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“Drang nach Osten” of the Greco-Catholic Church of Ukraine

When we speak about union now being called “Greco- Catholic Church of Ukraine” first of all it is necessary to specify what it is from opinion of Church itself, what is meaning of its existence as church organization. As it is known, Union was condemned by Orthodox Church many times. World Orthodox by lips of Primates of all Local Orthodox Churches expressed solidary expression about union and attempts of Uniat Patriarchate estab¬lishment in Ukraine in 2003. It became answer to memorandum of cardinal Walter Kasper who appealed with it to Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II. Holy Patriarch sent memorandum to Primates of Local Churches, they sent their answers, some (as of Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew) sent special epistle to Pope in this connection. Solidary position of Orthodox Church consists in estimation of union as “ecclesiological heresy having no right of existence in Christianity”, and establishment of Uniat Patriarchate of Ukraine as “extremely hostile and unfriendly step” to Christianity. See “Primates of other Orthodox Churches about union”.

Oriental Patriarch also reminded to Rome about resolutions of the recommendations of Vatican II (who is ecumenical for Catholics, his resolutions are applied for all times), where union is disapproved as method of consolidation of Oriental and Western Christianity. Interested ones failed with Uniat Patriarchate: Vatican refused from that venture. Thus from opinion of Orthodox Church union is heresy, from opinion of Catholicism – bad method of Christianity unity recovery. What can it carry, in what “to be globalized” and what “onslaught” to organize?

Union is political antiorthodox project got lost in time and space obviously, meaningless and useless. It was invented by Jesuits and realized 415 years ago in Brest by power of Poland and Rome. Alexey Kovalev is mistaken affirming that “Rome could not accept loss” of Oriental lands. Rome could not lose lands so long as it never had land, it conquered lands during crusades and by implanting of above-mentioned union. Jesuits considered that conversion of Orthodox to Catholicism with conservation of Orthodox ritual would not be so painful. Such Catholic faith in Orthodox cover, and Polish and then Austrian authorities hammered that “sweet” into mouth of Byelorussians and Ukrainians during centuries and had shed according to words by Taras Shevchenko “wide sea of tears and blood”.

In XV century modern Byelorussian and Ukrainian lands were outlying districts, out-of-the-way corner of the province of Poland state, therefore authorities considered that illiterate, down-and-out population with poor parishes, rotten church hierarchy (which authorities conversed in Catholicism without any difficulties) would not notice substitution, at least would not resist to it too much. But Russians were not found themselves so downtrodden “ritual believers”: the Prince of Ostrog, townsmen and villagers, Zaporozhye Cossacks rebelled – and for two centuries history of Ukraine became bloody medley with innumerable riots in protection of Orthodox faith, liberation wars, victories and heavy defeats. Union attacked Byelorussia and Right Bank Ukraine far and wide, the only one Orthodox parish remained in this territory in Byelorussian town Mogilev-on-Dnieper to the beginning of 18 century (except Kiev which was ruin itself with population ten thousand people). Thousands of Orthodox churches and monasteries were destroyed, icon-painting and annalistic schools, libraries were eliminateв - members of the Uniat Church obliterated all evidences about Orthodox history of nation diligently. It is interesting that Galicia remained in Orthodox faith for very long time: bishop of Lvov became member of the Uniat Church and conversed 1200 Orthodox churches in Uniat under the amice of the Pope only in 1700, Celebrated Lvov Orthodox brotherhood was destroyed in last turn: Austrian soldiers took by storm Bratsk church. Town was renamed as Lemberg to obliterate not only Orthodox but also Slavic roots of Galicia citizens.

Orthodox churches, first of all ancient Greek Patriarchates, extremely negatively related and relate to union because for them as ancient keepers of undamaged Greek faith members of the Uniat Church are the same nonsense and barbarity as Lutheran-Catholics or Muslim-Catholics. And it is impossible to understand absolutely today why Roman Catholic Church needs to diffuse evidences of unity in Pope and with Pope both in Orthodox and Catholic rituals and with tambourine near campfire? Nobody persecutes anybody for long time yet, bans nothing, nobody prevents Catholics to profess their faith in all purity and height of its millennium-aged ritual. Why is it necessary to grow the beards, to devastate Sofrino counters from Orthodox vestments, to grow all these unions meeting counteraction and indignation of sisters - Local Orthodox Churches?

