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Author Topic: Ukrainian Greek Catholics - the result of forceful conversion or not?  (Read 3934 times) Average Rating: 0
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Byron
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« on: April 18, 2011, 08:57:49 AM »

First time poster, long time lurker here.

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

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

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

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

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

First time poster, long time lurker here.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




 



 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

(emphasis modified)

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


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

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

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

(emphasis modified)

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



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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christ is Risen!

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

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

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

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

The title should read:Orthodox - forceful conversion to Catholicism

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


*At least not in the literal sense. I suppose you could call it "re-joining" in the sense that their ancestors were Orthodox. Not really the same thing though.
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« Reply #45 on: April 25, 2011, 10:47:49 PM »

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

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


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

I'd rather avoid speaking for someone else speaking for someone else, but I think his point was that those who see themselves as "Orthodox in communion with Rome" see themselves as Orthodox.  According to them, they never left Orthodoxy, or at least since their "union."
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« Reply #46 on: April 26, 2011, 01:23:02 PM »

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

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


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

I'd rather avoid speaking for someone else speaking for someone else, but I think his point was that those who see themselves as "Orthodox in communion with Rome" see themselves as Orthodox.  According to them, they never left Orthodoxy, or at least since their "union."

Thank you, you did a good job of speaking for me. I was trying to formulate an explanation of my comments and you summed them up.

I can only speak for my family and those who I know, both those who returned to the Orthodox Faith and those who remained Greek Catholic.

In the Rusyn dialect they spoke, they would have referred to their religion not as 'Pravoslavnyj' (literally 'Orthodox' ) nor as 'Katoliceskjy' ( 'Catholic' in the sense of being Roman), but as 'nash Viryj' (our Faith) or 'nase cerkovnyj' (our church). (Please excuse my attempts at phonetics, it's the best I can recollect.)

It is hard to explain in terms modern ears understand, but you have to keep in mind that in the Slavonic, the Union NEVER required changing the intonations 'Vsich vas Pravoslavnjch Christian...' and so on in the liturgy. From the gradual implementation of the Union of Uzhorod through its final success in the early 18th century, the commemorations of the village priest may have changed Bishops, but they always prayed for the intention of all Orthodox Christians. (Pravoslavnjch Christian...) For nearly four centuries this continued.

I realize that the Byzantine Catholic Church in America, after the schisms of the 20th century, in their initial translations of this phrase, they did not state 'Remember in Your Kingdom, all Orthodox Christians' but rather 'Remember in Your Kingdom, all Christians of the True Faith'. Yet, in 2009, their bishops' Pastoral Update recommended restoring the use of the term 'Orthodox Christians'. (Needless to say, this proposed change has caused some confusion among their faithful! - particularly where there had been a history of division and litigation with the Orthodox.)

Likewise, in the Slavonic Trebniks and Sborniks published by the Greek Catholics in both Presov and Lviv through the Second World War, the term "Vsich vas Pravoslavnyj Christianyj..." was retained. (I am referencing the 'Velikyj Cerkovnjy Sbornik' published in Presov in 1937 with the imprimatur of the Blessed Bishop+Pavel (Goidich). )  

Bishop Pavel certainly knew that he was a Greek Catholic and united with Rome and not Orthodox, but to the faithful, the Church was not perceived globally, but rather locally and to those living in the mid-20th century it continued unchanged. It can be argued that it was only as a result of the Latinization efforts in the Americas urged on by the Latin hierarchy and the forced liquidation of the Greek Catholic Church in  Europe following the war that those perceptions were forever changed - whether you retained your Eastern Catholic identity or followed canonical Orthodoxy.

