences" in the UGCC over the last few years.   Winnipeg has one of the largest Ukrainian populations within the diaspora, and has no less than sixteen churches in Winnipeg proper, and 115 other parishes scattered throughout Manitoba.  I, too, was raised UGC, and converted to EO at the age of 34.

The church I knew when I was younger had "youth masses" with guitar/violin/piano bands near the altar.  When it wasn't a "youth" mass, my family usually attended the "low mass," because it was all spoken and could sometimes be finished in less than an hour.  

It had large protestant-style quilted banners plastered all about.  It had a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and another of Jesus Christ with his heart exposed.  Icons?  What were those?  Oh, yeah...those weird-looking religious pictures.  They certainly didn't look very realistic, like the images posted around the church interior, displaying the "Way of the Cross."  

But, here I was taught all I needed to know about my faith - God was at the front of the church (in the case of my church, that would be to the south, where the altar was) so don't look behind yourself during mass,  be good or you'll go to HE**, and DON'T ASK QUESTIONS!!!!

What I have seen over the last couple of years is a desire to recapture elements of Orthodoxy and Orthodox Mysticism that have disappeared from the faith.  My old church now has a small ICONOSTAS!  It has a large mosiac of the Resurrection on the back wall!  "Progress," the official publication of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, has published articles by Fr. Alexander Schmemman and other contemporary Orthodox theologians!  (However, the articles in question have carefully edited out references to the "Eastern Orthodox Church!").  

"Progress" has also published articles on how the UGC church must attract and retain more parishioners.  The solution?  To be more Orthodox!!!!  (I am NOT making this up!)

Spoken masses?  A thing of the past.  Organs and guitars?  Believe they're all gone too.  And now the Patriarchate?!?!  And, check out the website!  Orthodox?  They are even using the three-bar cross!  http://www.archeparchy.ca/

There is something that strikes me as being very dishonest here.  A church which purports to be Orthodox, appears Orthodox in its "trappings," and is entirely Roman with regard to doctrine and theology.  I think the UGCC has to **** or get off the pot:  decide who you are, and then STICK WITH IT.  No more apologies.  As Nike would say...JUST DO IT.
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« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2004, 05:34:43 PM »

[Do you hear that noise?  It is the wind of change. ]

Nah!  Thats the sound of all your Cossack ancestors who died for 'True' Orthodoxy (rather than the Polish version)  under the sword of the Pole turning in their graves as your Bishops were bowing down before the Polish Pope.

Their souls had just gotten over the shock when  last year the the chief Hetman of all the Ukrainian Cossack tribes [who also happens to be a retired colonel in KGB intelligence]  travelled all the way to Rome to make the Polish Pope an honorary Cossack!  Wonder how 'his holiness' was able to keep a straight face!  It will take awhile before the sound is quiet over those two acts.

[Then quit complaining and mind your own business. ]

You started this thread and asked for feedback.  Not me.

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« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2004, 05:37:27 PM »

I have noticed a number of "differences" in the UGCC over the last few years.   Winnipeg has one of the largest Ukrainian populations within the diaspora, and has no less than sixteen churches in Winnipeg proper, and 115 other parishes scattered throughout Manitoba.

BTW, to clarify, those churches listed above are all UGCC.
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« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2004, 05:44:23 PM »

FYI, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada has six churches in Winnipeg and 51 scattered throughout Manitoba.  (Statistics for comparison sake.)  Interesting side note:  the UOCC was started by disgruntled UGCs, and was taken under the wing of the Ecumenical Patriarch in 1996?
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« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2004, 08:23:19 PM »

Orthodox,

Well since I don't have any Ukrainian blood I don't think any of my ancestors are turning over in their graves.  My Slavic blood is Slovak Greek Catholic.  

So in your view a person who is Polish can neither be holy, nor deserve respect due them as a hierarch, or a national award recognizing his Ukrainian/Rusyn heritage and his work against the Communists?  Now who is guilty of politics and ethnic hatred?  

And while I did post the article, I don't remember asking for feedback.  I did expect some though.  However, I was hoping for more than the tiresome "faultless Orthodox, evil Catholics" rote you have become so famous for.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2004, 01:44:44 AM »

[So in your view a person who is Polish can neither be holy, nor deserve respect due them as a hierarch, or a national award recognizing his Ukrainian/Rusyn heritage and his work against the Communists? Now who is guilty of politics and ethnic hatred?]

