Treaty of Brest - 1595

Articles Concerning Union With The Roman Church

[These articles were accepted by the hierarchy of the Church in Kiev in three languages: Ukrainian, Polish, and Latin. It is on this basis that the Church of Kiev is in communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

The articles frequently refer to the King of Poland. The function of the King of Poland vis-à-vis the Greek-Catholic Church were assumed by the Austrian Emperor. As there is no longer a King or Emperor, and the Greek-Catholic Church is certainly not state-supported in Ukraine, these functions revert to the synod or lapse entirely.]

We require prior guarantees of these articles from the Romans before we enter into union with the Roman Church.

1.—Since there is a quarrel between the Romans and Greeks about the procession of the Holy Spirit, which greatly impede unity really for no other reason than that we do not wish to understand one another—we ask that we should not be compelled to any other creed but that we should remain with that which was handed down to us in the Holy Scriptures, in the Gospel, and in the writings of the holy Greek Doctors, that is, that the Holy Spirit proceeds, not from two sources and not by a double procession, but from one origin, from the Father through the Son.

2.—That the divine worship and all prayers and services of Orthros, Vespers, and the night services shall remain intact (without any change at all) for us according to the ancient custom of the Eastern Church, namely: the Holy Liturgies of which there are three, that of Saint Basil, that of Saint Chrysostom, and that of Epiphanius which is served during the Great Lent with Presanctified Gifts, and all other ceremonies and services of our Church, as we have had them until now, for in Rome these same services are kept within the obedience of the Supreme Pontiff, and that these services should be in our own language.

3.—That the Mysteries of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ should be retained entirely as we have been accustomed until now, under the species of bread and wine; that this should remain among us eternally the same and unchangeable.

4.—That the Mystery of Holy Baptism and its form should remain among us unchanged as we have served it until now, without any addition.

5.—We shall not debate about purgatory, but we entrust ourselves to the teaching of the Holy Church.

6.—We will accept the new calendar, if the old one cannot be, but without any violation of the Paschalia [the Easter cycle] and our other feasts as they were in the time of unity, because we have some special feasts which the Romans do not have; on the sixth of January we celebrate the memory of the Baptism of the Lord Christ and the first revelation of the One God in Trinity. We call this feast Theophany, and on this day we have a special service of the Blessing of Waters.

7.—That we should not be compelled to take part in processions on the day of Corpus Christi—that we should not have to make such processions with our Mysteries inasmuch as our use of the Mysteries is different.

8.—Likewise that we should not be compelled to have the blessing of fire, the use of wooden clappers, and similar ceremonies before Easter, for we have not had such ceremonies in our Church until now, but that we should maintain our ceremonies according to the rubrics and the Typicon of our Church.

9.—That the marriages of priests remain intact, except for bigamists.

10.—That the metropolitanate, the episcopate, and other ecclesiastical dignities shall be conferred on no one except the Rus' people or Greeks, who must be of our religion. And since our Canons require that the Metropolitain, the Bishops, and so on, first elected by the clergy, must be worthy people, we ask the King's Grace that the election be free, leaving intact the authority of the King's Grace to appoint the one whom he pleases. This means that as soon as someone has died we should elect four candidates, and the King's Grace will freely chose whom he wishes from among the four. This is necessary, especially so that the persons named to such positions will be worthy and educated, for the King's Grace, who is not of the same religion, cannot know who is worthy of this, and thus it has happened that such uninstructed people were appointed that they were scarcely literate. If the King's Grace should wish to appoint a layman to these spiritual posts, the appointee must receive Holy Orders within no more than three months under pain of losing appointment, according to the Constitution of the Parliament of Grondo and the Articles of King Sigmund Augustus of blessed memory, approved by the present King's Grace, for at the moment there are some who hold certain spiritual appointments in their hands but do not receive Holy Orders even for years, justifying themselves with some sort of royal "exemptions". We ask that in future this should not be.

11.—That our Bishops should not send to Rome for the sacrae (permission to consecrate), but, if the King's Grace names someone to a bishopric, that according to the old custom the Archbishop—Metropolitain should have the duty and the right to ordain him. The Metropolitain himself, before entering upon the office of metropolitain, should send the sacrae to the Pope. Then, after he has received the sacrae from Rome, let the bishops ordain him, at least two of them, according to their custom. If a bishop is elected Metropolitain, let him not send for the sacrae, because he already has the episcopal cheirotonia; he may take an oath of obedience to the Supreme Pontiff in the presence of the Archbishop of Gniezno (who on that occasion will not be functioning as Archbishop, but as Primate of Poland).

12.—So that our authority would be greater and we should govern our faithful with greater respect, we ask seats in the Senate of the King's Grace for the Metropolitain and the bishops. We ask this for many reasons for we have the same office and hierarchical dignity as the Roman Bishops.

13.—And if in time the Lord shall grant that the rest of the brethren of our people and of the Greek Religion shall come to this same holy unity, it shall not be held against us or begrudged to us that we have preceded them in this unity, for we have to do this for definite, serious reasons for harmony in the Christian republic [Poland] to avoid further confusion and discord.

14.—Most important of all, it is necessary that if in our dioceses presbyters—Archimandrates, Hegumenoi, presbyters, and other clergy, but especially foreigners, even bishops and monks who might come from Greece—of our Religion should not wish to be under our obedience they should never dare to perform any divine service. For if that were allowed then there would never be any order.

