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Author Topic: Polish Orthodox 'face problems of acceptance' in their country  (Read 6857 times) Average Rating: 0
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Orthodoc
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« on: December 04, 2004, 02:58:41 PM »

Ecumenical News International
Daily News Service / 03 December 2004

Polish Orthodox 'face problems of acceptance' in their country

By Jonathan Luxmoore

Warsaw, 3 December (ENI)--The Orthodox church in Poland says it
still faces problems of acceptance in this predominantly Roman
Catholic country, despite celebrating the 80th year of its
independence this month.

"Over the past quarter-century, our church has made significant
progress - using our possibilities to be open to the world, and
making ourselves known," said Grzegorz Misijuk, spokesman for
Poland's 570 000-member Autocephalous Orthodox church.

"Although we are accepted by ordinary people, however, we still
feel pressured by those on both left and right who've built their
capital from dividing people and pointing to imaginary enemies,"
said Misijuk.

The 61-year-old priest was speaking after a service in Warsaw's
St Mary Magdalene cathedral to mark the anniversary of the
church's granting of autocephality, or independence, by the
Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate in November 1924.

In an interview, Misijuk said Orthodox Christians had been
reduced to just 2 per cent of the Polish population by border
changes after the Second World War, which had also cut Orthodox
parishes and clergy by nine-tenths.

However, he added that his church now had six eparchies, or
dioceses, 230 priests and 320 churches nationwide, as well as
seven monasteries and convents, its own seminary and a
flourishing network of youth and charity organizations.

"Having seen 400 of our churches destroyed or taken over in
1938-9, the blow was too heavy for us to draw breath," Misijuk
told Ecumenical News International. "Today, though, we've
achieved stable conditions. After enjoying the worst position of
all minority churches here, we are now legally protected."

The Bialystok-based church, which is one of 14 autocephalous
Orthodox churches, was recognised under its own law in 1991 and
began a ministry to the armed forces, with a bishop and 20
priests, in 1994.

In May, the church for the first time won the right to reclaim
properties seized under communist rule without protracted
administrative procedures. However, Orthodox leaders continue to
complain of discrimination in the country, where Roman Catholics
make up 95 per cent of the 39 million population.

"There've been Orthodox parishes on Polish territory for 900
years - so instead of celebrating our church's legal existence,
we should perhaps be asking why it took so long," said Orthodox
spokesperson Misijuk.

* * *
All articles (c) Ecumenical News International
Reproduction permitted only by media subscribers and
provided ENI is acknowledged as the source.

Ecumenical News International
PO Box 2100
CH - 1211 Geneva 2
Switzerland

Tel: (41-22) 791 6088/6111
Fax: (41-22) 788 7244
Email: eni@eni.ch

* * *

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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2004, 03:30:35 PM »

Orthodoc,

Having been in Poland a few times I can understand how it happens.  I was at a large event in Bialystok and the bishop preached in Russian.  He is Polish.  

I also remember stopping at the Greek Catholic cathedral in Przemesyl where the man who opened up the church for us spoke to us in Ukranian (we addressed him in Slovak).

Of course, the Orthodox Church is very old in Poland and before the conversion of king Zsigisumnd (I think) was about half of the population.  But, given the volatile relationship with the historical Russia and the modern identification of Polish culter with RCism, oh, and add to that communism, we also have to remember that the RCC championed the struggle in Poland.  

I mean none of that makes it OK that the Orthodox faithful aren't accepted but it surely makes it understandable.

Tony
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2004, 03:56:58 PM »

From what I read in the article there is growth in structure & faith, though maybe at a slow rate, as beening accepted, there are many who experience non-acceptance in this country & others, so what's the point ? Or is the implication that Poland was Orthodox 1st ?

Again politely asking,

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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2004, 04:46:07 PM »

From what I read in the article there is growth in structure & faith, though maybe at a slow rate, as beening accepted, there are many who experience non-acceptance in this country & others, so what's the point ? Or is the implication that Poland was Orthodox 1st ?

Again politely asking,

james

=============

I would politely suggest you ask the author of the article,  Jonathan Luxmoore.

Orthodoc

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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2004, 05:41:26 PM »

Orthodoc,

What puzzles me is the statement that ordinary people accept the Orthodox, then emphasizes that 95% of the population is Roman Catholic, so who are the ordinary people ?

