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Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 #307301 12/16/08 06:26 PM
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Halia12 Offline OP
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The president of Poland expressed his regrets due to Orthodox church demolition in 1938.
Karina Michaluk / 10.10.2008

"There were events taking place in Poland because of which we should express our regrets. In 1938 the natural asylum - a church was not respected. On the religiously and ethnically complex areas the incidents happened, which never should take place.” – president Kaczyński has written in the introduction to the book “1938. Orthodox church destruction in Chełm and South Podlasie region” of historian UMCS Grzegorz Kuprianowicz. The book was presented on October 7, 2008 in Lublin and it’s devoted to the 70th anniversary of church demolition.

President of Poland has also written that in the actions of any country “fundamental rights and values can not be omitted or ignored” The historians are responsible to discover and popularize the truth. We all should remember these tragic pages in history of Polish Orthodoxy. We should express our regrets due to the evil, that was made.” Lech Kaczyński has called for establishing good relations and strengthening the community, as he expressed “the past should not put it’s shadows on the present and future.”

The action of church destruction took place 70 years ago as an element of the polonization Policy conducted by Polish authorities from 1938 to 1939. The aggression against Orthodox Church was intended to weaken the position of a four million Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox minority in Poland. Within two summer months in 1938 about one third of all sacral buildings on thins area was destructed – 127 churches and chapels. The protests of the Orthodox people were suppressed by the police and local authorities.


source: PAP; Gazeta Wyborcza Lublin.

photo.: Prezydent RP Lech Kaczyński
(prezydent.pl)
http://www.cerkiew.pl/index.php?id=wiad_poland&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=9661&tx_ttnews[backPid]=433&cHash=e8a5c639b6

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: Halia12] #307306 12/16/08 07:17 PM
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Logos - Alexis Offline
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Very big of them. Expressing regret makes sense! Apologizing for what one didn't do does not. I'm glad to see the Polish government did the former.

Alexis

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: Halia12] #307318 12/16/08 09:33 PM
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theophan Offline
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Please forgive me if I sound unchristian for my comment.

Apologies can be cheap. When they announce a plan to rebuild all the destroyed churches, then the apologies will ring a bit more authentic to me.

BOB

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: theophan] #307341 12/17/08 01:43 AM
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Logos - Alexis Offline
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True enough.

Alexis

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: theophan] #307345 12/17/08 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by theophan
Please forgive me if I sound unchristian for my comment.

Apologies can be cheap. When they announce a plan to rebuild all the destroyed churches, then the apologies will ring a bit more authentic to me.

BOB


But then, will there still be Orthodox faithful to go to those churches?

Poland lost most of its Orthodox population post World War II with the drastic border changes.

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: asianpilgrim] #307424 12/17/08 06:28 PM
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theophan Offline
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Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

Forgive me if I seem to be getting--getting?; perhaps already deeply there--crotchety as I age.

I have experienced so many times the situation where people have done the worst kinds of things and think that a mere apology will suffice--something that is tossed off without thought and little seeming emotion. Now I don't mean that I don't forgive, but it has struck me that this tendency has become all too common. What about the demands of justice that seem to indicate restitution of some sort?

I'd also like to know how many people of Orthodox heritage are in those regions, especially those whose relatives might have been forcibly integrated into the Latin Church. Please understand that I am a Latin Catholic. But I really get my buttons pushed when people are forcibly converted--whether that be to the Latin Church in Poland or to Hinduism in India (going on now) or to Islam in Iraq (also now). I am aware that there is a Polish Orthodox Church with its own hierarchy and clergy. So there must be some Polish Orthodox Christians living in that country somewhere.

In Christ,

BOB

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: theophan] #307436 12/17/08 07:16 PM
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Indeed, they still have a Church with an active hierarchy led by Metropolitan Sava who resides as I recall in Warsaw. There would not be a hierarchy (eight or nine bishops as I recall besides the Metropolitan) if there were no parishes or faithful.

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: Diak] #307482 12/18/08 01:51 AM
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Bob,

Definitely a valid question, but what are you proposing to do with these Latin Christians whose grandparents or great-grandparents were Orthodox? Since you are against forced conversions, I assume that applies to forcing Catholic Christians to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy? I'm just not sure where you're going with this.

As I implied in my first post, I do not see the sense in apologizing for what one did not do, or what people did to other people decades ago with whom the apologizing party had no contact. The whole idea is incredibly asinine to me, frankly. That is why I applaud the Polish government expressing regret over what was done to the Orthodox faithful in Poland: expressing regret makes sense, apologizing doesn't. People express regret when they feel bad for something that was done by someone else to a certain party.

