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Dear Friends,

Could it be that Fr. Sasik is simply an administrative "place holder", as someone has to do the paperwork while the search continues? Maybe the Vatican is waiting for Lviv to assert itself?

My view is that it would be best if a local priest could be elevated. But better than a foreign bi-ritual appointed by Rome would be a foreign Byzantine priest appointed by an Eastern Synod.

Quote
Originally posted by Eliyahu:
I wonder if we are seeing the beginnings of the intergration of the Eparchy of Mukachevo with the Ukrainian Catholic Patriarchate?

Actually, Fr. Sasik is as bi-ritual priest from Western Slovakia. He is not from the historical regions associated with Greek Catholics. I would guestimate that the Vatican is trying to maintain distance from the Ukrainian 'Patriarchate'...why else would you nominate a Slovak for the main post and his auxiliary is a Yugoslav??? think about it....
Have a Blessed Day !!!

John
Pilgrim and Odd Duck

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With actions by Rome such as this appointment of a "foriegn" bishop, is it any wonder why 60% of the Eastern Christians in Transcarpathia are in parishes under the Moscow Patriachate and only 40% in parishes administered by the "Sui juris" Greek Catholic Eparchy of Mukachevo??
The "wonder" here is the suggestion of a causal connection of these facts. The balance between MP and GC parishes antedates the appointment of "foreign" bishops. As has been discussed previously on this forum, the more intriguing and arguably more relevant fact is this: among all of the Ukrainian Oblasts, the fraction of Orthodox parishes in the MP is greatest in Sub-Carpathia 99.4%. (The average in Ukraine is 70% and in the UGCC strong-holds it is only ~12%). Socio-historical reasons for this distinctiveness in attitudes have been discussed in previous threads. The relative lack of antipathy toward Moscow is probably more significant to this balance than whining about Rome. Incidently, the present UOC-MP bishop of Mukachevo is not from trans-Carpathia.

Before judging Bishop Sasik as a "foreigner", can anyone relate his family history? I hope that strong ties can be developed between Mukachevo and its daughter eparchies, even though the "Uhro-Rusyns" of olden days now find themselves in some eight different countries in the area. I am curious, moreover, about what is considered "foreign" in contemporary Sub-Carpathia? Is a Rusyn from Djurdjevo, like Bishop Djura, considered "foreign" in Mukachevo?

Also, does anyone know the details of the process by which Bishop Milan was selected?

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Greetings all,

When talking about reuniting the Ruthenian Catholic Churches, there is a great possibility that this will give us all what we want: A healthy, functioning Byzantine-Slavic Church.

Left in a timeless vacuum, of which Europe never was, all Ruthenians would be in one giant Kindgom of Kyivan Rus'.

The Rus' has her descendants in current day Ukraine, Russia, Belorus, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

Kyiv was the capital city, and Christianity spread thoroughly and slowly for 200 years before Volodymyr embraced it as the official religion. However, it is perhaps more to recognize this as the second evangelization of Rus'. Askold and Dir, predated Volodymyr as the Vangarian principality ruling Rus' which accepted Christianity after the foiled invasion of Constantinople c. 860 ad.

The declartation of Volodymyr was the result of a natural and gradual triumph of Christianty in Ancient Rus';similar to the converison of the Roman Empire

We all share the same root. The history of our church leads us into a bi-polar split: Orthodox, or Catholic.

The evolution of the Kyivan Church into an Orthodox Patriarchate occured in the 1580's with the establishment of the Moscow Patriarchate.

NOW in 2002 there is the opportunity for the Greco-Catholics of the Ruthenian-Kyivan Churches to consolidate, unite, and recognize a single patriarch in the Captial city of Kyiv.

The division of the Church saddens me. I think the patriarchate is the best way out.

Patriarch Lybomyr is not trying to establish a "Ukrainian" only Church. I believe if you read his statements carefully, especially the documents from the recent Sobor, you will see this to be the case.

Of course, alot of this will be determined by how the largest Ruthenian Church, the Ukrainian-Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, conducts itself with regard to the smaller, Uhro-Ruthenian, Beloruthenian, Russian-Ruthenian, Polish-Ruthenian, Slovak-Ruthenian, and Hungarian-Ruthenian Churches. I would be concerned if I were a smaller Church given the nationalistic tendencies of Eastern Europe.