15.—If in the future someone of our Religion should want to join the Roman Church, denying his own Religion and Ceremonies, let him not be accepted, since he is degrading the Ceremonies of the one Church of God, since, being already in one Church, we shall have one Pope.

16.—That marriages may freely take place between the Roman faithful and the Rus' faithful, without any compulsion as to Religion, for both are already one Church.

17.—Inasmuch as we have lost the possession of many ecclesiastical properties, some of which our predecessors alienated by rights other than the free administration of these goods during their personal lives, so that we find ourselves in such want and poverty that we cannot provide satisfactorily for the needs of the churches, and indeed we ourselves scarcely have the means of subsistence, we require that these properties be returned to our churches. If anyone has legitimately acquired the lifetime usufruct of any ecclesiastical benefice, let him be obliged to pay an annual rent to the Church, and upon his death let the benefice revert to the Church. Such a benefice shall not be granted to anyone without the consent of the bishop and his chapter. Every benefice to which the Church presently has title is to be recorded in the Gospel Books, even if the Church does not exercise any control over some benefices. In that way they will at least belong indisputably to the Church. With this accomplished, the Church can then undertake to regain those benefices which have been alienated at an earlier time.

18.—Upon the death of the Metropolitain or of a bishop, the wardens and state treasurer shall not interfere in the ecclesiastical properties. As is the custom and tradition of the Roman Church, these properties shall be administered by the chapter until a new Metropolitain or bishop is elected. While this is already guaranteed to us by our privilege, we ask that it be incorporated into the constitution of the kingdom.

19.—That Archimandrates, Hegumenoi, monks and their monasteries, according to the old custom shall be under the obedience of the bishops of their dioceses, for among us there is only one monastic Rule, which even the bishops use, and we do not have "Provincials".

20.—That at the tribunal among the Roman Clergy we also should have two of our [clergy] to look after the affairs of our Church.

21.—That the archimandrates, hegumenoi, priests, archdeacons, and our other clergy be held in the same esteem as the Roman clergy, and should enjoy and make use of the same liberties and privileges which were granted by King Ladislaus; they should be exempt from all taxation, both personal and concerning ecclesiastical property, in contrast to the unjust practice which has hitherto obtained—if they possess some private properties then they should pay taxes on them, whatever is just, as other proprietors do. Any priest and other clergy who possesses ecclesiastical properties within the territories of the senators and nobility are subject to them and must obey them: they should not appeal to the courts or enter into quarrels with the landlords, but must acknowledge the right of patronage. But accusations regarding the person of the clergy and their spiritual functions, are subject only to the bishop, and the misdemeanors of the clergy shall be punished exclusively by the bishop on the complaints of the landlord. Thus everyone, clergy and laity, will have their rights preserved whole and inviolate.

22.—That the Romans should not forbid us to ring bells in our churches on Good Friday, both in the cities and everywhere else.

23.—That we should not be forbidden to visit the sick with the Most Holy Mysteries, publicly, with lights and vestments, according to our rubrics.

24.—That without any interference we might be free to hold processions, as many as are required, on holy days, according to our custom.

25.—That our Rus' monasteries and churches should not be changed into Roman Catholic churches. And if any Roman Catholic has damaged or destroyed one of our churches or monasteries, in his territory, he shall be obliged to repair it or build a new one for the exclusive use of the Rus' people.

26.—The spiritual Church Brotherhoods which have recently been erected by the Patriarchs and confirmed by the King's Grace—for example, those in L'viv, in Brest, in Vilnius, and elsewhere—in which we see great benefit for the Church of God and the cultivation of divine worship if they wish to abide in this unity, shall be maintained in all their integrity under the obedience of their Metropolitain and of the bishops in whose dioceses they function and to whom each of them is properly ascribed.

27.—That we shall be free to have schools and seminaries in the Greek and Church—Slavonic languages in the localities where it is most convenient, and that our printing-presses shall be free (of course under the supervision of the Metropolitain and bishops, so that no heresies be propagated and nothing be printed without the knowledge and consent of the Metropolitain and bishops).

28.—Since there have been great abuses and disobedience on the part of some priests in the dominions of the King's Grace as well as in the lands of the lords and magnates, so that these priests have obtained the protection of the landlords and magnates for their abuses, dissolving marriages, so that the wardens and other officials profit to some extent by the fees from these divorces and therefore shield these priests, not permitting the bishops and the synod to summon such wayward clerics, abusing and even beating our visitators, we request that such abuses should cease, and that we would be free to correct the wayward and keep order, and if someone should be excommunicated because of his disobedience or for an abuse, let the government and the lords, once they have been informed by the bishops or the visitator, not permit such excommunicated clergy to perform clerical functions or serve in the churches until they have been absolved by their pastors from their faults. This shall also be understood for archimandrates and hegumenoi and other ecclesiastics who are subject to the bishops and to their authority.

29.—Than the Cathedrals in the main cities and all the parish churches everywhere in the dominions of the King's Grace, of every place and jurisdiction, whether founded by the King, or by the city, or by a local lord, shall be subject to the bishop and under his authority, and that lay people shall not administer them under any pretext, for there are those who meddle against the obedience of the bishop, arranging matters as they wish and who do not want to obey their bishops. Let this not occur in the future.

