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#3500 08/15/04 02:41 PM
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This may have been covered here before, but I just saw it and thought it was interesting.


The pontiff's Ukrainian roots

July 1, 2001, No. 26, Vol. LXIX

by Roman Woronowycz Kyiv Press Bureau

KYIV - Although it seems to be one of the most closely guarded secrets of the Vatican, the head of the Vatican's press service admitted in very convoluted language on June 24 that indeed Pope John Paul II has Ukrainian blood on his mother's side.

During a press conference the holy father's press secretary, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, told hundreds of reporters that one of the reasons the pope placed special significance on his trip to Ukraine was because he has roots here.

"I believe that there is a reason, and it is the biological element of his biography," explained Mr. Navarro-Valls somewhat obtusely.

But his statement, along with assertions by other sources, makes the matter clear: the pope's mother was Ukrainian and that makes him at least partly so.

Emilia Kacharovska, the mother of Karol Wojtyla Jr., who would become Pope John Paul II in 1978, was born in a village outside of Drohobych. During the tsarist effort to rid Ukraine of the "Uniate" element in Ukraine, that is the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, the Kacharovskys moved into the Krakow area, according to materials released by the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church's press service. In time, the Kacharovsky clan, which had spoken both Ukrainian and Polish, became completely Polonized.

In Krakow, Emilia met Karol Wojtyla Sr., and they were married. In 1920 the future pope was born. At the age of 8 young Karol lost his mother, when she died of heart problems.

The holy father has never denied his Ukrainian roots, although he refers to his mother as a Rusyn rather than a Ukrainian. The Ukrainian government news organ, Uriadovyi Kurier, in a June 23 story claimed that Pope John Paul II made such an assertion at Harvard University in a speech he gave at the Ukrainian Research Institute. The newspaper did not mention the date of the speech but cited a book by Prof. Isidore Nahaievsky as the source of the information.

http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showme...p?number=375382

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Ah yes, those Ukrainians, always trying to claim the Rusyns as their own... biggrin

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Originally posted by iconophile:
Ah yes, those Ukrainians, always trying to claim the Rusyns as their own... biggrin
The pope's maternal roots are well inside Galicia and not from Carpatho-Rus', despite the best attempts of some of us Carpatho-Rusyns to claim him.

The pope's use of the term Rusyn for his mother is most likely the older definition, in which it was a label for Eastern Slavs in union with Rome, although he's never been asked specifically about it, as far as I've been able to determine.

--tim

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This underscores what has been stated many times on this forum: the term 'Rusyn' equally applies to peoples from other regions of Ukraine and not just the Subcarpathians and/or Transcarpathian regions, and vice versa.

This news story highlights the fact that West Galicia was rapidly undergoing the name change (Rusyn to Ukrainian) during the era just prior to WW1.

World War 1 was the first time that Russian Imperial Czarist forces had ever occupied so far West into Ukrainian (Rusyn or Ruthenian) Galicia.

During this time Metropolitan Andrej Sheptytsky of the UGCC was deported to Siberia along with many other clergy and adherants where they lived under difficult conditions, house arrest, or even prisons. At the same time in Western Ukraine' Galicia the Muscovite Orthodox Church through brutal policies of Russification forced the Greek-Catholics to convert to their rite. It was during these difficult times that the Pope's mother along with many other Greek-Catholics evacuated from East Galicia (ie: Drohobych) to lands which were not under Czarist control (ie: Krakow in West Galicia).

The Pope has on several occassions clearly stated that his mother was a Rusyn Greek-Catholic from Galicia, who if alive today would identify herself as a Ukrainian.

The Popes mother is from Drohobych which is now in Ukraine but was the Rusyn inhabited province of Galicia of Autro-Hungary. Of course, the Rusyns also make up most of the population of Ukraine, Southeastern Poland, and Slovakia.

The Popes "Ukrainian / Rusyn" roots are not a big secret at all. Every Pole is well aware of this fact which has been well discussed in Poland. Many believe that the Pope's Rusyn-Ukrainian identity was one of the main reasons for his elevation to the papacy.

Many Slavophiles believe that that Pope John Paul II was probably chosen for the papacy for two reasons: (1) to help bring down the Iron Curtain and restore Christianity to Europe, (2) bridge the divide between Eastern-Orthodox and Western-Latin Europe. The fact that he had both Latin rite and Greek-Catholic parent made him a good candidate for the second task.

Many also also believe that this was not the Vatican's first attempt at uniting Eastern and Western Christians through the papacy. Many believe that the former UGCC Patriarch Joseph Slypij was released from a Soviet Siberian labour camp in the early 1960's just for this purpose. There were strong rumours after his elevation to Cardinal that he would become Pope so as to unite the churches. It did not happen for a variety of reasons.

Perhaps in the end, it may be the combined efforts of church leaders such as Pope John Paul II, UGCC Patriarch Husar, UOA-KP Patriarch Filaret, and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople who may ultimately be able to unite the churches.

Hritzko

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Originally posted by Hritzko:


This news story highlights the fact that West Galicia was rapidly undergoing the name change (Rusyn to Ukrainian) during the era just prior to WW1.


Hritzko
It really shows that there are two definitions for the term, a historical (and archaic) one and a contemporary one.

--Tim Cuprisin

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Originally posted by Tim Cuprisin:
The pope's use of the term Rusyn for his mother is most likely the older definition, in which it was a label for Eastern Slavs in union with Rome, although he's never been asked specifically about it, as far as I've been able to determine.
The Ruthenian (Latin for Rusyn) Union of Brest (1596) was between the Orthodox Metropolitan of Kyiv and most of the other Ruthenian Orthodox bishops with the see of Rome. The term 'Ruthenian' was used before and after the union and was used to describe the Rusyns of what is now mostly modern Republic of Ukraine.