That being said, the term 'Orthodox in union with Rome' is NOT a term used by Orthodox to describe our Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters. Rather, it is a term adopted by SOME of Eastern Catholic clergy and hierarchs to describe their relationship with Rome. The retired Major-Archbishop Lubomyr of Ukraine used the term often when he described the UGCC. I did not use it in a mocking or derogatory manner and the attempt to call the Orthodox Church by the acronym penned by Peter does not strike me as being respectful of the Eastern Catholics who use the term "Orthodox in union with Rome' to describe themselves.
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« Reply #47 on: April 26, 2011, 01:31:22 PM »

That being said, the term 'Orthodox in union with Rome' is NOT a term used by Orthodox to describe our Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters. Rather, it is a term adopted by SOME of Eastern Catholic clergy and hierarchs to describe their relationship with Rome. The retired Major-Archbishop Lubomyr of Ukraine used the term often when he described the UGCC. I did not use it in a mocking or derogatory manner and the attempt to call the Orthodox Church by the acronym penned by Peter does not strike me as being respectful of the Eastern Catholics who use the term "Orthodox in union with Rome' to describe themselves.

In his defense (I'm sure he'll spring to it himself), I think that acronym is a play on ialmisry's personal insistence on using "The Vatican" to refer to the Roman Catholic Church. 
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« Reply #48 on: April 26, 2011, 02:59:58 PM »

the attempt to call the Orthodox Church by the acronym penned by Peter does not strike me as being respectful of the Eastern Catholics who use the term "Orthodox in union with Rome' to describe themselves.

Wow, you must seriously think I'm a push-over. First you say "Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics" because I referred the OCNICWTV as "The Orthodox Church"; now you're complaining because I'm telling it like it is?

I've got some news for you: calling the OCNICWTV "The Orthodox Church" was an ecumenical courtesy. I'm not going to keep calling you guys "The Orthodox Church" to give you amunition to use against me.

So I would suggest you get use to being called the OCNICWTV.
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« Reply #49 on: April 26, 2011, 03:03:27 PM »

In his defense (I'm sure he'll spring to it himself), I think that acronym is a play on ialmisry's personal insistence on using "The Vatican" to refer to the Roman Catholic Church. 

Actually, it was his suggestion. (He added "though it has no reference for us", whatever that means.)

The Orthodox Church not in communion with the Vatican is fine, though it has no reference for us.
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« Reply #50 on: April 26, 2011, 03:12:31 PM »

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

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

Byron, forgive me for being a tad redundant, but now that I'm better able to say what I mean ...

First of all, it's not a matter of joining the Orthodox Church, but rather the OCNICWTV (Orthodox Church not in communion with the Vatican).

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


*At least not in the literal sense. I suppose you could call it "re-joining" in the sense that their ancestors were ONICWTV. Not really the same thing though.
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« Reply #51 on: April 26, 2011, 03:17:57 PM »

Christ is risen!
In his defense (I'm sure he'll spring to it himself), I think that acronym is a play on ialmisry's personal insistence on using "The Vatican" to refer to the Roman Catholic Church. 

Actually, it was his suggestion. (He added "though it has no reference for us", whatever that means.)

The Orthodox Church not in communion with the Vatican is fine, though it has no reference for us.
It means that since the Vatican means nothing to us besides the vestige of a former Orthodox Patriarch once in Catholic communion, it is a meaningless characterization for us. Of course, for those who predicate the whole Church on the Vatican's supreme pontiff, it means a lot.

Catholic communion is not defined by communion with a particular see, as the heresy promoted at the council of Ravenna would have it: the Orthodox are not defined by communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch, as they would mean the Orthodox were in communion with the Arian, Macedonian, Monothelite, Iconoclast and Ultramontanist patriarchs of Constantinople, which they were not.

Btw, I didn't suggest OCNICWTV, someone used it and I simply recorded no objection save that those who would expect us to act on a self definition as not being in communion with the Vatican will be disappointed.  Much to the chagrin of many (Fr. Pachwa for one), we do not wait to see what the Vatican does so we can do the contrary.  The Vatican doesn't enter in the equation at all.
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« Reply #52 on: April 26, 2011, 03:47:26 PM »

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

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

Byron, forgive me for being a tad redundant, but now that I'm better able to say what I mean ...