30.—And if someone has been excommunicated by his bishops for any offense, let him not be received into the Roman Church but, on the contrary, let his excommunication be proclaimed there also. And we shall do the same with regard to those excommunicated from the Roman Church, for this is a joint concern.

31.—And when the Lord God by His will and holy grace shall permit the rest of our brothers of the Eastern Church of the Greek tradition to come to the holy unity with the Western Church, and later in this common union and by the permission of the Universal Church there should be any change in the ceremonies and Typicon of the Greek Church, we shall share all this as people of the same religion.

32.—We have heard that some have departed for Greece to procure ecclesiastical powers and return here to advise and influence the clergy and extend their jurisdiction over us. We, therefore, request the King's Grace to order precautions to be taken on the state borders so that anyone bearing such jurisdictions and excommunications be barred from entering the kingdom. Otherwise, grave misunderstandings could arise between the pastors and the flocks of the Church.

33.—All these things we the undersigned, desiring holy concord for the praise of God's Name and for the peace of the Holy Church of Christ, we have given these articles which we consider necessary for our Church and for which we require agreement in advance and guarantees from the Holy Father the Pope and from the King's Grace, our merciful lord, for greater security, we have committed our Instructions to our Reverend brothers in God, father Hypatius Potij, the Protothrone, Bishop Volodymyr of Brest, and Father Cyril Terletsky, Exarch and Bishop of Lutsk and Ostrih, so that in our name and in their own name they should ask the Most Holy Father the Pope, and also the King's Grace, our merciful lord, to confirm and guarantee beforehand all the articles which we have here given in writing, so that assured as to the faith, the Mysteries, and our ceremonies, we might come to this holy accord with the Roman Church without any violation of our conscience and the flock of Christ committed unto us and likewise that others who are still hesitating, seeing that we retain everything inviolate, might more quickly come after us to this holy union.

Given in the Year of God 1595, the month of June, the first day according to the Old Calendar.

Michael, Metropolitain of Kiev and Halych and all Rus'

Hypatius, Bishop of Volodymyr and Brest

Cyril Terletsky, by the grace of God Exarch and Bishop of Lutsk and

Ostrih Leontius Pelchytsky, by the grace of God Bishop of Pinsk and Turov

[the seals of eight bishops are added, including Gedeon Balaban of L'viv and Dionysius Zbirujski of Kholm.]

Particular Law for the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church in the USA

66 Riverview Avenue • Pittsburgh, PA 15214
(412) 231-4000 + Fax (412) 231-1697

Prot. No. G 67/99 P




The hierarchs of the Byzantine Metropolitan Church sui iuris of Pittsburgh, in tile United States of America, gathered in assembly as the Council of Hierarchs of said Church, in conformity with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, have enacted, in accord with the prescripts of' canon law (CCEO 167), the herewith attached norms as the particular law of this Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh. Copies of the aforesaid norms of particular law were forwarded to the Apostolic Sec of Rome, by the Metropolitan, in accord with the norms of law.


Written notification has been given by the Holy See, acknowledging the reception of norms legislated by the Council of' Hierarchs.


As the Metropolitan in collegial union with my brother bishops, I hereby promulgate The Norms of Particular Law of the Byzantine Metropolitan Church sui iuris of Pittsburgh, U.S.A. Furthermore, these norms shall be effective as of October 1, 1999 at which time they become obligatory and binding throughout this Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh.


Given at Pittsburgh this 29th day of June, in the year of our Lord, 1999, the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.



Most Reverend Judson M. Procyk, D.D.

Metropolitan Archbishop


Most Reverend Andrew Pataki, D.D.

Eparch of Passaic


Most Reverend George M. Kuzma, D.D.

Eparch of Van Nuys


Most Reverend Basil M. Schott, O.F.M., D.D.

Eparch of Parma



Ever mindful of their obligation and responsibility to the Church, in 1995 the Council of Hierarchy of the Byzantine Ruthenian Metropolia In the United States consisting of Metropolitan Archbishop Judson M. Procyk, D.D., Archbishop of Pittsburgh; Bishop Michael J. Dudick, D.D., Bishop of Passaic; Bishop Andrew Pataki, J.C.L., D.D. Bishop of Parma; and Bishop George M. Kuzma, D.D., Bishop of Van Nuys, established the Canonical Commission for the Byzantine Metropolitan Church sui iuris of Pittsburgh. to draft a set of norms for this particular Church sui iuris in conformity with canon 167.§§ 1 & 2.


Each hierarch appointed a canon lawyer from his respective eparchy. The members of this commission are Father Philip Acquaro, C.S.B., J.C.L from the Eparchy of Van Nuys; Very Reverend Robert J. Hospodar, J.C.L., from the Eparchy of Passaic; Father Nicholas R.A. Rachford, J.C.L from the Eparchy of Parma; and the Very Reverend Richard J. Whetstone, J.C.O.L. from the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.


The epochal task of drafting these norms was the first order of business for this canonical commission. Recognizing the importance of this project, the commission labored under the leadership of Bishop Andrew Pataki, episcopal moderator. Each draft of the commission, after careful study by the Council of Hierarchs, was submitted to the Congregation for the Eastern Churches for review. The commission had several exchanges with the competent authority in Rome concerning the text of the norms.