First of all I'm part Polish.  My paternal grandmother was Polish.  There are many awards or honors that could have been given the Pope to honor him rather than make him an honorary Cossack.  I don't deny the Pope any award.  Just this one.

Considering the history behind the Cossacks, especially the Zaporozhe, to make the head of the Roman Catholic Church, and a Pole at that, an honorary Cossack shows a complete ignorance of history and is a slap in the face to the memories of all those who died defending the Orthodox faith  against Polish  aggression.  The Cossacks were the defenders of the faith against both the Moslem Tartars and the Roman Catholic  Poles who turned their people into serfs and took away their basic human rights because of the faith they held so dear.

[ However, I was hoping for more than the tiresome "faultless Orthodox, evil Catholics" rote you have become so famous for.]

Speaking of 'faultless' and 'evil', isn't that what the article you posted by Father Taft was all about with the exception who was being branded as 'faultless' and 'evil'?

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« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2004, 09:50:11 AM »

Orthodoc,

"Considering the history behind the Cossacks, especially the Zaporozhe, to make the head of the Roman Catholic Church, and a Pole at that, an honorary Cossack shows a complete ignorance of history and is a slap in the face to the memories of all those who died defending the Orthodox faith  against Polish  aggression.  The Cossacks were the defenders of the faith against both the Moslem Tartars and the Roman Catholic  Poles who turned their people into serfs and took away their basic human rights because of the faith they held so dear."

You keep forgetting that Pole is half Ukrainian.  Also while we are talking about people who took away human rights becasue of faith what about the Russian Communists and those who collaborated with them?  Some how I don't think you would be complaining if a Russian bishop was being made an honorary Cossack.  I think they understand history completely and recognized one of their own who has done much to free them from Communism.

"Speaking of 'faultless' and 'evil', isn't that what the article you posted by Father Taft was all about with the exception who was being branded as 'faultless' and 'evil'?"

No it is not, I think you need to reread it.  The article is about the MP being irrational about the effect of the UGCC being elevated to a patriarchate and the foolishness of Rome worrying about placating them and approval for the UGCC declaring themselves a patriarchate.  You see Archimandrite Robert and myself are able to distinguish the Russain Orthodox Church and People from its lunatic fringe and the administration of the MP.  We also distinguish the Pope and Latin Catholic Church from its lunatic fringe and the Curia.  Neither Archimandrite Robert, myself or the Pope for that matter have presented the Catholic Church, as an institution, as above wrong doing.  Nor have we ever presented the Orthodox Church as evil.  As institutions the Russian, Romanian, and Slovak Orthodox Churches did wrong in collaborating with the Communists to suppress and liquidate the Greek Catholic Churches.

Fr. Deacon Lance



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« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2004, 11:22:40 AM »

 [Also while we are talking about people who took away human rights because of faith what about the Russian Communists and those who collaborated with them? ]

The important words in that sentence is Communists!  The same people who had also taken away the basic human rights of the Russian Orthodox believers.  Only they had  started in 1917 rather than in the mid 1940's  when the supression of the UGCC occurred.  A church that  already had suffered persecution and suppression for  29 years  before the suppression of the UGCC began.  You seem to forget that there was also a Ukrainian Communist party with a very sizable membership that was very active in the suppression of its own people and their faith.

[Some how I don't think you would be complaining if a Russian bishop was being made an honorary Cossack.  I think they understand history completely and recognized one of their own who has done much to free them from Communism. ]

Why should I?  It wasn't the Russian Bishops who the Cossacks were defending the Orthodox faith  against!  And if you, as well as THEY, understood that part of  history and WHY the Cossacks were originally formed you wouldn't make the statements you just did.  You as well as THEY seem only to want to go back that far in history to try and prove your point.  Case in point is your complaint about the COMMUNIST suppression of the UGCC.  Go back in history and read the CREATION of the UGCC and tell me how that is any different than its suppression in the mid 40's!

[As institutions the Russian, Romanian, and Slovak Orthodox Churches did wrong in collaborating with the Communists to suppress and liquidate the Greek Catholic Churches.]