First of all, it's not a matter of joining the Orthodox Church, but rather the OCNICWTV (Orthodox Church not in communion with the Vatican).

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


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

You have missed my point and I continue my assertion that you are looking into the issue from a Roman world view and have misinterpreted the historical status on the ground just as badly as those who looked at it from the perspective of Moscow.

I am not trying to put words into the mouths of anyone, I am merely using the terminology that people themselves use to describe themselves.

Frankly, there is nothing to be gained in exchanging silly acronyms or in referring to a Church as a place. In the case of faith, words can injure just as surely as sticks and stones.

I am old enough to have known and lived among many people who came of age in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I grew up in a world centered around the neighborhood Church, listening to personal narratives of faith, hearing about and living with the consequences of the bitter divisions that name calling, misunderstanding and the imperialistic ambitions of 'higher powers' in both the eastern and western Christian world created within the Rusyn, Galician, Lemko and Ukrainian communities. I think that I have an accurate understanding of what people believed prior to the mid 20th century and how they viewed their world.

I will willingly concede that my family and my children, two and three generations removed from the chaos that was, properly view themselves as Orthodox Christians and that my Eastern Catholic cousins now view themselves more as a Catholic than as Eastern Christian (Orthodox or otherwise.)

For better or worse, that is the way it is today. However, for the first three and a half centuries of the Unia, that was not the case, especially among the peasant class and among the so-called 'boots on the ground.'

When the chaos of schism surfaced during the late 19th and continuing through the mid-20th century, first in America as fanned by Archbishop Ireland and others, and later in Europe as brutally enforced by the Communists, neither those who remained Greek Catholic, nor those who accepted the omophor of the Orthodox perceived themselves as having changed their faith. It was always the 'other guys' who changed and in community after community in America and Europe things were never the same as people struggled with their consciences, their hearts and their families to chose what they prayed was the proper path.
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« Reply #53 on: April 26, 2011, 04:34:21 PM »

The foreign language terms in podkarpatska's posts are in Slovak. Please do not try pronouncing them in English.
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« Reply #54 on: April 26, 2011, 05:13:01 PM »

Podkarpatska,

I see you have once again made a very long post that doesn't answer my question: What did I say that you have a problem with?

And talk about bossy: first you had a problem with me because I referred to the OCNICWTV as "the Orthodox Church"*, now you have a problem with me because I'm telling-it-like-it-is by saying OCNICWTV.

*How is that different from what you profess to be doing when you say "I am merely using the terminology that people themselves use to describe themselves."?
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« Reply #55 on: April 26, 2011, 05:17:22 PM »

P.S. It also amazes me that you have not objected to Byron's statement:

Podkarpatska,
I'm trying to better understand why Eastern Catholics are reluctant to re-join the Orthodox church.
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« Reply #56 on: April 26, 2011, 05:48:39 PM »

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

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

Peter,

Many Eastern Catholics would consider it rejoining.  Of course as many Eastern Catholics are former Latin Catholics for them your statement would be true.
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« Reply #57 on: April 26, 2011, 05:55:29 PM »

Wow, you must seriously think I'm a push-over. First you say "Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics" because I referred the OCNICWTV as "The Orthodox Church"; now you're complaining because I'm telling it like it is?

I've got some news for you: calling the OCNICWTV "The Orthodox Church" was an ecumenical courtesy. I'm not going to keep calling you guys "The Orthodox Church" to give you amunition to use against me.

So I would suggest you get use to being called the OCNICWTV.

Can you please act like a gentleman and remember you are a guest on an Orthodox forum.  If some here don't give us the courtesy of refering to our Churches properly, please don't go down to their level. 
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« Reply #58 on: April 26, 2011, 06:01:22 PM »

P.S. It also amazes me that you have not objected to Byron's statement:

Podkarpatska,
I'm trying to better understand why Eastern Catholics are reluctant to re-join the Orthodox church.

