Christ is Risen!
The unia was founded at the Laterno Synod of 1215 and in the Bull of Pope Innocente 4th. The unia was created in Poland by two Jesuits and the plan was to Latinize the Orthodox of Poland and south-west Russia(Ukraine). With the help of the Polish King the Synods of Brest was formed. Since then the forced conversion of Orthodox to the Papists began, churches were confiscated, Orthodox were murdered, tortured, or sent into exile. The shame of the unia on the Pope.
1914-Austro-Hungarian Empire-eradicates Orthodox believers. A great number sent to concentration camps, Talerhof and Terezin.
1917-and after- Catholic interventionists attacked the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, forming an anti-Orthodox uniat pact with the atheist and bolsheviks.
1943-1944- Hundreds of Ukrainian Orthodox priests eliminated and tortured by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, aided by uniate Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj.
1938- Volhynia, Western Ukraine, the Polish government oversees the destruction of more than 190 Orthodox Churches, and over 150 Churches turned over to the Latin Rite. This was occurring all over the Carpathian Mountain regions in Poland,Western Ukraine, and Czechoslovakia.
In the U.S., when Eastern Rite Catholics began to return to Orthodoxy(because of Latinization), the Austro-Hungarian officials, along with Latin hierarchies requested that Rome step in to establish an Eastern Rite church, to stop the flow to Orthodoxy. The conflicts did not end with Eastern Rite eparchies established in the U.S. Conflicts, some physical, occurred in Orthodox Churches that were more Russian in nature. Ukrainian Nationalists instigated conflicts by their anti-Russian propaganda. (My mother and her family were witnesses to these conflicts in Jersey City. There was one Church. Sts. Peter & Paul Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church, where these immigrants, Rusyns/Lemkos worshipped. After these conflicts ,a separate Ukrainian and Byzantine Catholic church was established.*)This was occurring in Western Ukraine where Moscow,and Russia, were blamed for their ills. It was the Russians that destroyed and suppressed their Eastern Rite faith and churches, not the Communists. Ukrainian Nationalist propaganda at its best.The truth, the facts, are ignored. The Orthodox Church, under the Communist regime, was attacked, suppressed, Churches,and monasteries destroyed or closed. Countless believers murdered or sent to the gulags. Most of the Communist leaders were not even ethnic Russians.
The problems caused by Roman Catholic aggression in Poland and Ukraine, violent actions of Greek Catholics against Orthodox believers being deprived of their Churches and their religious rights is still occurring. When will a Pope speak out against this?
The title should read:Orthodox - forceful conversion to Catholicism
*I must point out that the Russian hierarchy at that time was involved in Russifying these immigrants. My opinion is that most of these people were not concerned with nationalistic rhetoric(Ukrainian Nationalists), but their Orthodox Faith. In many areas. later on, an Ukrainian Orthodox Church was established,separate from the Russian Church. I always wonder if the Russian hierarchy had been more attuned to the situation, established an Ukrainian Orthodox Church, understood that these Rusyns/Lemkos were not ethnic Russians, would these conflicts have been reduced?