Forcing people to be under Moscow is no solution. Forcing them to be uncanonical isn't either. Why can't we have 2 canonical jurisdictions, in communion with each other, for now? We have that here in Western Europe, as well as in North America, and no one has died from that!
How many people have turned away from the Church or not even entered due to the current situation in North America?? Has anyone literally died?? No. But that doesn't mean there hasn't been a great harm done to an unknown number of lost sheep.
The Church is One. And it is a family. And a family that is talking and sitting down at one table is preferable to one that is divided and refusing to speak to other parts.
John, I am confused as to what you are getting at. I'm not saying you are wrong, I just don't understand what you are saying.
How has "great harm" been done to "lost sheep"?
In the U.S. it seems to me that all the canonical Orthodox (with a few exceptions) get along just fine. I don't hear of any hierarchical squabbles, or certain jurisdictions overstepping their bounds.
In fact, I think it is a great system for the environment and situation we find ourselves in, here in the U.S. (ethnic melting pot).
ALL the Orthodox faithful come and go to various canonical churches....feeling welcome and just as much at home in a Serbian, as in a Ukrainian, as in a Romanian, etc.
I don't understand how these people are being harmed.
Please explain what you are getting at.
My dad, who lived through the splits in the US during the 1930's and was an Orthodox priest for nearly 66 years, told it this way.
Most parishes split three ways - maybe even four. There were those who remained Greek Catholic (for a variety of reasons, often linked to retention of the beautiful churches they had struggled to build in their new country.) Those who converted to Orthodoxy ( Most of those folks had to rebuild and start anew, so the numbers were smaller.) Those who joined the neighboring Roman Church (usually the Slovak parish for those from what became Czechoslovakia after WW1.) Finally there were the 'lost sheep' - those who lost their faith either in disgust over the vitriol and bitterness that the ongoing schisms caused to families, parishes and communities or who simply drifted away as time went by, never recovering from the wounds of division.
Our own parish in Binghamton had nearly 10,000 souls on its metrical books prior to the 1930's schism. Afterwards, it retained about 3500 of them, 3000 left to build a new Greek Catholic Church and the rest? Scattered in the wind, I am afraid.
Is that what we desire for Ukraine? I doubt it.
So, now the issue is no longer strictly an Orthodox one, but, a Orthodox and Greek Catholic one. Is that what you are saying?
It's not enough that we have all these issues in the Orthodox Church in Ukraine....we've now thrown the UGC in the mix.
I suggest that we first focus on Orthodox unity, and then try to bring about unity with the UGC.
The truly sad thing that I have seen in my Ukrainian community, is that most folks really don't care about the church. They come for Easter and Christmas....and to state that their souls 'are lost" because of disunity, is incorrect.
Their souls might be lost due to secularism, and the worshiping of the modern idol of "self" and self pleasure - rather be golfing, mowing the grass, sleeping, etc.
The others who do come to church and realize the value in it, will always go to church. If they get sick of the Ukrainian situation, they will find another Orthodox church to go to. They will not leave Christ, nor His Church.....and their souls will not be lost.
On the other hand, we have the true blue Ukrainians, who know little of their faith and see no issue bouncing between the Orthodox and the UGC...after all, they are Ukrainian, too.
But, the point is, the Church is not only where Ukrainians are....and sometimes our nationalistic pride (as seen in many KP supporters - just take a look on Facebook what's going on right now) blinds us to the Church.
We don't even act like Christians. The KP crowd HATES the UOCC and the UOCofUSA with such passion, that they are blinded to anything and everything else.
It's a shame.
They will pounce on the slightest impropriety they think they have detected, and will magnify it a thousand times....making a huge issue, where none actually existed.
This has been seen countless times, with countless and baseless accusations from the KP supporters against the UOCofUSA/UOCC.
I completely understand their pride, and desire for a canonical Ukrainian Church in Ukraine...I support them 100% in this. However, their methods, their leadership, their entire backing is so rotten, it's festering, and spreading .....and doing nothing to build up Ukraine, but, only tear her down.
....and due to their pride, they don't see this. It's their way, or no way.
God, help us.