The young fogey--
Christ is in our midst!!
Anyway, this whole row in the Ukraine is unseemly and makes our work, of bringing ALL the Orthodox into the church, so much harder.
I don't know if you have ever followed any ecumenical dialogues or the Catholic Church's ecumenical statements since 1965, but I am aghast at a statement like this after 1965. The Apostolic Churches, of which the Orthodox Church is one were never
under the authority of the Pope of Rome in history. And the goal of our ecumenical efforts, as Archimandrite Robert Taft of thrice blessed memory once put it in an interview posted by link on this forum, is communion. In fact, that is all Fr. Robert said we would ever get or hope to get. The Orthodox Churches are already IN the Church established by Christ and have been since their establishment by various Apostles--other than St. Peter.
In addition, the current Roman definitions of papal authority--the papal claims--were not articulated in the current form until Vatican I. If you want a real look at history, you would have to understand that Rome spoke in terms or mediating various disputes, but was outside the mainstream after the Empire moved east to the Bosporus.
. . . the original canonical Orthodox there, the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Onuphrey of Kiev, and what was ex-Metropolitan Filaret's Kyiv Patriarchate, now Constantinople's metropolia there possibly becoming autocephalous: Metropolitan Epifany.
I don't fully understand how the Orthodox determine who is "canonical" and who is "uncanonical," but it seems to me to be a bit more fluid than stating that one group is canonical and another is not. Six months ago there were two groups in Ukraine that were considered uncanonical by the rest of the Orthodox world. Suddenly the EP recognized them and they are canonical. And there is no mass ordination of each and every cleric involved. So stating "the original canonical Orthodox" is something that can change overnight.
The Russians are right. De facto, ecclesiastically the Ukraine is theirs; autocephaly is up to them. Metropolitan Onuphrey is de facto the rightful Metropolitan of Kiev, the head of most of the Ukraine's Christians, the Orthodox. If all the Orthodox returned to us, de jure he would be metropolitan
There is just too much packed into a few sentences to comment about. See Dr. Roman's comments above. If he can do a whole doctoral dissertation on this historical and religious situation, it flies in the face of reality to make simple statements like this. Actually, it can be argued that the "rightful Metropolitan of Kiev" is Major Archbishop Sviatoslav since at one point in history the entire Kyvan hierarchy--with the exception of two who fled to Russia--moved to communion with Rome due to many factors. So there is more than one person who can make claim to that title.
We ought to be concerned with reconciling all the Orthodox now
I think this statement needs the addition of "with." We ought to be concerned with reconciling WITH
all the Orthodox now. Remember Fr.Taft's statement that all we will ever get is communion, nothing more.
I made a post here once that seemed to sum up some of these issues. One thing I believe is that the Vatican's Oriental Congregation would have to be abolished. No eastern bishop would ever again answer to a Roman body of any kind. If an issue came up, the issue would go to that bishop's synod or patriarch and wold be dealt with there. Any issue between patriarchates would have to be dealt with by some sort of ad hoc committee appointed by the various heads of the Churches and any actions would only be binding by consent. There would be no presumption that the Latin patriarch would make binding statements for the whole Church without consultation and consent by the other patriarchs. There were other points, but you get the idea.
This battle of the canonical patriarchs shows there is no such thing as the Orthodox Church; they're all independent. There is an Orthodox tradition, but only the Catholic Church has authority.
This is so over the top it defies any kind of rational answer. Please read the Documents of Vatican II for the Catholic Church's position on these matters: sister Churches; authority, etc.
As for your contention that people did not care what country their village was in, the fact is that the Church defended and preserved the culture and identity of people when the political landscape changed. It was this way in Poland where the Latin Catholic Church kept Polish identity alive when the country was partitioned three times in history. Ukraine is similar in that the Ukrainian Church kept the culture and identity alive when the area was conquered by outside forces, whether Russian or Austro-Hungarian empire, among others. If that were not so, why did Khrushchev try to erase Ukrainian identity during his tenure as head of the Soviet Union--I am old enough to remember reading about this in the news. And why has the ROC tried so hard to russianize the Ukrainian Church, if this were not so?
The fact that the American Catholic Church has such a loose hold on people is that there was a movement to stifle ethnic identity among our people in the last century. And the carry-over reached the Eastern Catholic Churches, causing the so many people to go to the OCA and ACROD. My home parish was originally Irish and German. Everything was on some sort of detente between the two groups until the southern and eastern Europeans came along and the pastor forced the parish to accept them "because we are all Americans now." Well, that didn't go over so well and the tension was still present when I left there, after being a seething thing for the better part of the 20th century.
But, pat yourself on the back today because you've probably set back any ecumenical progress of the past 50+ years with your post above.
In the meantime, you owe our Orthodox brethren an apology for your unkind, un-Christian statements.