In June 1998, the final draft of the text was submitted to the Congregation in Rome as stipulated by canon law. After its reception in Rome, however, the Congregation asked for a more precise revision of the Norms due to a miscommunication regarding its text.


In December 1998, Bishop Pataki and the commission members traveled to Rome to meet with the Prefect of the Congregation, Achille Cardinal Silvestrini, his staff and canonical consultants. After this meeting, the final text of the Norms emerged.


The Norms were promulgated on June 29, 1999 the Feast of the Holy Preeminent Apostles Peter and Paul, by the Council of Hierarchs of the Metropolia of Pittsburgh. The hierarchs included Archbishop Judson M. Procyk, Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh; Bishop Andrew Pataki, Bishop of Passaic; Bishop George M. Kuzma, Bishop of Van Nuys; and Bishop Basil M. Schott, Bishop of Parma.


The Norms acquire the force of law for the Byzantine Metropolitan Church sui iuris of Pittsburgh on October 1, 1999, the Feast of the Holy Protection of the Most Holy Godbearer.




Byzantine Metropolitan Church Sui Iuris of Pittsburgh


The Byzantine Metropolitan Church Sui Iuris of Pittsburgh is desirous of remaining faithful to the principles of the Union of Uzhorod and feels a particular link with the Churches derived from that event. This Church also wishes to remain faithful to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the canons of the Codex Canonurn Ecclesiarum Orientalium, and other texts of the Holy See concerning this Church. Therefore, its Council of Hierarchs promulgates this mission statement.

Desiring the renewal of the spiritual, liturgical and canonical life of the Metropolia, this Council identifies the following goals:


          1) Education

          2) Worship

          3) Evangelization

          4) Ecumenism

according to the authentic traditions of the Christian East.


The hierarchs of the Metropolia of Pittsburgh, joined in full equality with all of the bishops of the United States, should collaborate to decide matters for the common good of the Churches, unity of action, common endeavors, the good of religion and ecclesiastical discipline.


In carrying out its mission, the Council of Hierarchs shall be ever mindful of its full communion with the Apostolic See of Rome.

Canon numbers are those of the Codex Canonurn Ecclesiarum Orientalium under which the respective norms fall.




Canon 194

§1. The eparchial bishops will confer only Eastern-rite dignities on their clerics, and only for outstanding contribution benefitting the church and its mission.

§2. Such dignities are conferred within a liturgical ceremony and, by the general agreement of the eparchial bishops, their insignia are then used in the territory of the Metropolitan Church.

§3. The dignities to be in use in the Metropolia of Pittsburgh are:

     1o. Mitred Archpriest - for the eparchial clergy;

     2o. Archpriest - for the eparchial clergy or archimandrite for the religious clergy.

§4. The insignia are the following:

     1E. Miter - for archpriests & archimandrites

     2E. Crozier - for archimandrites

     3E. Epigonation - for archpriests, hegoumenoi & archimandrites

     4E. Cross


Canon 198

The eparchial bishop is to celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the people on all Sundays and the days of precept. The days of precept are:


January 6 - Theophany of our Lord

Ascension of Lord

June 29 - Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

August 15 - Dormition of the Mother of God

December 25 - Nativity of our Lord 



Canon 204 §3

On the days of precept, and from the first day of the Great Fast through Bright Monday, the eparchial bishop is not to be absent from the eparchy unless for grave reason.


Canon 238 §1

To the eparchial assembly are to be called, besides those mentioned in canon 238:

1o. A number of deacons, not to exceed one-third of the number of priests, to be elected by the deacons of the eparchy.

2o. The superior of each religious community which has a house in the eparchy.


Canon 242

The eparchial bishop is to communicate the text of the laws, declarations and decrees which have been decided upon at the eparchial assembly to the metropolitan in his capacity as presider of the Council of Hierarchs.


Canon 252 §1

The chancellor, who is to be a presbyter or deacon, has only those obligations defined in the common law.


Canon 266

One-half of the members of the presbyteral council will be elected by the priests themselves. The proto-syncellus and syncelli and vicar judicial serve ex-officio. The remaining may come from the appointment by the eparchial bishop.


Canon 284 §3, 4o

A pastor is not to be assigned for a determined period of time except for the situations mentioned in canon 284 §3, 1o-3o.


Canon 294

The pastor is to celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the people of the parish entrusted to him on all Sundays and days of precept. The days of precept are:


January 6 Theophany of our Lord
  Ascension of our Lord
June 29 Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
August 15 Dormition of the Mother of God
December 25 Nativity of our Lord


Canon 295

It is required that each parish establish the appropriate councils dealing with pastoral and economic matters using the guidelines and operations set forth by the eparchial bishop.


Canon 297 §2

In order to provide for an adequate and dignified means of living the eparchial bishop will provide the retired pastor with 75 percent of the combined salary and subsistence pay of a pastor.




Canon 327

§1. Men who are properly prepared can be ordained to the offices of acolyte, lector cantor and subdeacon, who are minor clerics.

§2. Minor clerics will be governed by proper statute issued by competent authority.


Canon 353

§1. The seminary program of formation is to include at least one year of internship under the direction of a priest who has been trained for this responsibility.