Once again, read how & why  their counterparts within the Church of Rome were created and tell me how it is any different or better than what you are in here crying about and criticizing!  If the creation of these fake copies of Orthodoxy wasn't as volatile as it was, we wouldn't be having this conversation in the first place.  

When one reads about aggression and suppression of one  Christian faith over another, it all starts in Rome.  Not Moscow or Constantinople.  History backs me up on that if you are willing to go back and read more than the last chapter.

You came in here by posting a very insulting tirade by an Eastern Catholic priest in union with Rome and then complain about the response you get.  Why?  Because you don't like the other side of the coin?  And then you criticize me for defending my Orthodox faith!

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« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2004, 12:14:51 PM »

Orthodoc,

"You seem to forget that there was also a Ukrainian Communist party with a very sizable membership that was very active in the suppression of its own people and their faith."

No, I have not.  You complain that a Polish Latin Catholic is made an honorary Cossack, even though he played a role in ending  Communist and Russian oppression of Ukraine.  You then state you will not complain if an Orthodox bishop who collaborated with the Communist and Russian oppresion would be given the same.  Which is more desreving of an honor that stands for Ukrainian freedom and self-determination?  You confuse the antagonism between Poles and Russians and Ukrainians and want to make it about religion when it is primarily about ethnicity.  Poles didn't like Russians or Ukrainians any more because they were Greek Catholic.

"You as well as THEY seem only to want to go back that far in history to try and prove your point.  Once again, read how & why  their counterparts within the Church of Rome were created and tell me how it is any different or better than what you are in here crying about and criticizing!"

I was wondering when this arguement would come out.  The difference is 400+ years and those involved in the unias are dead and have received their reward or punishment from Our Lord.  In the case of the Communist suppression many of the persecutors and persecuted are still alive and both deserve temporal justice while it can be had.  

The various unias, while not without epsiodes of violence and wrong doing on both sides, cannot be compared with the suppression of the Greek Catholic Churches in Ukraine, Romania, and Slovakia.

"When one reads about aggression and suppression of one  Christian faith over another, it all starts in Rome.  Not Moscow or Constantinople."

You might want to ask the Old Riters, Georgian Orthodox or Armenians about that.

"You came in here by posting a very insulting tirade by an Eastern Catholic priest in union with Rome and then complain about the response you get.  Why?  Because you don't like the other side of the coin?  And then you criticize me for defending my Orthodox faith!"

I fail to see how Archimandrite Robert's interview is a tirade or insulting.  I am a little disappointed the only remarks are you usual irrational tirade.  I can deal with the otherside of the coin, when have claimed the Catholic Church has done no wrong as you constantly do for the Orthodox?  I do not criticize you for defending the Orthodox faith, but for defending the sins commited by its members.  There is a difference.

Fr. Deacon Lance






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« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2004, 12:21:45 PM »

Speaking of the Armenians, they have  Patriarchates in Constantiople and Jerusalem.  Why no outrage over these?  Why no call to abolish them like the Orthodox did for the Latin titular patriarch of Constantinople or do for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem?  Why all this fuss over the UGCC Patriarchate and not a word about these?  Is there a double standard?

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« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2004, 01:34:57 PM »

[The difference is 400+ years and those involved in the unias are dead and have received their reward or punishment from Our Lord. ]

Oh so now it is a time element that washes away past sins!  Last time I checked Stalin and his croonies are also dead.  What goes around, comes around my friend.  And time doesn't wash away anyone's sins.

[In the case of the Communist suppression many of the persecutors and persecuted are still alive and both deserve temporal justice while it can be had.]

If you base it on that, then perhaps we can also include persecution of the Serbian Orthodox by the Roman Catholic Croats  during the same time period? Just about as many of them are still alive.   Also the persecution of the Lemkos by the Poles during the same time period.  Or, are we just going to concentrate on the communists  who started to supress the Orthodox long before the UGCC's?  

Why aren't you in here complaining about the supression of not only the Greek Catholic but Orthodox churches taken over by the Poles when they ethnically cleansed whole villages of Lemkos and resettled them with Poles, confiscated their churches & turned them into RC ones?  Including my grandmothers.  Or what went on in concentration camps like Jansovic and  Talerhof by supressive RC governments and in many cases with RC priests participation.