James

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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2004, 06:59:56 PM »

Orthodoc,

Having been in Poland a few times I can understand how it happens.  I was at a large event in Bialystok and the bishop preached in Russian.  He is Polish.  

I also remember stopping at the Greek Catholic cathedral in Przemesyl where the man who opened up the church for us spoke to us in Ukranian (we addressed him in Slovak).

Of course, the Orthodox Church is very old in Poland and before the conversion of king Zsigisumnd (I think) was about half of the population.  But, given the volatile relationship with the historical Russia and the modern identification of Polish culter with RCism, oh, and add to that communism, we also have to remember that the RCC championed the struggle in Poland.  

I mean none of that makes it OK that the Orthodox faithful aren't accepted but it surely makes it understandable.

Tony
The Orthodox have been about 40%-50% if the Polish population from about 1387[when Wlasyslaw Jagiello converted and Poland and Lithaunia-Rus were united] until the Unia of 1596.  Then after the initial fire of battles between Uniates and Disuniates, in 1650 the Orthodox were about 15% of the population and 25% Greek Catholic... The Greek Catholic CHurch kept on growing till the Russians started to took over Poland and made the UGCC illegal for about 40 years. The Greek Catholic church hasn't recovered yet from the apostasy of Siemaszko. Post WWI Poland had about 25% Orthodox mainly in Polish Bialorus and Ukraine,but the UGCC had converted hundreds of churches from Orthodoxy,from 1920-40, but the SOviets stopped this.
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2004, 07:27:00 PM »

The Orthodox have been about 40%-50% if the Polish population from about 1387[when Wlasyslaw Jagiello converted and Poland and Lithaunia-Rus were united] until the Unia of 1596.  Then after the initial fire of battles between Uniates and Disuniates, in 1650 the Orthodox were about 15% of the population and 25% Greek Catholic... The Greek Catholic CHurch kept on growing till the Russians started to took over Poland and made the UGCC illegal for about 40 years. The Greek Catholic church hasn't recovered yet from the apostasy of Siemaszko. Post WWI Poland had about 25% Orthodox mainly in Polish Bialorus and Ukraine,but the UGCC had converted hundreds of churches from Orthodoxy,from 1920-40, but the SOviets stopped this.

OK.  So Jagiello was the one who converted from Orthodoxy to RCism to marry Jadwiga (Hedwig), of Lithuania, right?  

Who was Siemaszko and how did he apostasize?
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2004, 08:18:08 PM »

Quote
Who was Siemaszko and how did he apostasize?

<impression for those who remember ’70s American TV: Ron Palillo as Arnold Horshack, waving right hand wildly in the air> Oh, oh, oh! </Horshack>

Joseph Siemaszko (Syemashko, -í-¦-+-¦-ê-¦-+) was a Ukrainian Catholic priest in the 1800s in what's now the Ukraine or Byelorussia, part of the land that Russia got from Poland early in the period. He was driven by principle and is somebody the high-church Byzantine Catholics today can relate to: he tried to practise what Rome taught about not latinizing at all, banging his head against a wall as the Ukrainian Catholic authorities at the time were dead against that. (Some things never change!) They accused him of being disloyal, etc. and ironically drove him away - to the Russian Orthodox Church.

(Granted, as the area was now Russian there was probably incentive from the state to convert, just like when the Ukrainian Catholic Church got started in those parts about 250 years before.)

He may have been assigned the job of bringing the Ukrainian Catholics in the Tsar's new lands into the state church, which is what I think CatholicEagle is referring to. (And what I think the resistance unto death in the village of Pratulin was about, and what wiped out the Byzantine Catholic presence in Byelorussia.) I think he became a bishop of the Church of Russia and died as such with honours from the Tsar.

Strictly speaking from the BC POV what he did wasn't apostasy of course, or heresy; it was schism.  But even if you don't agree with him, like Alexis Toth what he did certainly was understandable.

(Source: Metropolitan Andrew by Fr Cyril Korolevsky, translated from French into English by Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) - an excellent history of the Byzantine Catholic churches, chock full of facts and amazingly fair-minded for BCs in the early 1900s, that regrettably wasn't on Amazon last time I checked. About the only fault Fr Cyril had was he didn't like married priests - he was a hieromonk himself.)
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2004, 08:37:54 PM »

Serge,

Thanks!  Well I would lstill ike to hear it from the poster himself what he means by apostasy.  Moving from the GCC to the OC is by far not apostasy and to call it such is in fact libel.