§2. The internship is to take place during the academic year following the third year of seminary studies and prior to diaconal ordination. The internship is to emphasize social and charitable service, catechetical instruction and pastoral ministry.


Canon 365 §2

For the licit transfer of a cleric to an eparchy of another sui iuris church, the consent of the Council of Hierarchs is required.


Canon 377

When common prayer of the Divine Praises is not possible, all clerics should recite the divine praises privately in a manner to be established by the competent authority.


Canon 382

§1. Clerics are to abstain from all those things unbecoming to their state.

§2. Custom and the norms established by the eparchial bishop are to be observed in this regard.


Canon 386 §1

Clerics are not to be absent from their places of assignment for more than 60 days cumulatively per year, exclusive of the weekly day off, legitimate educational programs, conferences and spiritual retreats.


Canon 387

The attire for those in sacred orders is the clerical collar and suit.


Canon 392

§1. Clerics have the right to an annual vacation of 30 days including three Sundays.

§2. Priests must arrange for proper substitution approved by the pastor in the case of a parochial vicar and by the local hierarch in the case of pastors.






Canon 410

The monastic life is held in special esteem. The Council of Hierarchs and each eparchial bishop is to foster the establishment and growth of monasteries, as well as communities of other vowed religious.


Canon 572

§1. Those wishing to establish a society of apostolic life without religious vows but living the common life and pursuing some particular apostolic purpose as a society, as set forth in canon 572, must submit their proposed constitutions to the eparchial bishop, who has the right to approve them.

§2. It is also the fight of the eparchial bishop to see to the canonical establishment of the society.

§3. A society of apostolic life, lawfully established, is a juridic person. The administration of goods is governed according to the common law.

§4. The Apostolic See and the eparchial bishop are competent to suppress a society of apostolic life. Regarding the disposition of goods of societies of apostolic life which cease to exist or are suppressed, the competent authority must be established in the statutes.

§5. The members of a society of apostolic life are subject to the Roman Pontiff as their supreme superior, whom they are obliged to obey also in accord with the virtue of obedience.

§6. A society of apostolic life may establish houses in other eparchies only with the consent of the eparchial bishop of the place in which the house is to be established.

§7. Admission to the society is governed by the constitutions, observing also the prescriptions of canon 450.

§8. Clerics and lay persons, in respect to all canonical effects, remain each in their own state.

§9. Dismissal is governed by the constitutions of the society. However, the decree of dismissal of a fully incorporated member cannot be executed unless it is approved by the eparchial bishop.





Canon 585 §2

§1. There shall be a metropolitan commission on evangelization and missionary activity composed of the directors from each eparchy and chaired by a bishop.

§2. This commission is to prepare suitable guidelines for evangelization and missionary activity.

§3. The commission shall promote suitable evangelization and missionary programs and activities.





Canon 622

There is to be a metropolitan catechetical commission composed of the directors of religious education of each eparchy and chaired by a bishop, as well as a metropolitan catechetical center.


Canon 621 §1

The Catechetical Commission shall prepare and update as needed a catechetical directory which will establish norms on catechetical formation by which the special character of the Eastern Churches is taken into account, so that biblical and liturgical emphasis as well as the traditions of the Byzantine Church in patrology, hagiography and iconography are highlighted in conveying the catechesis.


Canon 621 §3

The Catechetical Commission shall prepare and update as needed catechisms suited to the various groups of faithful, along with corresponding aids and means, and see to it that the different catechetical initiatives are promoted and harmonized among themselves.


Canon 657 §2

The metropolitan Liturgical Commission is to prepare new translations of the liturgical texts, as far as possible consulting with other churches, even non-Catholic ones, which share the Byzantine rite.


Canon 664 §1

§1. There are to be metropolitan censors, under the supervision of one of the eparchial bishops, composed of members, even from other churches, having suitable degrees in the sacred disciplines.

§2. This college is to serve as a resource for the various metropolitan commissions as well as to local hierarchs.


Canon 666 §3

All of the Christian faithful are to observe carefully the prescriptions of the secular law concerning copyright and the rights of authors.






Canon 670 §2

It is for the eparchial bishop to grant the use of a Catholic building, church or cemetery to non-Catholic Christians, especially Eastern Christians, who lack such facilities.


Canon 685 §2

For liceity, a sponsor for baptism must be at least 16 years of age.


Canon 697

§1. Eucharist is to be given at the time of baptism regardless of the age of the one to be baptized.

§2. Baptism/Chrismation is most suitably administered during the Divine Liturgy; however, if it is administered outside the Divine Liturgy, the precious blood is to be reserved from the Liturgy of that day, to be used to communicate the newly-baptized.

§3. If it is absolutely not possible for the newly-baptized to receive the Divine Eucharist at the time of baptism, he is to receive it the next time he is present at the Divine Liturgy.


Canon 710

§1. An infant receives only the precious blood until he is able to take solid food.

§2. When administering the precious blood, it is to be given with the communion spoon.


Canon 707 §l

§1. Bread for the Eucharist is to be made of wheaten flour, water and yeast only. According to liturgical prescription the prosphora bears the seal (IC XC NI KA).

§2. The Eucharistic fast shall be from solids one hour before the reception of the Divine Eucharist. Medications and water may be taken anytime.