[The various unias, while not without epsiodes of violence and wrong doing on both sides, cannot be compared with the suppression of the Greek Catholic Churches in Ukraine, Romania, and Slovakia.]

Give me a break!  Did you ever read about the creation of the UGCC?  I doubt it.  If you did you would know it was much more deceptive and violent than what went on in 1946 -

------

Try  'The Orthodox Church In The History of Russia' by Dimitry Pospielovsky

Page 92-93 regarding the union -

{Note:  This section deals with a second memorandum sent to the Pope on their conditions for submission to the Pope.  The first memorandum which consists of ten conditions was rejected by the pope.  Rome ignored all these conditions, promising only that the metropolitan of Kiev would have full contol over the ancient Kiev Monastery of the Caves.  The bishops responded by  by drafting a "Concilliar Address" to the pope, consisting of twenty six articles, which were delivered by the two bishops sent to Rome, Ipati-Potii of Vladimir-Volynsk, and Krill (Terletsky of Lutsk.  The articles included  both a confession of faith and a number of requests -

1.  The Holy spirit proceds from the Father THROUGH the Son
2.  All orthodox liturgies and other rites should remain unchanged
3.  The Eurcharist is to continue to be distributed under both species, according to Orthodox tradition
4.  No objection to purgatory, "but we want to be true to the teachings of the Church."  The new calendar can be accepted but the Paschal cycle should remain untouched, as well as those Orthodox feasts which are absent from the Roman Church, e.g., Epiphany
6.  The rentention of married clergy
7.  That only Russians or Greeks may be consecrated bishops (This reflects the fear that Poles might try and infiltrate the Church and gradually latinize and polonize it).
8 & 9:  (Identical to the 8 &9  in the previous memo whic dealt with equal rights & privleges with the Latin Rite Bishops ).
11.  No Greek bishops to be allowed in the commonwealth's territory, and none of their bans are to be valid in the Commonwealth.
12 & 20:  Defections to the Roman rite and transformation of Eastern churches ito Latin-rite ones is forbidden
21.  Colleges and brotherhoods, should they join the Unia, are to be subject to the bishops.
26.  "Some of ours" have gone to Greece to report [on us] in order to be appointed to posts "superior to ours".  Let the King of Poland prevent their re-entry into his domains.


[Caps are mine]

UGCC historians have claimed that this document had a theological character.  But the only theology here relates to the FILIOQUE and Purgatory, and on both issues the Bishops meekly agree to accept whatever the pope decides.  Yet even this petition did not receive a proper response from the Vatican.  After vainly waiting for it in Rome, the bishops were simply brought before the pope, were handed the Latin texts of the Latin episcopal oath, which they were made to pronounce WHILE KNEELING BEFORE THE POPE.
Then, after receiting the Creed WITH THE FILIOQUE, they were reconsecrated by the pope AS ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS pure and simple.  The confession of faith included in the oath AFFIRMED THAT ONLY THE ROMAN CHURCH POSSESSED THE FULLNESS OF TRUTH, AND THAT THEY ACCEPT ALL THE TRADITIONS, RITES, AND SACRAMENTS OF THE ROMAN CHURCH.  Only a month later, in January 1596, the pope magnanimously handed the bishops a short statute for the UGCC Church,  permitting it to retain those of their traditions and rites WHICH DID NOT CONTRADICT THE TEACHINGS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.  ALL THE OTHER DEMANDS MADE IN THE TWO MEMORANDA - SUCH AS AUTOMONY, THE ELECTION OF BISHOPS, ETC. - WERE TOTALLY IGNORED BY THE POPE.  Ipati and Krill then returned to the Commonwealth as bishops of the eastern rite, but with no guarantee that that rite  would be respected or retained.

In fact, the laity, the parish clergy, and particularly the brotherhoods refused to accept the union with Rome.  The protest movement developed and spread quickly,  joined at first by a single bishop, Gideon (Boloban) of Livov.  The King gave in to these pressures and authorized the convening of a local council OF THOSE BISHOPS, CLERGY, AND LAITY OF THE ROMAN AND GREEK CHURCH WHO ACCEPTED THE PAPACY - i.e., THOSE WHO DID NOT ACCEPT THE COUNCIL WERE NOT INVITED.

