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Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit Ukraine in 2012.

Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzyck of Lviv has announced that the Pope accepted an invitation to visit Ukraine, "and a concrete date is now being set." The papal visit would come as Ukrainian Catholics celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Lviv archdiocese.

A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church, while declining to make any formal comment until the papal visit is officially announced, said that the Catholic anniversary celebration "is not the best occasion for the Pontiff's visit." The Moscow patriarchate has frequently complained about Catholic activity in Ukraine, which Moscow regards as "the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church." Serious tensions persist between the Orthodox Church in the Ukraine and the Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church, which was brutally persecuted by the Soviet government but vigorously revived after the fall of the Communist regime.

The announcement of the papal visit to Ukraine comes at a time when, as George Weigel notes for First Things, the Russian nation and the Russian Orthodox Church is moving to reassert traditional influence in Ukraine. Weigel notes that at the recent inauguration of President Viktor Yanukovych, it was Patriarch Kirill of Moscow-- not a Ukrainian prelate, much less an ecumenical delegation-- that led an official prayer service.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

* Pope Benedict XVI To Visit Ukraine In 2012 (Ukrainian News Agency)
* Catholic festivities not best occasion for Pope's visit to Ukraine - Moscow Patriarchate (Interfax)
* Storm Clouds in Ukraine (First Things)
Ukraine vist by Pope

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The head of any religious body ought to be able to make a pastoral visit to the members of his/her church without other churches getting defensive or hostile.

Maybe the Pope will beatify Metropolitan Andrei Sheptyts'ki during the visit, just as he is planning to beatify cardinal Newman during his upcoming pastoral visit to the U.K.

The Russian Orthodox seem to be stuck on the notion that Ukraine is part of their canonical territory, just like B'rer Rabbit got stuck on the tar baby. I think they'd do well to renounce this idea.

Competition and cooperation among religions is, in my books, a good thing. Let every individual decide what religion they want to belong to and have the freedom to say, "no thanks - no religion for me."

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Well true freedom only comes with an acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Savior and God Incarnate. But, aside from that, I agree with you that the ROC should butt out.

Alexis

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Where are the traditional borders of the Patriarchates? I guess they're more or less corresponding to the borders of the state in which Patriarchs reside.

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While I support and pray for a Canonical Autocephalous Ukrainian ORTHODOX Church I do remind the people of this forum that Ukraine does is in fact under the omophor of His Holiness Patriarch Kiril. I would ask the Catholic folks on this forum to show some respect to the Canonical and Ecclesiastical structure of the Orthodox Church.

While I support the Pope's right to visit his flock in any country they are found I also remind you that the there is only a small minority of Catholic believers in Western Ukraine and any claim of Episcopal Jurisdiction by the Rome would be one not support by Holy Tradition, history or canonical structure of the Ukrainian Church which by the way has always been and will always remain Orthodox.

Finally I would ask if Rome would "butt out" if the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus came to visit the Vatican or any other RC territory. Now I am not saying that the Pope would oppose this visit, but he would certainly have something to say about it just as the Russian Orthodox Church has something to say about the Pope's visit to Ukraine. This is especially true if you consider the animosity, unrest and complicated relationship of Orthodox and Catholic believers therein.





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Finally I would ask if Rome would "butt out" if the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus came to visit the Vatican or any other RC territory.


He does all the time, and nobody objects. Only a Church lacking in self-confidence is so touchy. Maybe Moscow is troubled by a guilty conscience?

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Deacon Borislav,

As Stuart points out, you happen to simply be dead wrong.

No one remembers the recently-constructed sizable Russian Orthodox church in Rome? The Pope didn't have a peep to say about that (for one, he has bigger things to worry about - but even if he didn't, he wouldn't have said anything). In fact, the only response the Catholic hierarchy had, if I remember correctly, was a rather positive one, since we sent episcopal emissaries to the consecration ceremony. Not that I support that, necessarily, but it does serve to show you what a difference there is between the approaches of the Catholic Church and the Moscow Patriarchate. The former wisely recognizes that each community has a right to minister to its own people, whatever the geographical boundaries.

Alexis

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I thought we had moved along the unity path , but I guess I was wrong. But, how about we invite the Patriarchs of Moscow, Constantinople and Rome to get together in th Ukraine for a bit of beer and brats informal discussion Sounds like a winner!!!! With tongue in cheek

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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Finally I would ask if Rome would "butt out" if the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus came to visit the Vatican or any other RC territory.


He does all the time, and nobody objects. Only a Church lacking in self-confidence is so touchy. Maybe Moscow is troubled by a guilty conscience?


Maybe they are troubled by violence that accompanied the reemergence of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukraine.

Also if and when the Patriarch of Moscow visits the Vatican he is neither there to preach to Catholics nor is he there to encourage a Latin Rite Orthodox Church on Rome's territory.




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Maybe they are troubled by violence that accompanied the reemergence of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukraine.


I'm sure it pales to insignificance as compared to the violence that attended its suppression.

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Also if and when the Patriarch of Moscow visits the Vatican he is neither there to preach to Catholics nor is he there to encourage a Latin Rite Orthodox Church on Rome's territory.


I'm sure if the Patriarch wanted to preach to the Orthodox of Rome, he would be free to do so. And if Catholics wanted to hear him, I am sure that the Pope would not deploy the Swiss Guards either to keep them out or to break up the assembly.

As it is, the Pope goes to speak to the Catholic faithful of Ukraine, both Greek and Latin. And if any Orthodox Christian wants to hear Pope Benedict speak, why Ukraine is still a free country, isn't it? Nobody would dare interfere either with the exercise of free speech or freedom of conscience there, would they? You'd think that we were back under the Communists, where the secret police monitored the comings and goings of individuals and tried to make them conform to some official ideology. You'll be telling me the government is trying to suppress political dissent, next. Who ever heard of such a thing?

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Maybe the Pope will beatify Metropolitan Andrei Sheptyts'ki during the visit


The Basilians would toss a fit.

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Finally I would ask if Rome would "butt out" if the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus came to visit the Vatican or any other RC territory. Now I am not saying that the Pope would oppose this visit, but he would certainly have something to say about it just as the Russian Orthodox Church has something to say about the Pope's visit to Ukraine.


As the Pope has been trying to arrange such a visit for years, my guess is he would say, "Welcome, Your Beatitude, my Brother in Christ! Slava Isusu Christu! Slava na viki!"

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While I support the Pope's right to visit his flock in any country they are found I also remind you that the there is only a small minority of Catholic believers in Western Ukraine


That depends entirely on who you ask and who does the counting.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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Finally I would ask if Rome would "butt out" if the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus came to visit the Vatican or any other RC territory. Now I am not saying that the Pope would oppose this visit, but he would certainly have something to say about it just as the Russian Orthodox Church has something to say about the Pope's visit to Ukraine.


As the Pope has been trying to arrange such a visit for years, my guess is he would say, "Welcome, Your Beatitude, my Brother in Christ! Slava Isusu Christu! Slava na viki!"

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While I support the Pope's right to visit his flock in any country they are found I also remind you that the there is only a small minority of Catholic believers in Western Ukraine


That depends entirely on who you ask and who does the counting.


That is a completely ridiculous statement. The Catholic Church in Ukraine is a very small minority no matter who does the counting. I think you know this as well as I.






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"I'm sure it pales to insignificance as compared to the violence that attended its suppression."

Yes you are absolutely right. For once we can agree. There was great violence and discrimination unleashed on the Orthodox Christians of Ukraine when the Unia was imposed on them by a more powerful Western nation.



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