I think that you understand what I am saying and you simply can not let it pass. In my posts here over the years I have been extremely sympathetic to and understanding of Eastern Catholics to the point where many of the hard-core Orthodox here, and elsewhere, will accuse me and my late Bishop, Metropolitan Nicholas, of being "pro-'Uniate' ". (not my word, I am using it for effect, not offense.) You just can't please all of the people all of the time.

My real problem is with the Church of Rome's position regarding the Eastern Catholic churches; with the failure of the Eastern Catholic Ruthenian Bishops in this country to assert their historical rights and act like the 'sui juris' Church that the Church of Rome claims them to be and a number of other issues. However, since I am not an Eastern Catholic I really can't answer why more Eastern Catholics do not feel a desire to 'return' to Orthodoxy.

Frankly, I am neither concerned with those decisions of others nor do I lose any sleep over them nor do I harbor any ill will towards my friends for the decisions that they make regarding faith. However, if one sincerely believe that you (and your ancestors) didn't leave in the first place I think that answers your question. My grandparents 'left' the Greek Catholic Church because the Greek Catholic Church that they cherished was in the process of leaving them in the 1930's. They first formed the Committee for the Preservation of the Eastern Rite and made their case to Rome, who ignored their heartfelt petitions and responded by actually excommunicating people like my mother's father and my father. Only then did they turn to Constantinople. Others honestly reached a different conclusion. In any event, I truly think that Rome would have been far happier if the Greek Catholics in the US had simply disappeared.

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« Reply #59 on: April 26, 2011, 06:05:56 PM »

Wow, you must seriously think I'm a push-over. First you say "Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics" because I referred the OCNICWTV as "The Orthodox Church"; now you're complaining because I'm telling it like it is?

I've got some news for you: calling the OCNICWTV "The Orthodox Church" was an ecumenical courtesy. I'm not going to keep calling you guys "The Orthodox Church" to give you amunition to use against me.

So I would suggest you get use to being called the OCNICWTV.

Can you please act like a gentleman and remember you are a guest on an Orthodox forum.  If some here don't give us the courtesy of refering to our Churches properly, please don't go down to their level. 

Christ is Risen! Thank you Deacon. If I have ever disrespected any Eastern Catholic Church, I profoundly apologize. Disagreement can be accomplished by not acting in a disagreeable manner and I have striven to keep that in mind. As I have said before, for me to disrespect the Greek Catholic Church would be for me to disrespect my ancestors and the faith that they struggled to preserve for all of us who followed them.
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« Reply #60 on: April 26, 2011, 06:16:43 PM »

Christ is Risen! Thank you Deacon. If I have ever disrespected any Eastern Catholic Church, I profoundly apologize. Disagreement can be accomplished by not acting in a disagreeable manner and I have striven to keep that in mind. As I have said before, for me to disrespect the Greek Catholic Church would be for me to disrespect my ancestors and the faith that they struggled to preserve for all of us who followed them.

Indeed He is Risen!  Voistinu Voskrese!

Podkarpatska,

You have no needs to apologize.  I have always found your behavoir to be exemplary without exception.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #61 on: April 26, 2011, 06:16:58 PM »

P.S. It also amazes me that you have not objected to Byron's statement:

Podkarpatska,
I'm trying to better understand why Eastern Catholics are reluctant to re-join the Orthodox church.

I think that you understand what I am saying and you simply can not let it pass. In my posts here over the years I have been extremely sympathetic to and understanding of Eastern Catholics to the point where many of the hard-core Orthodox here, and elsewhere, will accuse me and my late Bishop, Metropolitan Nicholas, of being "pro-'Uniate' ". (not my word, I am using it for effect, not offense.) You just can't please all of the people all of the time.

My real problem is with the Church of Rome's position regarding the Eastern Catholic churches; with the failure of the Eastern Catholic Ruthenian Bishops in this country to assert their historical rights and act like the 'sui juris' Church that the Church of Rome claims them to be and a number of other issues. However, since I am not an Eastern Catholic I really can't answer why more Eastern Catholics do not feel a desire to 'return' to Orthodoxy.