Undoubtedly, union had to sink into oblivion together with the Polish-Lithuanian state which instilled it. But it was created not only by this state but also by Rome which revived that project despite mind and common sense. Every national Ukrainian culturological, historical thought (Shevchenko, Gogol, Lesya Ukrainka, Panas Mirny, Grushevsky and others) defined union as biggest tragedy of Ukrainian nation, crime without limitation period. Protopresbyter Gabriel Kostelnik, initiator of Lvov synod which suppressed union in 1946, took part in it and spoke: we even are afraid to name ourselves Uniats, but hide ourselves under name of members of the Uniat Church because we know how many troubles union brought to our nation. Aged cardinal Lyubomir Guzar also recognizes it and says that comparing to conversion into union Tartar invasion is children’s toy.

Union had written also gloomy page of history of Great Patriotic war: members of the Uniat Church created and gave guidance to punitive battalions, division SS “Galicia”. There were many evidences being remained including newsreel. They name the members of these formations heroes affirming that they were fighting against Soviet authorities and communism. Although where did they find that communism when they burned on territory occupied by fascists thousand of villages (including famous Byelorussian Khatyn), shooting Jews and Poles, catching and taking youth to slavery in Germany and only each fifth had returned?
Repressions were put to members of the Uniat Church after liberation of Lvov, naturally. Who was able went together with falling back fascists including modern cardinal Guzar with his pa-rents who admitted that they were afraid of punishment for collaboration with fascists. However, Orthodox clergy got much more repressions (because of more quantity) not for collaboration with fascists but for service in monasteries and churches being opened by fascists. It is widely known about one or two hundred of members of the Uniat Church which were arrested and put to Stalin’s camps but nobody knows about four thousands of Orthodox clergymen (including cenobites of the Kiev-Pecherskaya Laura). They were not exchanged for Soviet intelligence agents.

One estimates every idea not only for its speculative merits and shortcomings, but also for practice of its realization. Mankind will never use some of them, for example, such as national socialism. Thus much was its realization in Germany. Ukrainian union also must go into annals of history with its “biography”. It’s revival on the sunset of Soviet Union was connected with romanticism and euphoria of perestroika, “new thinking”. The Iron Curtain fell, atheistic ideology collapsed, freedom had come. Many people considered that era of fraternal creation had come in the end of most bloody in the history of mankind XX century, with its horrors, separa¬tions and violence as gift for taken sufferings, and that era will unite and transform Europe and whole world. Christianity had to play not last role in it moreover there were no such fraternal, based on mutual assistance and support relations, which appeared between Russian Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church in the end of 1980-th years during all history of Christia¬nity. Brothers-Catholics offered to revive communities of members of the Uniat Church, and that wish was agreed (people expected low quantity of them), formed quadripartite commission (Rome, Moscow, Kiev, Lvov), who wants – in union, who doesn’t want – remains in Christia¬nity. If community separates, church remains for majority, and all together build new church for minority. To separate in fraternal agreement to create new Christian Europe and new world without confrontations and destructive conflicts.

But union dissolved the illusions quickly and came down to earth. National Rukh (movement) for perestroika (political party consisting of members of the Uniat Church) won on first democratic elections in Galicia and first of all started to destroy Orthodox communities and to converse them in union with an effort. With police attacks, beating up, application of special means (tear gas “Cheremukha”). And according to reports of governmental commission created by president Kuchma (it was headed by vice-premiers I. Kuras and V. Durdinets) conflicts bet-ween members of the Uniat Church and Orthodox believers remained for long time in five hund-red dwelling settlements only in Lvov region in 1995. Ukrainian Orthodox Church lost 600 churches only in Lvov region as a result of “mop-up”.
Let’s note that pogroms and violence were never been compatible with perestroika but peculiarity of union is lie, destruction and provocation in any place it appeared.

I talked with memorable Patriarch Alexis II about union in Galicia, he spoke that everybody was shocked, nobody expected that union would revive in parameters of crusades, with crude hate to Orthodox Church. Nobody in Vatican moved finger a little in spite of appeals of all Oriental Patriarchates to Rome to condemn and stop violence. On the contrary, John Paul II sent encyclics here about “growth of dialogue about love” between Orthodox believers and members of the Uniat Church who went together awful repressions and persecutions of atheistic regime in the USSR which looked like mockery on the background of Uniat’s outrage in Galicia.