And the reason I am expressing my opinion on this is for no other reason than that I feel very strongly that the type of attitude that demands apologies by people who didn't commit any offenses does nothing but foster discord, immaturity, and a sense of entitlement among people and groups of people.

Alexis

Last edited by Logos - Alexis; 12/18/08 01:59 AM.
Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: theophan] #307483 12/18/08 02:06 AM
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There was an article recently about the Orthodox in Poland in the magazine ONE, formerly the Christian Near East Welfare Association.
Stephanos I

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: theophan] #307502 12/18/08 08:00 AM
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Shlomo Bob,

I agree with you. That is why I have been a big supporter of the Russian Greek Catholic Church.

I find time and again that Catholics have made apologies for past sins, made restitution when they can, and have helped the Eastern Orthodox where we can. Yet, I find it few and far between with Eastern Orthodox hierarch and laity doing the same. I would love to see the Russian Orthodox Church apologize for going along with the Soviet government in the repression of the Ukrainian and Russian Greek Catholic Churches. Or the Greek Orthodox Church in Greece harassing the Catholic minority of their country. Or the biggy for me, having the Patriarch of Constantinople ask for foregiveness of his predecessors who used the power of the Ottoman state to imprison and have murdered Catholic laity and hierarchs.

None of our Churches have acted Christian to each other in the past, but I feel that the Catholic Church has at least tried to do so the last 50 years. I would hope that the Eastern Orthodox Church would do just half of what the Catholic Church has done.

Also, I do not think it is fair for Catholics to flame on this issue, but we should witness honestly on what has been done to our co-religious.

Fush BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: Logos - Alexis] #307511 12/18/08 01:07 PM
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theophan Offline
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Quote
And the reason I am expressing my opinion on this is for no other reason than that I feel very strongly that the type of attitude that demands apologies by people who didn't commit any offenses does nothing but foster discord, immaturity, and a sense of entitlement among people and groups of people.


ALEXIS:

Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

I couldn't agree with you more about this stance. Witness the demands for people today to pay restitution for slavery in this country over 150 years ago. My standard answer is that my people were either poor farmers or serfs during the same period so it wasn't us who owe anyone anything.

My opinion above is that if there are Orthodox people who still lack churches in places where they were destroyed, they should have the churches replaced.

I don't believe in forced conversions. But I do know from history that very often people will voluntarily return to the faith of their fathers given the chance. We need look no further than Japanese Christians who for centuries kept the Catholic faith alive in hiding after the crucifixion of some of their members in the 1500s. Or I look to the situation of my own family in Alsace-Lorraine who kept their Catholic faith alive despite having been forced to outwardly act like Protestants during a 70 year period in their history. My point is that very often what the surface looks like is not what is in the hearts of the believers affected.

In Christ,

BOB

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: Yuhannon] #307512 12/18/08 01:10 PM
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theophan Offline
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Yuhannon:

Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

I agree with you, too. The problem is that hearts must change for this to happen. It's interesting that in the Middle East where the Christians of all stripes are under persecution by Islam that people can share churches and support each other on the basis of economia and the very practical need to survive. Somehow that seems to have been forgotten now that the Soviet persecution is becoming a distant memory. Maybe that will change as the whole of what used to be the Christian world comes under radical secularism and a persecution of us all starts . . .


In Christ,

BOB

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: theophan] #307520 12/18/08 03:23 PM
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Logos - Alexis Offline
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Bob,

My ancestors actually did own slaves, but that's not any more my fault than it is...I don't know, Santa Claus'! I agree with you, and fully support rebuilding Orthodox churches if there is a need from the faithful. If there truly seems to be no need, however, I'm not sure government money is best spent building temples which no one will frequent.

Alexis

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: Logos - Alexis] #307560 12/18/08 10:40 PM
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For those interested you can see pictures of the destroyed churches, village by village, at this web site:

http://www.kholm1938.net/biala_podlaska.html

Re: Poland Regrets Destruction of Orthodox Churches in 1938 [Re: theophan] #307562 12/18/08 10:45 PM
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Quote
My opinion above is that if there are Orthodox people who still lack churches in places where they were destroyed, they should have the churches replaced.


My family is originally from Volynia, Ukraine. In the inter-war period Volynia was under Poland.

This destruction of Ukrainian Orthodox churches took place over 60 days in 1938. WW2 started in 1939, the next year. After WW2 ended, Volynia became part of the Soviet Union and a godless communist state.

Frankly, I am grateful for this expression of regret by the Polish government. I for one do not think anything else of a material nature is needed. "Man shall not live by bread alone."

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