The two Orthodox Ruthenian bishops who initially resisted were from Lviv (now Ukraine) and Premyszl (now Poland). They were still referred to as Ruthenians, even when they were Orthodox not in union with Rome as were the people in Subcarpathian Ruthenia (Rus).

The term 'Ruthenian' (Latin for Rusyn) was not invented for purpose of the Union of the Slavic Orthodox Churches with Rome - it was used centuries before. The French historical archives clearly state the Ruthenian princes Anna Yaroslava' (grandchild of Grand Prince Volodymyr the Great of 988 fame) became queen of France. She was Orthodox but married a French Roman Catholic King to become Queen of France. The Orthodox Union with Rome was almost 600 years away yet the term Ruthenian was being used to describe this Ruthenian princess from Kyiv-Rus.

If the Pope said his mother was a Rusyn but now would consider herself a Ukrainian, then the peoples of subcarpathian Rus can also claim her as one of theirs. Most Ukrainians consider themselves to also be Rusyns, and most Rusyns also consider themselves to be Ukrainian.

Hritzko

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I thought that she perhaps was Lemko.
Is that considered Ukrainian too?

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Originally posted by djs:
I thought that she perhaps was Lemko.
Is that considered Ukrainian too?
Ukrainian nationalists consider all Lemkos to be Ukrainian, although many Lemkos do not consider themselves to be Ukrainian, but express the Lemko-Rusyn identity.

By either definition, she was not Lemko, since she comes from too far west, well in the heartland of the Ukrainian national identity and east of the area of Lemko-Rusyn orientation.

--Tim

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THE GALICIANS

What is perhaps most interesting, is that all of the religious figures I mentioned are 'Galicians'.

Holy Father John Paul II
Was born in West Galicia near Krakow in what was (and remains) Poland. His father was a Roman Catholic and his mother Greek Catholic. He was raised a Roman Catholic Pole.

Holy Father John Paul II's Mother (UGCC):
His was born in East Galicia near Drohobych (South of Lviv, East Galicia). The Holy father said she referred to herself as a Rusyn, but he aknowledges that she would be today part of the modern Ukrainian nation.

Metropolitan Andrej Sheptytskyj (UGCC) Born near Yavoriv (West of Lviv, East Galicia) . His parents were Polonized Rusyns and aristocrats. He and his brother Klement were Ukrainians.

Patriarch Joseph Slypyj was born in Zazdrist, near Ternopil, East Galicia of Ukrainian parents. He grew up as a Ukrainian. The Hollywood movie 'The Shoes of the Fisherman' (staring Anthony Quinn) was roughly based on his life. Here is a picture of him speaking in my home church in Montreal in 1976 with a short biography:

Patriarch Slypij speakin at a UGCC church in Montreal in 1976 (with biography) [ukemonde.com]

Hritzko

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Originally posted by Hritzko:
Patriarch Joseph Slypyj was born in Zazdrist, near Ternopil, East Galicia of Ukrainian parents. He grew up as a Ukrainian. The Hollywood movie 'The Shoes of the Fisherman' (staring Anthony Quinn) was roughly based on his life. Here is a picture of him speaking in my home church in Montreal in 1976 with a short biography:

Patriarch Slypij speakin at a UGCC church in Montreal in 1976 (with biography
Here's the corrected link (above has an error in it):

Patriarch Slypij speaking at a UGCC church in Montreal in 1976 (with biography) [ukemonde.com]


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Originally posted by Tim Cuprisin:
Ukrainian nationalists consider all Lemkos to be Ukrainian, although many Lemkos do not consider themselves to be Ukrainian, but express the Lemko-Rusyn identity.
--Tim [/QB]
The vast majority of Lemkos from 'Lemkischyna' did in fact consider themselves to be Ukrainian by the start of WW2. As with all 'borderlands' there were Lemkos who had non-Ukrainian identities (labels) but they too were also deported immediately following the war. They were deported as follows;

(1) Galicia, Western Ukraine from 1945-1947. Many Lemkos and their progeny now reside in the Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil Oblasts (administrative regions)

The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic bishop of Ivano-Frankivsk often acts as a surrogate for the large number of Greek Catholic Lemkos who live there.

(2)in 1947 as part of 'Operation Visla' to Northwestern Poland's newly acquired lands from Germany. Most Greek-Catholic Lemkos now belong to the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Poland.

It would appear that not only Ukrainian nationalists, but also the Vatican considers Greek-Catholic Lemkos to be Ukrainians;

In 2001 during his trip to Ukraine, the Holy Father also beatified the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Martyr Josaphat Kotsylovsky who was a Lemko. Ivan Ziatyk, Emilian Kovch, and Hryhorij Lakota were other Ukraianian Greek-Catholic martyrs who were either born in Lemkyschyna (Land of Lemkos) and/or worked closely with the Greek-Catholics of the region (at Przemysl).

Since WW2 the Greek-Catholic Lemkos have also been well represented by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in countries such as the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Australia, Germany, etc...

You are all welcome to attend one, or both, of the largest North American Lemko festivals which are held at:

(1) The Ukrainian Youth Association's (SUM-A) summer resort at Ellenville (Catskills), New York, USA.

and / or

(2) Lemko Park at Durham (near Toronto), Ontario, Canada. A senior Ukrainian Embassy official attends every year to provide the participants with encouraging words.

For more information see: LEMKO.ORG

Do all possible to foster the spiritual and national growth of our Carpathian friends.

Hritzko


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