But being united with Rome, I think, can help destroy this tendency.

The question is will the laity understand this? Or is this the hopeless dream of the scholar and romantic who understands it?

A Kyivan-Patriarchate need not be a Ukrainian patriarchate.

I am a dreamer. It is good to have them. I believe that if you look at the history objectively, you would support the same idea. Do you want to restore our common eastern Church? Or do you want to go the way of the Slav and distintegrate into many little fiefdoms of the Mukachevites, the Galicians, Bukovynians, Kyivans, Muscovites, etc?

Christ said these words: "A house divided, cannot stand."

In Christ,
Ality

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Originally posted by Joe T:

If Rome approves and appoints bishops for the Greek Catholics, does this add meaning or subtract meaning from what 'sui juris' means?
My thought: If "sui juris" really means "self-governing", then Rome's approval and appointment of our bishops definitely subtracts from the meaning of the term.

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Bishops appointed by Rome definitely detracts from the meaning of "sui juris" since in Latin this means something like "his own master".

All of these small churches "sui juris" creates a uniquely Greek Catholic style of jurisdictionalism. And it fractionates one large family of churches of the Kyivan-Ruthenian-Cyrillo-Methodian liturgical tradition into several small, relatively insignificant jurisdictions directly dependent on Rome and Roman dicastaries to make major decisions. One can't honestly call that "sui juris" in the full sense.

It has been the Eastern Christian tradition to develop patriarchal churches. A unified Slavic Byzantine patriarchate centered in Kyiv, the ecclesiastical and cultural center of Rus', is a logical and legitimate means to establishing a true "sui juris" church.

There are Eastern Catholic churches with fewer than 20,000 faithful that have a patriarchal governance. We can have one united patriarchal Church or continue the piecemeal ecclesiastical welfare existence with all of these "sui juris" churches directly subject to Rome.

I think Patriarch Lubomyr's movement of the Sobor to Kyiv underlines his desire to reestablish a Kyivan Church for all those of Rus' and the diaspora. If he wanted to keep it a Ukie church he would have left the offices at St. George's in L'viv in nationalist Galicia.

We need a unified patriarchate. On this forum there have been many admirers of the Melkites for their fidelity to Eastern tradition. Without a patriarchate, and strong leaders who have occupied the patriarchal throne in the last 100 years, their situation would certainly be different today.

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I think Patriarch Lubomyr's movement of the Sobor to Kyiv underlines his desire to reestablish a Kyivan Church for all those of Rus' and the diaspora.

[/QB]
Diak I agree with what you say completely. You and I are on the same wavelength. Do you know if this is the opinions of the bishops too?

As a philosophical/conceptual critique I would ask you to consider the following. When talking about the Kyivan Church, replace the term "diaspora" with
"faithful worldwide"

Diaspora is an Old Testament term used to signify Jews who have left the home land and are living abroad with the intention of returning to Israel. (literally: dispersion)

There are many Catholics of the Kyivan Church who are not Ruthenian, but have either married or converted into the Church. Such a term is exclusive.

Also, such a term is actually contrary to the Christian message. Christ's Church is where two or more are gathered together in His name and is not exclusive to any national identity or ethnic group.

Christianity cannot be confined to a single nation or group. Salvation is for all nations.

Just some points to consider in semantics. smile

In Christ,
ALity

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ALity,

I thought only Ukrainians could obtain salvation wink :p

I like your suggestion of not using diaspora. You are right that it is exclusive. I never thought of it that way.

-uc

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"Without a patriarchate, and strong leaders who have occupied the patriarchal throne in the last 100 years, their situation would certainly be different today."

Diak,

This has been noted. How else can an Elias Zoghby or a Joseph Raya write what they write without being charged as traitors or having their loyalties questioned?

What to do with a Ruthenian Church that is split asunder? Transcarpathian-Mukachevos going the Kyievan way, Presov-Kosice Slovaks going another, American Carpatho-Russians under the omophorion of another Patriarch (the one that actually sent missionaries to the region long before Vladimir converted), Slovak-Canadians, and the American (USA) Ruthenian Byzantine Catholics standing on their lonesome as a 'sui juris' church? If one group finds protection under the omophorion of a Kyievan Catholic Patriarchate (a 'secondary form' of uniatism?) then what do we do with the rest? Where should they head? What becomes of their mission? Is this just speculation?