TonyS
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2004, 09:11:12 PM »

OK.  So Jagiello was the one who converted from Orthodoxy to RCism to marry Jadwiga (Hedwig), of Lithuania, right?  

Who was Siemaszko and how did he apostasize?
Jagiello converted from paganism to Catholicism. The closest he was to orthodoxy was that his brother converted to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2004, 09:11:22 PM »

Serge,

Thanks!  Well I would lstill ike to hear it from the poster himself what he means by apostasy.  Moving from the GCC to the OC is by far not apostasy and to call it such is in fact libel.

TonyS  

Perhaps the poster can also explain what disuniates are too!

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« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2004, 09:13:47 PM »

Jagiello converted from paganism to Catholicism. The closest he was to orthodoxy was that his brother converted to Orthodoxy.

No, Jagiello was Orthodox and was rebaptized Catholic when he converted!

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« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2004, 09:20:50 PM »

Serge,

Thanks!  Well I would lstill ike to hear it from the poster himself what he means by apostasy.  Moving from the GCC to the OC is by far not apostasy and to call it such is in fact libel.

TonyS  
Libel you say?
Is not apostasy the rejection of the Faith?
Didn't Siemaszko reject the One,Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Faith??? Didn't he reject the Pope, Christ's VIcar on earth?

Serge:
What high church byzantines are you talking about? What was siemaszko trying to do?
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« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2004, 09:21:58 PM »

No, Jagiello was Orthodox and was rebaptized Catholic when he converted!

Anastasios
Huh?
Where has this come from? I haven't ever heard of this?
If he truly was Orthodox then why were the pagan Sacred Oaks not destoryed until Jagiello became Catholic?Huh?
This is getting tedious.  I've asked you to be mature and respectful on more than one occasion, you are a guest here.
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« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2004, 09:27:52 PM »

[Didn't Siemaszko reject the One,Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Faith??? Didn't he reject the Pope, Christ's VIcar on earth?]

He may have rejected the Pope as the Vicar of Christ on earth.  But in doing so he was not rejecting the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith, he was returning to it in its original form.

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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2004, 09:29:11 PM »

Libel you say?
Is not apostasy the rejection of the Faith?
Didn't Siemaszko reject the One,Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Faith??? Didn't he reject the Pope, Christ's VIcar on earth?

I don't know what he did.  I asked you how he apostasized.  You have not answered only Serge has, is that your answer too?  Then I maintain your use of apostasy is libelous.  The RCC has not called those who embrace Orthodoxy (or reject the papacy, etc) apostates.  I have heard such terms tossed about carelesly but they are not being used correctly.

You may want to offer a definition of apostasy from the RC view that is different from this one to support your accusation:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01624b.htm
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« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2004, 10:49:38 PM »

Quote
What high church byzantines are you talking about?

The ones who try to do what Rome actually says and not change their rite by adding things from the Roman Rite, and restore that rite in churches where it's been changed.

Quote
What was siemaszko trying to do?

What I just described.
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2004, 12:31:21 AM »

I don't know what he did.  I asked you how he apostasized.  You have not answered only Serge has, is that your answer too?  Then I maintain your use of apostasy is libelous.  The RCC has not called those who embrace Orthodoxy (or reject the papacy, etc) apostates.  I have heard such terms tossed about carelesly but they are not being used correctly.

You may want to offer a definition of apostasy from the RC view that is different from this one to support your accusation:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01624b.htm
Now I am confused???
This says I'm wrong but the Transalpine Redemptorists websites say I'm right in this. Who to believe? I seriously am  Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh
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« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2004, 12:38:45 AM »

Now I am confused???
This says I'm wrong but the Transalpine Redemptorists websites say I'm right in this. Who to believe? I seriously am  Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh

This is if you're seriously confused (which confuses me given that you're RC), the Transalpine Redemptorists are in schism from the Roman Catholic Church.  They are affiliated with the SSPX.
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« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2004, 02:02:30 AM »

From a RC perspective:

Schism: rejecting the authority of the Roman Pontiff.
Heresy: rejecting a doctrine of the Church
Apostasy: rejecting Jesus Christ

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« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2004, 02:55:13 PM »

This is if you're seriously confused (which confuses me given that you're RC), the Transalpine Redemptorists are in schism from the Roman Catholic Church.  They are affiliated with the SSPX.  
Somethings are hard to explain in the modern Catholic Church.. How in the world is Mahony a cardinal and Lefebvre a schismatic? How is the TLM dangerous as compared to "charismatic masses"? How come the TLM forms a "schismatic mentality", when it was the Mass of hundreds of saints? How are Orthodox not in schism and the SSPX is? How come priests are suspended that tell their bishops to throw out sodomite priests?
So many questions, but so few answers?
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« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2004, 03:43:38 PM »

Although we are getting off the subject let me say one thing, that the Church (East or West) will suffer as our Lord did, temptation, betrayal, scourning and persecution until His return.