The council met in the city of Brest on October 6, 1596.  In order to prevent a parallel Orthodox council in any of the numerious Orthodox churches in the city, THE METROPOLITAN OF KIEV SEALED ALL ORTHODOX CHURCHES ON THE DAY BEFORE THE COUNCIL WAS TO BEGIN, EXCEPT FOR THE CATHEDRAL WHERE THE COUNCIL WAS TO TAKE PLACE.  The Orthodox, nevertheless, converged on Brest as well, with Prince Ostrozhskii and his private army at the head.  Failing to find an open church, and after waiting in vain for an invitation from the UGC's, they accepted an offer of a Protestant church school hall for a separate Orthodox Council.  The UGC Council passed a resolution excommunicating all the Orthodox clergy and laity participating in the Orthodox Council.  The Orthodox in turn suspended all the clergy and lay participants in the UGC Council and addressed a petition to the King, asking him to deprive  "the traitors" of their dioceses and parishes.  But the King decided otherwise:  his edict of October 15 legalized only those Byzantine-rite Christians  who joined the Unia; IT DECREED THE ORTHODOX CHURCH NULL AND VOID AND ALL IT'S CLERGY EXCOMMUNCATED; WHILE CONTINUING MEMBERSHIP IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH WAS DECLARED TO BE AN ACT OF TREASON AGAINST THE STATE.

---------

Now I ask you how is that any different than what happened in 1946?  Oh yes, I forgot, everybody is dead!  In order to solve a problem you have to completely understand what created it in the first place.  And this is what created the problem in the first place.

As far as 1946, I have gone over it too many times  already with you all, and you have yet to explain to me how the UGCC would be better of than it is today if the ROC,  who had already suffered 29 years of the most severe persecution of Christian history,  and under threat of increased persecution, would have turned their backs on the UGCC and allowed Stalin to disband it.  How many of the current UGC priests were trained in Orthodox seminaries whose education was paid for by Orthodox money?

Now, since we seem to be getting off the original subject matter into  more volatile areas,  and since I have already gone over this more than once in the 'other' forum,  I will only continue this particular area of discussion if the moderator approves.  But it seems to me I have already discussed it in this Orthodox discussion group awhile back.

I will honor the moderators decision.

Orthodoc


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« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2004, 01:44:51 PM »

[Why all this fuss over the UGCC Patriarchate and not a word about these? Is there a double standard?]

You are comparing apples and oranges.  Both these centers are in predominately Moselm countries.  The  number of Christians is insignificant.  And all are fighting for their very existence.
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« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2004, 04:24:51 PM »

Speaking of the Armenians, they have  Patriarchates in Constantiople and Jerusalem.  Why no outrage over these?  Why no call to abolish them like the Orthodox did for the Latin titular patriarch of Constantinople or do for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem?  Why all this fuss over the UGCC Patriarchate and not a word about these?  Is there a double standard?

Fr. Deacon Lance

Also, there is the possibility that when those Patriarchates were established, there were many more Christians living in Constantinople/Ottoman Empire and the Levant than there are now. Constantinople may have been ruled by Muslims since 1453, but until the 20th century there were still plenty of Christians there.
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« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2004, 04:36:22 PM »

Orthodoc,

"Oh so now it is a time element that washes away past sins!  Last time I checked Stalin and his croonies are also dead.  What goes around, comes around my friend.  And time doesn't wash away anyone's sins."

No it is Our Lord that washes away sin. Again those from the unia are dead and have been judged and can make no temporal satisfaction for their wrongdoing.  Those who are still around from the Communist persecution can, i.e give back stolen property.

"Give me a break!  Did you ever read about the creation of the UGCC?  I doubt it.  If you did you would know it was much more deceptive and violent than what went on in 1946"

Indeed I have, and from several viewpoints, so I disagree with your statement

"If you base it on that, then perhaps we can also include persecution of the Serbian Orthodox by the Roman Catholic Croats  during the same time period? Just about as many of them are still alive.  Also the persecution of the Lemkos by the Poles during the same time period.  Or, are we just going to concentrate on the communists  who started to supress the Orthodox long before the UGCC's  Why aren't you in here complaining about the supression of not only the Greek Catholic but Orthodox churches taken over by the Poles when they ethnically cleansed whole villages of Lemkos and resettled them with Poles, confiscated their churches & turned them into RC ones?  Including my grandmothers.  Or what went on in concentration camps like Jansovic and  Talerhof by supressive RC governments and in many cases with RC priests participation."