Frankly, I am neither concerned with those decisions of others nor do I lose any sleep over them nor do I harbor any ill will towards my friends for the decisions that they make regarding faith. However, if one sincerely believe that you (and your ancestors) didn't leave in the first place I think that answers your question. My grandparents 'left' the Greek Catholic Church because the Greek Catholic Church that they cherished was in the process of leaving them in the 1930's. They first formed the Committee for the Preservation of the Eastern Rite and made their case to Rome, who ignored their heartfelt petitions and responded by actually excommunicating people like my mother's father and my father. Only then did they turn to Constantinople. Others honestly reached a different conclusion. In any event, I truly think that Rome would have been far happier if the Greek Catholics in the US had simply disappeared.



Must say I am almost...emphasis on almost... tempted to thank those who would worry you and goad you because it has resulted in several beautiful posts that I am not sure you would have written otherwise.  It is a story and perspective that needs to be heard more often, I think.

So I, personally, am happy for the view from within.
and admire your good heart for holding steady under fire.

Fondly, in Christ

Mary
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« Reply #62 on: April 26, 2011, 06:29:16 PM »

Wow, you must seriously think I'm a push-over. First you say "Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics" because I referred the OCNICWTV as "The Orthodox Church"; now you're complaining because I'm telling it like it is?

I've got some news for you: calling the OCNICWTV "The Orthodox Church" was an ecumenical courtesy. I'm not going to keep calling you guys "The Orthodox Church" to give you amunition to use against me.

So I would suggest you get use to being called the OCNICWTV.

Can you please act like a gentleman and remember you are a guest on an Orthodox forum.  If some here don't give us the courtesy of refering to our Churches properly, please don't go down to their level. 

Christ is Risen! Thank you Deacon. If I have ever disrespected any Eastern Catholic Church, I profoundly apologize. Disagreement can be accomplished by not acting in a disagreeable manner and I have striven to keep that in mind. As I have said before, for me to disrespect the Greek Catholic Church would be for me to disrespect my ancestors and the faith that they struggled to preserve for all of us who followed them.
I really appreciate your charitable approach when dealing with Catholics. I wonder how common such an attitude is among Eastern Orthodox Christians. Most of my experience with EOs is online, and the internet is not necessarily a pretty place. Thank you so much for your continued positive contributions.
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« Reply #63 on: April 26, 2011, 09:14:50 PM »

Wow, you must seriously think I'm a push-over. First you say "Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics" because I referred the OCNICWTV as "The Orthodox Church"; now you're complaining because I'm telling it like it is?

I've got some news for you: calling the OCNICWTV "The Orthodox Church" was an ecumenical courtesy. I'm not going to keep calling you guys "The Orthodox Church" to give you amunition to use against me.

So I would suggest you get use to being called the OCNICWTV.

Can you please act like a gentleman and remember you are a guest on an Orthodox forum. 

I have not forgotten that this is an Orthodox forum, and I have not given up on trying to be a good guest. But that doesn't mean I'm going to be a push-over either. I was perfectly content with saying "the Orthodox Church" until this led to "Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics." Now apparently podkarpatska is criticizing me for not saying "the Orthodox Church".

If some here don't give us the courtesy of refering to our Churches properly, please don't go down to their level. 

That's not the problem.
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« Reply #64 on: April 26, 2011, 09:24:34 PM »

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

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

Peter,

Many Eastern Catholics would consider it rejoining.  Of course as many Eastern Catholics are former Latin Catholics for them your statement would be true.

Deacon Lance, I think what you said is a perfectly reasonable response to my post: you made it clear why you have a problem with what I said. In fact I would say that you have a good point.

Indeed, when ECs "go Orthodox", it is a re-joining in a certain sense, in much the same way that we can speak of Anglicans re-joining the Catholic Church if they as individuals were always Anglican.
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« Reply #65 on: April 26, 2011, 09:25:26 PM »

Peter,

But he was right, and now you are picking a fight with the most Eastern Catholic friendly Orthodox member of this forum.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #66 on: April 26, 2011, 09:48:36 PM »

I think that you understand what I am saying and you simply can not let it pass.