§3. The vestments for the Eucharist are according to the Ruthenian recension and are to be put on in the order of the vesting prayers. The sticharion can be of any liturgical color.

§4. The Divine Liturgy may be celebrated at any suitable time, although the morning hours are preferred. Rather than the Divine Liturgy, the Office of the Presanctified Gifts, preferably celebrated in the evening, is prescribed for the ordinary weekdays of the Great Fast.

§5. The Divine Liturgy should normally be celebrated in a properly constructed church. The altar where the Liturgy is to be celebrated should have its own iconostas. In a case of true necessity, the Divine Liturgy can be celebrated outside a church building.

§6. The metropolitan Liturgical Commission is to prepare a standard text of usage for the Divine Liturgy. This is to be adapted to modern times, legitimate organic development of the Liturgy.

§7. Only a bishop, presbyter or deacon may preach the homily.

§8. Women are prohibited from serving at the altar.


Canon 709 §2

§l. In cases of true necessity, deacons may distribute the Divine Eucharist.

§2. In the same cases, even minor clerics and members of the laity can be designated to distribute the Divine Eucharist.

     1o. A parish may have one person designated for this purpose plus another for each 75 communicants at the Liturgy.

     2o. The metropolitan Liturgical Commission is to prepare a program of training that includes theological and spiritual formation, the selection process for candidates and a practicum.

     3o. Those persons may take communion to those who, by reason of illness, infirmity or age, cannot attend the Divine Liturgy regularly.

     4o. If any priest or deacon is present at the Liturgy, in any capacity whatever, he is to make himself known to the principal celebrant and shall distribute the divine Eucharist, vested insofar as possible, and taking precedence over any minor cleric or lay person present.


Canon 758 §3

§1. Married men, after completion of the formation prescribed by law, can be admitted to the order of deacon

§2. Concerning the admission of married men to the order of the presbyterate, the special norms issued by the Apostolic See are to be observed, unless dispensations are granted by the same See in individual cases.


Canon 771 §1

§1. The name of each candidate for sacred ordination is to be announced publicly on at least three consecutive Sundays or days of precept prior to ordination.

§2. The publication should include an admonition to the Christian faithful that they make known to the competent authority any impediments or other reasons why the candidate is not fit tot sacred ordination.


Canon 782 §1

When a couple requests the service of solemn betrothal, it is to be done according to the prescriptions of the liturgical book.


Canon 784

§1. Besides the usual questioning concerning impediments, couples preparing for marriage should be given a psychological profile designed to evaluate their relationship in terms of suitability for marriage in the Catholic Church.

§2. The eparchial bishop is to determine which profile is to be used in his eparchy.

§3. The publication of banns is not required.


Canon 800 §2

For the licit celebration of a marriage, a person must be at least the minimum age required by the secular law of the place where the marriage is to be celebrated.


Canon 815

§1. In a mixed religion marriage, or when one of the parties is non-baptized, the pre-nuptial promises to raise the children Catholic and for the Catholic party to continue in the practice of the faith are to be made in the presence of the other party to the marriage and of the priest, who signs along with the one promising. They may also be made orally, but the priest must still sign as a witness.


Canon 838 §2

§1. It is recommended that marriages not take place during the Great Fast nor during the Great and Holy Week.


Canon 880 §2

§1. The special penitential seasons are:

     1o. The Great Fast

     2o. The Peter and Paul Fast 

     3o. The Dormition Fast [August 1-14]

     4o. The Philip Fast [November 15-December 24]

§2. Strict abstinence is to be observed on the first day of the Great Fast and on Great Friday. Simple abstinence is to be observed on Wednesdays and Fridays of the Great Fast.

§3. Simple abstinence or an equivalent penance is to be observed on all Fridays throughout the year.





Canon 904

§l. There is to be a metropolitan commission for ecumenism consisting of representatives of each eparchy and chaired by one of the bishops.

§2. This commission has for its purpose the objectives set forth in the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, 25.3.93)

§3. Individual eparchial bishops are to establish within their own eparchies an officer for ecumenical affairs, guided by the objectives in Art. 44 of the Directory, who will work in close collaboration with other particular churches in their eparchy so as to give witness to Catholic communion.

§4. The metropolitan seminary is to foster ecumenical formation among its seminarians.


Canon 908

When joining with non-Catholics for prayer services of any kind, priests who have defected from the Catholic Church and are canonically irregular cannot perform any priestly functions in a Catholic Church.





Canon 937 §2

§1. Only the eparchial bishop can lawfully establish an ecclesiastical office in his eparchy.

§2. Lay persons who are appointed to an ecclesiastical office are not to be termed ministers. Rather, they exercise the lay apostolate.





The finance officers of each eparchy are to consult with each other to draw up a list of taxes to be proposed to the eparchial bishops for various acts of the power of governance, and of the offerings made on the occasion of the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, of the sacraments, of the sacramentals and of the other liturgical celebrations, They are to review this list annually and make suitable proposals for adjustments.


Canon 1016 §1

In regard to offerings made by the Christian faithful for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy:

     1o. The eparchial bishop can accept stipends, or designate another to accept stipends, to be  persolved in the parishes or by the priests of his own eparchy.

     2o. The pastor of a parish can accept stipends or designate another to accept stipends, to be persolved in his own parish.