Of course these are my thoughts..

james

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« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2004, 04:58:36 PM »

This is just ludicrous.  What's confusing to me is why so many Polish would have allied themselves with Rome, even historically.  Again, this goes with the notion of pride in one's own national church (as being Orthodox, as in the Polish case).

Bah, why can't Rome stay in Rome?  Always the empire was she...
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« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2004, 05:06:54 PM »

How are Orthodox not in schism and the SSPX is?

Here is one answer.  Read more.  The RCC would say the the Orthodox Church is in schism from Rome.  That is not the same thing as being apostate.  

Are you really RC, or are you playing with us?
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« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2004, 06:55:17 PM »

This is just ludicrous.  What's confusing to me is why so many Polish would have allied themselves with Rome, even historically.  Again, this goes with the notion of pride in one's own national church (as being Orthodox, as in the Polish case).

Bah, why can't Rome stay in Rome?  Always the empire was she...
poland converted to Roman Catholicism in 966. The Polish Orthodox are descendants of nonPoles that lived in Poland such as the Belarussians,Russians, and Ukrainians
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« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2004, 06:55:17 PM »

Here is one answer.  Read more.  The RCC would say the the Orthodox Church is in schism from Rome.  That is not the same thing as being apostate.  

Are you really RC, or are you playing with us?
   

I am a Catholic, I am a Catholic, I am a Roman Catholic.
Ask these monks www.redemptorists.org.uk/red/mag/ruthen2.htm
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« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2004, 08:17:28 PM »

Why should we care what the RCC say about us?  Let them call us whatever they want.  We know who we are. Why do we become so defensive when lurkers here push their heterodoxy on us?  Everytime the RCC gets on us for who we are my chest swells with pride (not sinfully though).  I love it when they start in us.  As long as we do not allow our faith to be diluted in any way by accepting the revisionist thinking, we are OK.  

Oh, and by the way we are very Catholic ie Orthodox Catholic.

JoeS  Wink
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« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2004, 10:39:42 PM »

   

I am a Catholic, I am a Catholic, I am a Roman Catholic.
Ask these monks www.redemptorists.org.uk/red/mag/ruthen2.htm

Good grief, they are in schism from Rome!
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« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2004, 11:55:26 PM »

poland converted to Roman Catholicism in 966. The Polish Orthodox are descendants of nonPoles that lived in Poland such as the Belarussians,Russians, and Ukrainians

Generally true, or mostly true. But I do recall reading that there were two Polish bishops who remained Orthodox and refused conversion.

Demetri
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« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2004, 12:24:17 AM »

Generally true, or mostly true. But I do recall reading that there were two Polish bishops who remained Orthodox and refused conversion.

Demetri
Excuse me sir, but you're confusing your history. There were no official Polish Sees pre 966[well there was possibly one in Sandomierz,but that's a mystery]. THe 2 Orthodox bishops you're talking about are the two bishops of Przemysl and Lwow,who rejected the Unia of Brest in 1596, but joined athe UNIA around 1700. Strangely enough,now these two Sees are the center of the Greek Catholic Church!!!
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« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2004, 01:51:21 AM »

Excuse me sir, but you're confusing your history. There were no official Polish Sees pre 966[well there was possibly one in Sandomierz,but that's a mystery]. THe 2 Orthodox bishops you're talking about are the two bishops of Przemysl and Lwow,who rejected the Unia of Brest in 1596, but joined athe UNIA around 1700. Strangely enough,now these two Sees are the center of the Greek Catholic Church!!!

I will excuse you...and I cannot be confusing 'my' history when you haven't refuted it.
That they were pressured later matters not (well it does really) and what they have become today is just as sad for us.

So put that inyour pipe and smoke it...

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« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2004, 12:49:01 PM »

The tooing and froing on this thread has left my head in a spin.