I do not understand the first part of "Peter is completely wrong and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics." I don't see how I could understand it unless you tell me what I said that you object to. (It's strange because we seemed to be on such good terms back when you responded to my question about ECs being excluded from Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.)

As far as the second part of it, " ... and typifies the usual Latin understanding of the Eastern Catholics", I can't simply let it pass because it stereotypes me. I don't wish to reveal a whole lot about myself to you, but to combat the stereotype I think it is sufficient to say that I've studied both Eastern Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy far more than the average Latin Catholic has, and I've been to something in the ballpark of 400 or 500 Melkite liturgies.
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« Reply #67 on: April 27, 2011, 06:40:06 AM »

P.S. It also amazes me that you have not objected to Byron's statement:

Podkarpatska,
I'm trying to better understand why Eastern Catholics are reluctant to re-join the Orthodox church.

I think that you understand what I am saying and you simply can not let it pass. In my posts here over the years I have been extremely sympathetic to and understanding of Eastern Catholics to the point where many of the hard-core Orthodox here, and elsewhere, will accuse me and my late Bishop, Metropolitan Nicholas, of being "pro-'Uniate' ". (not my word, I am using it for effect, not offense.) You just can't please all of the people all of the time.

My real problem is with the Church of Rome's position regarding the Eastern Catholic churches; with the failure of the Eastern Catholic Ruthenian Bishops in this country to assert their historical rights and act like the 'sui juris' Church that the Church of Rome claims them to be and a number of other issues. However, since I am not an Eastern Catholic I really can't answer why more Eastern Catholics do not feel a desire to 'return' to Orthodoxy.

Frankly, I am neither concerned with those decisions of others nor do I lose any sleep over them nor do I harbor any ill will towards my friends for the decisions that they make regarding faith. However, if one sincerely believe that you (and your ancestors) didn't leave in the first place I think that answers your question. My grandparents 'left' the Greek Catholic Church because the Greek Catholic Church that they cherished was in the process of leaving them in the 1930's. They first formed the Committee for the Preservation of the Eastern Rite and made their case to Rome, who ignored their heartfelt petitions and responded by actually excommunicating people like my mother's father and my father. Only then did they turn to Constantinople. Others honestly reached a different conclusion. In any event, I truly think that Rome would have been far happier if the Greek Catholics in the US had simply disappeared.



Hello,
Thanks for your reply. I think i understand what you are saying. EC's historically perceived themeselves as "Orthodox" until a few decades ago (circa 1940's and the liquidation) but not so much nowadays. Is this correct?

You grandparents were excommunicated by Rome? That's harsh, very harsh. They must have been devastated.

Btw when i say re-join i meant rejoin the original faith of their ancestors. Although as you say the centuries pass and new cultural traditions are formed, isn't the knowledge that the Unia was formed by political intrigue, ulterior motives and possibly violence, in the background of people's minds? Don't EC's find this shameful or wrong? Or is just too far in the past for people to care?









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« Reply #68 on: April 27, 2011, 10:37:03 AM »

P.S. It also amazes me that you have not objected to Byron's statement:

Podkarpatska,
I'm trying to better understand why Eastern Catholics are reluctant to re-join the Orthodox church.

I think that you understand what I am saying and you simply can not let it pass. In my posts here over the years I have been extremely sympathetic to and understanding of Eastern Catholics to the point where many of the hard-core Orthodox here, and elsewhere, will accuse me and my late Bishop, Metropolitan Nicholas, of being "pro-'Uniate' ". (not my word, I am using it for effect, not offense.) You just can't please all of the people all of the time.

My real problem is with the Church of Rome's position regarding the Eastern Catholic churches; with the failure of the Eastern Catholic Ruthenian Bishops in this country to assert their historical rights and act like the 'sui juris' Church that the Church of Rome claims them to be and a number of other issues. However, since I am not an Eastern Catholic I really can't answer why more Eastern Catholics do not feel a desire to 'return' to Orthodoxy.