     3o. An individual priest can accept stipends thereby obliging himself to persolve those stipends.


The Melkite Initiative with the Antiochian Orthodox Church


From a Melkite Greek Catholic press release (September 1996):

"The holy Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church met in Rabweh, Lebanon, July 22-27, 1996 and, after studying the question of unity within the Patriarchate of Antioch, declared that communicatio in sacris = worship in common is possible today and that the ways and means of its application would be left to the joint decisions of the two Antiochian Church Synods - Melkite Greek Catholic and Greek Orthodox. The Synod of thirty-four bishops and four general superiors under the presidency of Patriarch Maximos V (Hakim) deliberated extensively on the topic of church unity particularly within the Antiochian Patriarchate which has been divided since 1724, and issued a document titled, Reunification of the Antiochian Patriarchate. This document is part of the official minutes of the Synod and was made public on August 15, 1996 in the Middle East....

"The Melkite Synod sees that the church of the first millennium could be the model for unity today. The Synod strongly affirms its full communion with the Apostolic See of Rome and that this communion would not be ruptured. The Fathers offered their thanks to the International Theological Commission as well as the Joint Synodal Commissions recently reestablished by Patriarch Maximos V and Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV."

Key to this initiative was the profession of faith made by the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Elias Zogby:

"They offer special thanks to Archbishop Elias Zoghby whose 1995 Profession of Faith was the major force for reopening dialogue with the Orthodox brothers. Zoghby, the former archbishop of Baalbek and a long-time leader among the Melkite bishops, offered this brief statement in 1995 and it was subscribed to by 24 of the 26 bishops present at the 1995 Holy Synod:

1. I believe everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches.
2. I am in communion with the Bishop of Rome as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation."

In October, 1996 the Holy Synod of the Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchate issued a statement which included these concerns on the Melkite proposal:

"In this regard, our Church questions the unity of faith which the Melkite Catholics think has become possible. Our Church believes that the discussion of this unity with Rome is still in its primitive stage.  The first step toward unity on the doctrinal level, is not to consider as ecumenical, the Western local councils which the Church of Rome, convened, separately, including the First Vatican Council.

"And second the Melkite Catholics should not be obligated to accept such councils.  Regarding inter-communion now, our Synod believes that inter-communion cannot be separated from the unity of faith.  Moreover, inter-communion is the last step in the quest for unity and not the first."

In a letter to the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, Metropolitan Philip also said:

"Please be advised that, while we pray for unity among all Christians, we cannot and will not enter into communion with non-Orthodox until we first achieve the unity of faith.  As long as this unity of faith is not realized, there cannot be intercommunion.  We ask you to adhere to the instructions which you receive from our office and hierarchs."

Next is the text of the letter with Rome's commentary on the Melkite Initiative. It has been translated from the French by Ken Guindon. It was reviewed by His Grace Bishop Nicholas Samra (who made a few corrections) and permission was given to publish this in English:

Congregation for the Eastern Churches
Prot. No. 251/75
June 11, 1997

His Beatitude
Maximos V HAKIM
Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and of all the East,
of Alexandria and of Jerusalem.

Your Beatitude,

The news of the project for "rapprochement" between the Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarchate and the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch has given rise to various echoes and comments in the public opinion.

The Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity have made an effort to study and closely examine the areas which fall within their competence in this domain; and the heads of these Dicasteries have been charged by the Holy Father to express some considerations to Your Beatitude.

The Holy See is greatly interested in and encourages initiatives which favor the road to a complete reconciliation of the Christian Churches. She appreciates the motivation behind the efforts undertaken for several decades by the Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarchate, which is trying to hasten the coming of this full communion so greatly desired. The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches recognizes the duty for every Christian (Can. 902), which becomes for the Eastern Catholic Churches a special duty (munus) (Can. 903), whose exercise will be governed "through special norms of particular law while the Roman Apostolic Church functions as the moderator for the universal church" (Can. 904).

This is all the more true for two communities which see themselves as being closely united because of the ties of common origin and common ecclesiastical tradition, as well as by a long experience of common initiatives which no doubt place them into a privileged situation of proximity.

The Church's desire is to find adequate ways and means to progress further along the road of brotherly understanding and, to encourage new structures which further such progress towards full communion.

Pursuing such goals, Your Patriarchate is motivated by a sensibility and a knowledge of the situation and an experience which are peculiarly its own. The Holy See desires to contribute to this process by expressing some considerations which she believes will eventually help the future progress of this initiative.

The Dicasteries involved appreciate very much that common pastoral initiatives are undertaken by Catholics and Orthodox, according to the instructions found in the Directory for the application of the principles and norms for Ecumenism, especially in the areas of Christian formation, of education, a common effort in charity, and for the sharing of prayer when this is possible.

As to experiences of a theological nature, it is necessary to labor patiently and prudently, without precipitation, in order to help both parties to travel along the same road.

The first level in this sharing concerns the language and the categories employed in the dialogue: one must be very careful that the use of the same word or the same concept is not used to express different points of view and interpretations of a historical and doctrinal nature, nor lends itself to some kind of oversimplification.