It has not been brought up, but certainly all should do penance and make restitution where possible.  However, it was the Orthodox who demanded that current pastoral need be taken into account when deciding what to do with church buildings regardless of historical ownership.  In Romania, where the Greek Catholics live by the agreement, they have gotten very few churches returned.  In fact the Romanian Orthodox have taken to bulldozing churches rather than return them.  The Ukrainians walked away from the agreement Moscow and Rome made because they knew it meant the same thing.  It does not justify any violence that occurred but does give it a context.

"As far as 1946, I have gone over it too many times  already with you all, and you have yet to explain to me how the UGCC would be better of than it is today if the ROC,  who had already suffered 29 years of the most severe persecution of Christian history,  and under threat of increased persecution, would have turned their backs on the UGCC and allowed Stalin to disband it."
 
It wouldn't have been worse off and perhaps relations would be better as suffering in solidarity builds bonds.  

"How many of the current UGC priests were trained in Orthodox seminaries whose education was paid for by Orthodox money?"

I don't know.  Maybe the same number of Orthodox prietss who studied in Rome whose education was paid for by Catholic money.  

Fr. Deacon Lance


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« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2004, 04:42:44 PM »

I find it interesting to read the viewpoint of Fr. Taft and what his view and suggestions are for the UGCs.
He's a Jesuit who has "gone east" so to say.  This is not unusual, as the Jesuits have, since their founding, gone off around the world and inserted themselves into situations where it suited their interests.  This gives a western order, the Jesuits, influence over the affairs of an eastern church.  An example of this is the founding of the Melkite Church under the influence of French Jesuits who interfered in the affairs of the Antiochian Church back in the 1700s, when they actively promoted a schism and then lead the schismatics to Rome with promises of aid against the Turks.  This merely further fragmented and weakened Christianity as a whole in the Middle East.

The question therefore becomes, what's Fr. Taft's agenda?

Fr. Taft's last remarks are particularly revealing in seeing what his personal agenda in all of this is.  To quote:
"Do you agree that the central problem is the papacy?
Of course. What we’ve made out of the papacy is simply ridiculous. There’s no possible justification in the New Testament or anyplace else for what we’ve made out of the papacy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in a Petrine ministry. I believe that Rome has inherited that Petrine ministry. But there’s no reason on God’s earth why the pope should be appointing the bishop of Peoria. None whatsoever. So we really need a devolution, a decentralization. The Catholic church has become so big that we need some kind of a synodal structure in the West the same way you have in the East. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ought to be a kind of synod of Catholic bishops in the United States. They ought to be able to elect the bishops. Leave Rome a veto, if you want. By the way, this would be no guarantee of better bishops. The notion that the locals will necessarily pick better people than Rome is obviously false, as anybody who knows the East understands. But at least people will see these guys as their bishops and not Rome’s. Make your own bed and sleep in it. The pope could say: ‘You don’t like the archbishop of New York? Hey, I didn’t name him.’ "

I believe that he sees the Eastern Ritual Churches as allies in order to gain influence over and change the Latin Rite Church.  His agenda would devolve power from the Pope to "local" churches such as the USCCB.  The US Conf. of Catholic Bishops has traditionally  taken very liberal positions on a whole host of issues which has put it at odds with Rome.  This devolution from papal power would cut the CDF (under Card. Ratzinger) from the equation, and allow them to implement many practices which the current Pope rejects unchecked.  It would be a "reformers" paradise.

This is why he finds the current setup of the papacy and curia "ridiculous".  Helping the UGCC gain greater autonomy and independence in defiance of Papal wishes is part of his agenda of limiting the Pope's role throughout the rest of the Roman Catholic Church so that "reforms" can be implemented without hindrance from Rome.  While this could lead to some positive developments such as married clergy, the potential for abuse seems high, and the Roman Church could end up in a situation much like the Anglicans.
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