Frankly, I am neither concerned with those decisions of others nor do I lose any sleep over them nor do I harbor any ill will towards my friends for the decisions that they make regarding faith. However, if one sincerely believe that you (and your ancestors) didn't leave in the first place I think that answers your question. My grandparents 'left' the Greek Catholic Church because the Greek Catholic Church that they cherished was in the process of leaving them in the 1930's. They first formed the Committee for the Preservation of the Eastern Rite and made their case to Rome, who ignored their heartfelt petitions and responded by actually excommunicating people like my mother's father and my father. Only then did they turn to Constantinople. Others honestly reached a different conclusion. In any event, I truly think that Rome would have been far happier if the Greek Catholics in the US had simply disappeared.



Hello,
Thanks for your reply. I think i understand what you are saying. EC's historically perceived themeselves as "Orthodox" until a few decades ago (circa 1940's and the liquidation) but not so much nowadays. Is this correct?

You grandparents were excommunicated by Rome? That's harsh, very harsh. They must have been devastated.

Btw when i say re-join i meant rejoin the original faith of their ancestors. Although as you say the centuries pass and new cultural traditions are formed, isn't the knowledge that the Unia was formed by political intrigue, ulterior motives and possibly violence, in the background of people's minds? Don't EC's find this shameful or wrong? Or is just too far in the past for people to care?






I would agree but not as specifically as you might think. It is hard to express what I am trying to say in English. For example, people of my grandparent's time would not have called themselves 'Pravoslavnjy' as that was for the 'real' Russians or for the 'katzaps' (a derogatory term used to describe those who left the Greek Catholic Church for RUSSIAN oriented Orthodoxy. Nor would they have described themselves as 'Catholic' as that would have referred to the Roman Catholics. Many of the larger villages, towns and cities in the eastern Europe of the Hapsburghs would have multiple churches, a Greek Catholic one, a Roman Catholic one and sometimes a Lutheran or other Protestant sect so they knew the differences existed. They would not have communed in the the Roman Catholic Church in the old days. They 'knew' what their faith was and they self-described it as I alluded to earlier. Their experiences with Roman Catholic clergy over the centuries made them realize that they had a different status within the Church even though both commemorated the Popes by the mid-18th century. That reality was brought home to the Greek Catholic pioneer priests in America as witnessed by St. Alexis and his interaction with Archbishop Ireland and some forty years later to Fathers Chornock, Molchany, Mihaly and others who left for Orthodoxy.

Again, as I said above, the schisms within the Greek Catholic world in America, coupled with the forced liquidation of the Greek Catholic Church in Slovakia and Ukraine following the war forever altered the status quo. Today most of my non-clergy Eastern Catholic friends do perceive themselves first as Catholic and most will commune in a Roman Catholic Church or attend Mass there if, as one told me recently, they 'are in a hurry.' The clergy are the ones most likely to self-describe themselves as 'Orthodox in union with Rome.'

However, an odd thing seems to be happening from my perspective. As many of the Latinizations within the Eastern Rites have been removed since Vatican II many do have an increased consciousness of their affinity with the Orthodox. There has been a campaign to restore the external 'eastern-ness' of the Greek Catholic churches over the past two decades. Some Eastern Catholics who grew up during the period of Latin influence actually oppose these restorations of older traditions.Yet, at the same time the numbers within the Eastern Catholic churches in the USA have been dropping even more precipitously than those of their Orthodox counterparts according to the recent data from various sources.