How can leadership ever be attained for the Ruthenian Church under these circumstances? If seeking the protection of the Kyievan Patriarchate becomes a reality, then can this Church find leadership only by looking for and engaging in derivative forms of uniatism (or hegemony with outside churches larger than itself)? Wasn't Uniatism condemned as a form of church unity within the ENTIRE Catholic Communion or just Rome?

For those suggesting or wishing for the Ruthenian Church to unite in one way or another "under" or "in communion" with Kiev, are you not suggesting a Uniatism-Lite rather than a church self-empowered?

Questions: Does the Ruthenian Church have a voice or a central driver to its mission? Does it have an identity epi-center? Where do you see this Church in ten years? twenty years? fifty years?

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Originally posted by Joe T:


What to do with a Ruthenian Church that is split asunder? Transcarpathian-Mukachevos going the Kyievan way, Presov-Kosice Slovaks going another, American Carpatho-Russians under the omophorion of another Patriarch (the one that actually sent missionaries to the region long before Vladimir converted), Slovak-Canadians, and the American (USA) Ruthenian Byzantine Catholics standing on their lonesome as a 'sui juris' church? If one group finds protection under the omophorion of a Kyievan Catholic Patriarchate (a 'secondary form' of uniatism?) then what do we do with the rest? Where should they head? What becomes of their mission? Is this just speculation?

Joe, I would not call it uniatism. We are all Ruthenians.
How can this be considered uniatism? To think this way implies that you consider there to be something theologically and liturgically different from each other. We all follow the one and the same Ruthenian Recension.

The patirachate is not to divide the Church but to bring it together. That includes the Kosice-Presov Ruthenians.
I would even hope that the Ruthenian/Ukrainian dichotomy imposed on us by Rome, through the influence of Magyar political interests, would eventually cease to exist and there would be two Metropolitans Churches in the USA in communion with one Patriarch.

None of this will happen overnight, if ever. But the fact remains if we would all stop playing ethnic games with one another. The idea of a Kyivan Patriarchate and Holy Synod of Bishops in communion with all Eastern Slav Catholics and converts throughout the world, gives us what we most need: the eccleisal organization to be heard in Rome and the ability for all of us to work together to build up God's Kingdom in our common tradition.

ALity

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For those suggesting or wishing for the Ruthenian Church to unite in one way or another "under" or "in communion" with Kiev, are you not suggesting a Uniatism-Lite rather than a church self-empowered?
Of course, all Ruthenian Catholic Churches are already "in communion" with the UGCC and its nascent Kyivan Patriarchate. The suggestion, then, is that they should be "under" it?

Quote
The question is will the laity understand this? Or is this the hopeless dream of the scholar and romantic who understands it?
What is the scholarship behind the idea of an integrated Kyivan-Ruthenian church and tradition? I find that the resources on this point are often conflicting and highly polemical. Can it be recognized that such a dream may in fact represent a real novelty (perhaps similar to a Kyivan-Serbian or Kyivan-Bulgarian or Kyivan-Romanian church)? Failure to acknowledge this seems all too reminiscent of the persistent efforts to force a Ukrainian identity on Rusyns.
http://wwics.si.edu/kennan/ukraine/briefs/duleba.htm
Such attitudes present terrible obstacles to integration, whatever the objective merits.

djs

PS

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Wasn't Uniatism condemned as a form of church unity
No. Your remark represents a very tendentious reading of the statement.

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I would even hope that the Ruthenian/Ukrainian dichotomy imposed on us by Rome...
The Ruthenian/Ukrainian dichotomy is NOT something imposed on us by Rome. It is something we demanded.