Nobody in Orthodox Church forgave to Vatican that so insidious betrayal: Holy Patriarch Alexis never met the Pope, I think that Holy Patriarch Cyril will also never meet. This is why union became stumbling block on way of Orient and West dialogue, unity of Christianity. The most interesting is that union is only happy from it. There are creatures who was born with complex of old woman Shapoklyak – to make harm anytime, to make harm anywhere, to the last days, to the end – and to get deep satisfaction from it.

One compared union after tragedy of Orthodox Church in Galicia with appendicitis which Vati-can “inserted” into body of Orthodox Ukraine and which would rot, become inflamed and poison whole public organism of state continuously.

History of last two decades shows that is not such absurd comparison. Union won in Galicia in democratic way, but trouble of all provincial-revolutionary communities is that for fulfilment of promised “prosperity for all” they have no enough nor mind, nor patience, nor diligence. So it started ecstatic and continuously growing search of enemies, fight against dissent, heterodoxy, even with different celebrating (as we saw recently on 9-th of May). Union plagued the life out of native region (Ukraine takes last but one place in Europe in poverty, but Galicia all 20 years was on subsidy of Ukraine), union strives to Orient. Roman Church has a certain “differentiation of labour”: all “exalted” part of inter-religious relations (participation in world forums organized by orthodoxy, joint reflections about destinies of Europe, mankind and Universe) – this is the prerogative of Roman Catholics, but organization and realization of provocations, dirty tricks and small villainous acts against Orthodox Church – it is sphere of members of the Uniat Church.
Let us say, Roman Catholic Church recognizes legal and has official relations only with Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine the Most Blessed Patriarch of Kiev and All Ukraine Vladi-mir. It is hard to imagine to oneself that Papal nuncio kissed all fugitives and excommunicated impostors from Orthodox Church. But cardinal Guzar kissed with anathematized Mikhail Denisenko (Filaret) in front of telecameras more and longer than Romeo and Juliet.

One of main concerns of union is all-round support for all ungodly separations in Orthodox Church. The Most Blessed Patriarch Vladimir received Guzar only once when he was archi-mandrite yet. Future cardinal gave interview after meeting in which appealed that he almost convinced the Most Blessed Patriarch to converse in union (what a provoker!), and that gave birth to multiple speculation and troubles. No one Uniat bishop was passed to threshold of primate residence after that yet. If one gives a finger to member of the Uniat Church – he chops off hand.

Young leader of members of the Uniat Church Svyatoslav Shevchuk goes along the same line. The Most Blessed Patriarch Vladimir congratulated him with election. Svyatoslav Shevchuk appealed in first interview as answer that his main concern are fraternal relations with anathe-matized Denisenko and his illegal anti-orthodox assembly – systems enemies of Orthodox Church of Ukraine and it’s Primate. As it is called the gratitude in union manner. Or history with Uniat Patriarchate. Members of the Uniat Church know absolutely clear that Vatican refused them in its establishment. But they also know that it irritates Orthodox Church, but they name cardinal Guzar “patriarch” to spite Orthodox Church. Shevchuk is knee-high to a grasshopper and says nothing wisdom and clever, but name himself “patriarch Svyatoslav”. Although he is young man, of new formation, apparently, he is first leader of members of the Uniat Church and passed through school of pioneer organization and Komsomol named after V.I. Lenin so he could devise something more original.

One can speak about provocations of members of the Uniat Church for very long time: there were plenty provocations since two decades of its revival. It is important to understand that who was born to crawl couldn’t fly. Union was born for fight against Orthodox Church, and no one can “reformat” union into something kind, necessary and everlasting. At least nobody was able to make that up-to-date. But nobody strived somehow. Anything members of the Uniat Church do – this are only technologies for promotion of Catholicism, everlasting fight against Orthodox Church.

Can union strengthen itself and go to Orient depends on further degradation of Ukraine, its civilian and cultural institutions (it is not a secret that we degrade and die out).
Degradation entails social apathy, indifference to native Church, native history, culture, to Shevchenko and Gogol, to present and future. Well, union, well, Mormons, well, Adelaja – what is the difference? Lie penetrates in sick body deeply. That it was 415 years ago, when union, according to Grushevsky, established itself in broken country due to betrayal of ones, corruption of others and cowardice of thirds…So advancement of union depends not only on its refinement but mostly on social-spiritual health of the Ukrainian nation.

Viewed : 1091   Commented: 2

Author: Михаил Михайлов

Publication date : 25 June 2011 11:24

Source: The world and we

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