Serious questions that I am compelled to ask:
1) If the dispute is really about the churches lost by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 1946, then why is the UGCC on very cozy terms with the UOC-KP and (to a lesser extent) UAOC, when by Cardinal Husar's own admission as far back as 2004 it is these churches -- and no longer the UOC-MP -- that still holds most of the former UGCC churches that have not yet been returned to it? http://old.risu.org.ua/eng/religion.and.society/interview/husar/
LH in the quote refers to the Cardinal, Lubomyr Husar
AA: How many churches are still discussed?
LH: I would say that in western Ukraine there are over 300 localities that are in conflict.
AA: With the Moscow Patriarchate?
LH: Especially with the [Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the] Patriarchate of Kyiv and the [Ukrainian] Autocephalous [Orthodox] Church. There is none with Moscow in the Lviv region, for example. I would say that there are about 25 localities where conflicts are pretty strong.
2. If the UGCC really wants its churches back, then why is it not openly challenging the Polish Catholic hierarchy to return to it the churches, convents and monasteries that were taken by the Polish Communists from the UGCC in 1947 and then given to the Roman Catholics?
From an article by Archimandrite Serge Keleher:http://www.melkite.com/keleher.html
In 1946, Poland expelled the Greek-Catholic Bishop of Peremyshl’ and his auxiliary bishop to the Soviet Union, where they soon died in prison. In 1947, the Polish government deprived the Greek-Catholic Church of its legal existence, and deported all the Greek-Catholics from south-eastern Poland, either to the Soviet Union or to the ‘western lands’ newly acquired from Germany - where the Roman Catholic authorities refused to allow any Greek-Catholic pastoral service. In the regions from which the Greek-Catholics had been expelled, the Polish Roman Catholics appropriated the Greek-Catholic church buildings, rectories, monasteries, convents, seminary and cathedrals.
Archimandrite Serge has other articles online that detail the persecution unleashed on the Greek Catholics by the Polish hierarchy in the post-War era, such as the forcible Latinization of whole parishes by Bishop (later Cardinal) Wyszynski.
My understanding is that many of the churches appropriated by the Polish Catholics have never been returned. And yet there is nary a peep about this unjust situation.
2. Why do Ukrainian Greek Catholic websites such as RISU openly take the side of the UOC-KP in its propaganda war versus the UOC-MP and Moscow? Anyone who reads RISU over a long period of time will note its extremely biased and suspect reporting on matters relating to the Moscow Patriarchate. Isn't it better for Catholic news organizations to be neutral in inter-Orthodox disputes?
3. If the UGCC really stands for religious freedom then why is it silent about the continued denial of land to the Moscow Patriarchate in the Galicia, so the MP can build churches for its flock? I understand that this is especially true of Lviv. Last time I checked Christians are not supposed to behave like their opponents.
I ask these questions as someone who has been interested in the Ukrainian question for more than a decade now, and who has moved from an uncritical anger towards the Moscow Patriarchate to a realization that the question is far more complex than it first appears.