As to Peter's question, I think that my use of 'wrong' to describe his statements was probably inaccurate. From what I can see, my perspective on these issues is formed from 'within' and his is based upon 'external' observation and acquired knowledge. Hence, the proper perspective is, as is usually the case, probably somewhere in the middle. I am just trying to express what I have have learned over my life from my parents and grandparents' beliefs and life-experiences and from growing up in a neighborhood with two large parishes staring at each other, one founded in 1904 and Orthodox since 1939 - the other equally large Greek Catholic parish founded in 1942 as a result of the schism and built by the same peoples from the same villages, whose community was sundered by forces beyond the control and understanding of the pious people who came to America, worked hard, sacrificed much and tried to keep the faith as it had been given to them as a precious gift from their fathers and mothers. (Actually there is a third parish in the same neighborhood, one which split off from mine in 1915 and became part of the earlier wave of return to Orthodoxy and now OCA - again, built by the same peoples, from the same villages etc...)

In my city, there was an epic, expensive and bitter split in the 1930's which resulted in litigation that went on for years and years until 1942 when the 'independent' faction, now the Orthodox, finally won control of the Church properties. The people were so mean-spirited that they would not allow the losing side to remove their loved ones from the parish cemetery without further litigation and court orders. When my father became the pastor of the Orthodox parish in 1961 and as I was growing up in the 1960's people would cross the street rather than pass in front of one church or the other. The great 'borba' (literally the Church war) was fresh in the hearts and minds of those impacted by it.

However, today we realize that in many ways the two parishes are like a family that had a bitter argument and didn't speak for decades. Little steps towards better understanding have occurred while still respecting the different paths each took. When we celebrated our centennial some years back, the Byzantine Catholic parish had a large contingent who participated in the events and they presented our parish with an Icon of our patron saint. That was an incredible moment of healing for those still living from the days of hatred and division.

The straw that broke the parish's back in the mid 1930's was the celibacy decree and the attempt by Bishop Takach to remove a beloved pastor and his family and send a celibate priest to 'tame' the parish.

God must enjoy irony. During Holy Week we learned that the long time pastor of the Byzantine Catholic parish was being transferred and a new priest was being sent. Normally, this would not be big news. But, the irony is that almost eighty years after the unrest began, the Byzantine Catholic parish is being sent a married priest, with a Pani and a child. He was educated and ordained in Slovakia and his wife is from the states. I guess all that goes around comes around in life. The first married priests came from Europe a century or more ago and met resistance from the Roman Catholics. Today our Byzantine Catholic friends and neighbors don't know quite what to expect or how to deal with a married priest. I am sure they will figure it out.

Frankly it is difficult for scholars, clergy and lay people whose life experiences were not formed in this potent cauldron to fully understand and comprehend the nature of our mutual understandings. Hence, when I read harsh comments from the Orthodox about the Eastern Catholics like those expressed by Metropolitan Hilarion, a man whom I generally respect a great deal, I tend to take them with a large grain of salt. Likewise, when I see similar thoughts expressed from the Roman Catholic side, my instinctive reaction is to overreact, but I realize that is probably not the proper way to respond.

Christ is Risen!






« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 10:44:29 AM by podkarpatska » Logged
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« Reply #69 on: April 27, 2011, 02:11:48 PM »

Quote
But, the irony is that almost eighty years after the unrest began, the Byzantine Catholic parish is being sent a married priest, with a Pani and a child.

I think you really mean a Pani-Matka, the term used for a priest's wife.  Pani means Mrs. in English.
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« Reply #70 on: April 27, 2011, 02:58:57 PM »

Quote
But, the irony is that almost eighty years after the unrest began, the Byzantine Catholic parish is being sent a married priest, with a Pani and a child.

I think you really mean a Pani-Matka, the term used for a priest's wife.  Pani means Mrs. in English.


Among the Carpatho-Rusyn/Russian/'rusnak' parishes, the use of just 'Pani' is commonplace. When a friend of ours who grew up in a small town in western PA and who was married to a priest were assigned to his first very small parish in Buffalo, NY she went to the large Polish market and was amazed that everyone called her 'Pani', she had no idea that her husband and his little parish were so well known, until one of the Ukrainian women in the parish gently told her that the Polish custom is to call all married women 'Pani!' I really don't know why the tradition among the Carpathian Rusyns was not to use the full 'pani-matka' title, but that is the custom.
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