Those Polish Orthodox Christians I have met or whose writings I have read all report various levels of 'discrimination' within Poland. This I found interesting when the threads on the Ukrainian crisis were at their height, especially the comments about how comparatively free this or that state was.

A friend of mine, Orthodox, is fond of relating a story of a Polish family he visited professionally for some years. The relentless anti-Russian jokes included one or two gems. His favourite was the following:

A Polish peasant living on the Polish-Russian border catches a 'fairy'. The fairy not best pleased to be caught begs to be let go, but the peasant is crafty and says he has to be granted three wishes first. The fairy retorts this is a myth and again begs to be let go. But the peasant sticks to his 'rights' and demands the granting of his three wishes first. After much argument and pleading the fairy relents.

"What is your first wish?" the fairy asks? And is told. "That the Chinese army invades Poland." A very puzzled fairy responds, "Your first wish is granted, and the second?" And the peasant replies, "It is the same as the first". The fairy completely perplexed queries the request but the peasant demands his second wish. "Your second wish is granted, and now your third wish after which you must release me?". And the peasant, without change of expression repeats the same wish for a third time, "The Chinese army invade Poland".

The perplexed fairy says, "You have asked nothing for yourself and this is a most bizarre request. Humour me and tell me why such a bizzare set of requests is all you ask?" And the crafty Polish peasant replies with great gusto, "Because each time they march through Russia!"

This punch line drew great peals of laughter from the Polish family and a polite smile from my friend. And why did they indulge in this continual bateing? Because he was Orthodox and they knew this. Still I understand my friend was able to unravel the problems he had asked to address, to their great satisfaction, and his forbearance.............
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« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2004, 08:25:19 PM »

 I read that in the article there is growth ifor good faith, though there are so many Catholics verse the secular people. Who can accept each other, there are many who experience idealogy in Polamd, but get over it? Or are they implying that Orthodox had always been established before all that?
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« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2012, 02:44:26 PM »

OK.  So Jagiello was the one who converted from Orthodoxy to RCism to marry Jadwiga (Hedwig), of Lithuania, right?  

Who was Siemaszko and how did he apostasize?
Jagiello converted from paganism to Catholicism. The closest he was to orthodoxy was that his brother converted to Orthodoxy.
Just to correct the record, Jagiello was baptised Orthodox, like his mother, as Jakob.  Most of his family remained Orthodox.

The story of him being "pagan" is just another indication of the pre-Vatican II Vatican that we are told never existed.  For centuries in Poland, it required the rebaptism of Orthodox who apostacized and submitted.
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« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2012, 04:43:31 PM »

OK.  So Jagiello was the one who converted from Orthodoxy to RCism to marry Jadwiga (Hedwig), of Lithuania, right? 

Who was Siemaszko and how did he apostasize?
Jagiello converted from paganism to Catholicism. The closest he was to orthodoxy was that his brother converted to Orthodoxy.
Just to correct the record, Jagiello was baptised Orthodox, like his mother, as Jakob.  Most of his family remained Orthodox.

There are no proofs for that. He might have been and surely liked Byzantine art but that's propably all.
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« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2012, 05:16:10 PM »

OK.  So Jagiello was the one who converted from Orthodoxy to RCism to marry Jadwiga (Hedwig), of Lithuania, right? 

Who was Siemaszko and how did he apostasize?
Jagiello converted from paganism to Catholicism. The closest he was to orthodoxy was that his brother converted to Orthodoxy.
Just to correct the record, Jagiello was baptised Orthodox, like his mother, as Jakob.  Most of his family remained Orthodox.

There are no proofs for that. He might have been and surely liked Byzantine art but that's propably all.
Byzantium and the Rise of Russia: A Study of Byzantino-Russian Relations in the By John Meyendorff
http://books.google.com/books?id=bFRXmG5GdkEC&pg=PA224&dq=Rise+of+Russia+Jagiello+Jacob&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
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« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2012, 05:23:20 PM »

Some members of his family were brought up as Orthodox and some as pagans. He is believed to had been a pagan. It was popular to change your faith multiple times for political benefits but he propably did it only once. He certainly had been accused to the Orthodox traditions and they were more familiar to him as many of his family members were Orthodox but there are no proofs that he actually used to be one and no serious historians here (even the Orthodox ones) support that.

edit:

Well, it looks like he actually had been Orthodox. Never heard of that.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 05:29:12 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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