Let me reprise parts of a post from the thread: "Proposal for Move Towards Byzantine Catholic Unity in North America"

Quote
In order to understand somewhat clearly the situation of the Ruthenians in America, account must be taken of their national home politics… There may be said to be, broadly speaking, three Ruthenian parties or factions in the United States: (1) The Moscophiles, or Moskalophiles…, ; (2) the Ukraintzi, or Ukrainians…, who stand for the interests of the Ruthenian people in Austria and of the Little Russians in Russia, as distinct and apart from the Great Russians, and who desire to develop the Ruthenian (Little Russian) language, literature, and race along their own lines, entirely distinct and apart from that of the present-day Russian Empire; and (3) the Ugro-russki,…, who keep … Russian language, literature, and ancestry as models to follow in their development, … at the same time refusing to follow the ideas of Moscow and St. Petersburg in such development, either in Hungary or in the United States.

“[T]hese Greek Catholics… have organized into societies. [T]here are … larger bodies known as "brotherhoods"… The largest and oldest of these federated societies is the "Soyedineniya Greko-Kaftolicheskikh Russkikh Bratstv" …, which was founded in … 1892. It is almost wholly composed of Slovaks and South-Carpathian Ruthenians… In Ruthenian politics it is the representative of the Ugro-russki party. The second of these federations is the "Russky Narodny Soyus" (Russian National Union), which was founded in 1894 and is a Galician offshoot from the preceding society. It is chiefly composed of Galicians who are Ukrainians, and who express themselves strongly against the Russian Empire and the Orthodox Church. … The third of these federations is the "Obshchestvo Russkikh Bratstv" …, which was founded 1 July, 1900. It is … of the Moscophile party, … quite pro-Russian and opposed to the Ukrainians.
(Catholic Encyclopedia ca. 1909)

Our own division of our people into distinct, vocal brotherhoods in the US set the stage for division of the Ukrainian and Ruthenian Catholic jurisdictions decades later. Our Ruthenian Brotherhood agitated strongly against Bishop Ortinsky and for Bishop "of our own Blood".

Most significantly, these divisions are paralleled in US Orthodox jurisdictions: Carpatho-Russian, Ukrainian Orthodox, Russian (OCA, etc.) -
where Rome was clearly not in a position to impose anything.

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djs -

Thank you for the link. It is a good work dealing with political and nationall issues.

However, a patriarchate in Kyiv is not necessarily an ethnic institution. This is a religious question not ethnic.
If you want it to be an ethnic question, than you are falling into the same type of juridictionalism that exists in Orthodoxy.

We can continue to be divisive, or we can unite, for the good of our churches, I do not see how anyone would think that is better to be under the jurisdiction of Rome than to be "in communion" with a Kyivan Patriarch and part of a united Holy Synod. The soveriegnty in your jurisdiction is retained but you have the advantage of global representation at ecnumenical Councils, and extra resources in questions of theological and liturgical issues that will arise in the future. You have an exponential increase in resources in a united Church.

Being the ancestral descendant of many different Slavic ethnicities, and culturally seperated, thank God, by being an American, first and foremost, I agree with this statement in your link:

"It is generally recognized in Slovakia that people living in the northeastern part of the country who identify themselves as Rusyns or Ukrainians are of the same ethnic origin."

If you want to insist on your individuality as a group, I do not fault you, and I empathize. My position, is that I think it is the wrong point of view and the wrong battle tto be fighting.

ALity

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Originally posted by djs:
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I would even hope that the Ruthenian/Ukrainian dichotomy imposed on us by Rome...
The Ruthenian/Ukrainian dichotomy is NOT something imposed on us by Rome. It is something we demanded.
Yes this is true. But the Hungarian Government was also involved. The Roman Catholic Church at this time in America was also divided along national ethnicities. But did Rome divide the Roman Catholic Church into different jurisdictions?

And look at the Roman Catholic Church now! It is the single largest non-governmental institution in the United States.

Do you think that this would have happened if there were seperate jurisdictions in the USA for Italian, Irish, Polish, German, Mexican, etc. Roman Catholics?
I don't think the Roman Church would be nearly the size or strength it is today in the USA if such was history for them.

But yet Rome was all too happy to divide us.
Why? The ethnic answer lacks the proof in the face of the contrasting pastoral policy for the Roman Church at the time and later.

There is alot more to our division than just "us".
And what if tomorrow the nation of Ukraine decided to revert to their ancient national name of Rus'? Would we still argue that Ruthenians on one side of the mountain are different from Ruthenians on the other? (Sometimes I wish the Kyivan and Galician Rusyns never changed their name to Ukrainians. frown )

The same Rusyns who wanted another bishop becasue Ornytsky was "not of their blood", are guilty of the same prejuidice of the "Ukrainians", or any other ehtnic group who discrriminates against another. Such arguments are the manipulation of the devil.
I would hope, that in this age of communication, we could see deception for what it is.

Chirst's blood was Jewish, so I guess you and I are both outside of salvation.

ALity

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This is a religious question not ethnic
True. It is an ecclesiastical question, however, that is being addressed within a nation, where there is a hostile attitude toward the individuality of the Sub-Carpathian Rusyns - a negation of their individuality. This context requires a lot of solicitude on the the part of those who wish to advance ecclesiastical integration. Asserting that insistence on the individuality of one's group is "the wrong point of view", is not IMO a tactic that manifests solicitude or builds confidence.

I am not an advocate for ethnic subdivision; I would only oppose integration that is not undertaken willingly. It would likely be very divisive; the purported benefits would be outweighed by the problems it would cause.

Quote
The Roman Catholic Church at this time in America was also divided along national ethnicities. But did Rome divide the Roman Catholic Church into different jurisdictions? ... But yet Rome was all too happy to divide us. The ethnic answer lacks the proof in the face of the contrasting pastoral policy for the Roman Church at the time and later
The situation of course in the latin rite was very different. By the time of high volume, multi-ethnic immigration there was a pre-existing American hierarchical structure, which was not about to accept the erection of ethnic parishes subject to overseas hierarchs. (You will recall, moreover, that the American bishops felt this way also about Catholics of other rites includsing ours.) We demanded and received some hefty dispensation to erect new structures for us in the US (and gave some indication that we would bolt if our demands were not met.) But the question of what structure or how many structures could not be answered by default. (Should there be one stucture for all Eastern Catholics? All Byzantine Catholics? All Byzantine Slavonics Cathoilics? One for each Union?) The arrival of Bishop Ortinsky in America did not settle the matter for Ruthenians. The mass of Rusyns who went to the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church did so during the height of the campaign to have Ortinsky recalled by Rome (and to get a Bishop of our own Blood.)

The idea that Rome was "all too happy to divide us" is stated with no support. There was a huge canon-law brake against this subdivision among the Latins. We argued, that this brake should not apply to us. We we aggresive in our demands, and had shown, in contrast to the RC's who suffered very limited defections, that we would bolt en masse if Rome did not comply with the demands.

We ought to be able to take responsibility for our decisive role in creating this division. IMO it shows a lack of independence to play the victim, instead, and blame Rome for not stopping us from shooting ourselves in the foot.

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"I would not call it uniatism. We are all Ruthenians.
How can this be considered uniatism? To think this way implies that you consider there to be something theologically and liturgically different from each other. We all follow the one and the same Ruthenian Recension."

Ality,

It all seems to be a dream of Ukrainian nationalists. How many Ruthenians really care in this country to have a Patriarch? Many identify their 'Catholicism' with Rome and not Ukraine and feel quite comfortable with that relationship. Intermarriage runs high and the ethnic culture is greatly watered down and the values of one community may not be the values of another. In fact, I hardly know of one cradle Byzantine Catholic who married another cradle Byzantine Catholic, and I hardly think Latin spouses would appreciate someone telling them that their Catholic identity will now be through a Patriarch just south of Moscow. Nor would they like the idea of having to dismantle any devotion they have for their own missionaries, Cyril and Methodius, Apostles of the Slavs. I'm afraid that many more will 'vote with their feet' if another disruption occurs. This is not me talking, but my sense of what many think of the political squabbles of Eastern Europe and those with nationalistic dreams other than American.

Can we become so blind in supporting a unified pan-Slavic Church that we fail to respect the rights of others? Is this really not an issue of gaining a standing or defense before Moscow? It all seems to be politically motivated.

The silence of our own bishops on this matter implies that there is no intention to move in the direction of a pan-Ruthenian Patriarchate with Kyiev calling the shots and that talk of it is the dream of nationalist idealists. Even the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church website states that they intend to respect Mukachevo's 'sui juris' status, whatever that really means.

But this is all speculation because we don't know where it is all heading.

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