A second level of involvement necessitates that the sharing of the content of the dialogue not be limited only to the two direct participants: the Patriarchates of the Catholic Greek-Melkites and the Orthodox of Antioch, but that it involve the Confessions with whom the two Patriarchates are in full communion: the Catholic communion for the former and the Orthodox for the latter. Even the Orthodox ecclesiastical authorities of the Patriarchate of Antioch have brought forth a similar preoccupation. This global implication also will permit averting the risk that some initiatives, meant to promote the full communion at the local level, might give rise to a lack of understanding or suspicions beyond the generosity of the intentions.

Now we consider the elements contained in the profession of faith of his Excellency Kyr Elias Zoghby, Greek-Melkite Catholic Archbishop emeritus of Baalbek, signed in February 1995, and to which numerous hierarchs of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Synod have adhered.

It is clear that this Patriarchate is an integral part of the Christian East whose patrimony it shares. As to the Greek-Melkite Catholics declaring their complete adhesion to the teaching of Eastern Orthodoxy, it is necessary to take into account the fact that the Orthodox Churches today are not in full communion with the Church of Rome, and that this adhesion is therefore not possible as long as there is not a full correspondence in the profession and exercise of the faith by the two parties. Besides, a correct formulation of the faith necessitates a reference not only to a particular Church, but to the whole Church of Christ, which knows no frontiers, neither in space nor in time.

On the question of communion with the Bishops of Rome, we know that the doctrine concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff has experienced a development over time within the framework of the explanation of the Church's faith, and it has to be retained in its entirety, which means from its origins to our day. One only has to think about what the first Vatican Council affirmed and what Vatican Council II declared, particularly in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium Num. 22 and 23, and in the Decree on ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio Number 2.

As to the modalities for exercising the Petrine ministry in our time, a question which is distinct from the doctrinal aspect, it is true that the Holy Father has recently desired to remind us how "we may seek--together, of course--the forms in which this ministry may accomplish a service of love recognized by all concerned" (Ut unum sint, 95); however, if it is legitimate to also deal with this on a local level, it is also a duty to do this always in harmony with a vision of the universal Church. Touching this matter, it is appropriate to be reminded that in any case, "The Catholic Church, both in her praxis and in her solemn documents, holds that the communion of the particular Churches with the Church of Rome, and of their Bishops with the Bishop of Rome, is--in God's plan--an essential requisite of full and visible communion" (Ut unum sint, 97).

As to the various aspects of communicatio in sacris, it is necessary to maintain a constant dialogue in order to understand the meaning of the current regulation in force, in the light of underlying theological presuppositions; premature, unilateral initiatives are to be avoided, where the eventual results may not have been sufficiently considered, they could produce serious consequences for other Eastern Catholics, especially for those living in the same region.

In summary, the fraternal dialogue undertaken by the Greek-Melkite Catholic Partriarchate will be better able to serve the ecumenical dialogue to the degree that it strives to involve the entire Catholic Church to which it belongs in the maturing of new sensitivities. There is good reason to believe that the Orthodox in general so share the same worry, due also to the obligations of communion within their own body.

The Dicasteries involved are ready to collaborate in order to further the exchange of verifications and echoes; they express their satisfaction for these meetings which have been held on this subject with the representatives of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church, and they hope and wish that these meetings continue and intensify in the future.

Not doubting at all that Your Beatitude would want to share these ideas, we beg you to accept the expression of our fraternal and cordial greetings.

Joseph Card. Ratzinger,  Achille Card. Silvestrini,  Edward Card. Cassidy
For more information about this topic please contact the Melkite Church in America

Copyright © 1998 - Last modified 1/18/98 16:30

Union of Uzhorod

By the grace of Christ, elected most holy Father and universal Patriarch.

We priests of the holy Greek rite, inhabitants of the noble and apostolic kingdom of Hungary, situated through the Districts specified with our signature, realizing that the sacrament of the king is to be hidden, but that the works of God are to be revealed and to be shown to all peoples more clearly than the sun, seeing that they are such that through them the ineffable goodness and clemency of our most merciful God towards rational creatures is wont to be made manifest. According to this principle and this angelic rule we declare to Your Holiness, we preach and we lift up to the heavens with titles of most devout praise before the whole world. What is that [that we declare]? The grace of our God and Savior freely poured out among us, by which working in us and foretelling most lovingly the salvation of our souls, we, having abandoned and driven from our hearts the Greek schism, are restored and affianced again to the Immaculate Virgin Spouse of the Only-begotten Son of God, that is the holy Roman Church, hitherto abominated by us and held in hatred without any cause. This same return of ours, indeed, was accomplished in the year of salvation one thousand six hundred and forty-six, on the twenty-fourth day of April, while Ferdinand III the most sacred Emperor of the Romans was ruling, in the Latin castle-church of Uzhorod situated on the estate of the most illustrious Count George of Humenne, in this fashion:

The bishop of Munkach, Basil Tarasovic, who has already departed this life, when following the party that was both schismatical as well as heretical, he had broken the bond of holy Union, publicly abandoned the Catholic Church. The venerable father in Christ, George Jakusic, bishop of Eger, now resting in Christ, considering this, having with him the Reverend Basilian fathers summoned for this purpose, Father Peter Parthenius, who today is our bishop, and father Gabriel Kosovicky, most courteously invited us by letter to Uzhorod, and after seasonable discourse from the aforesaid Fathers about holy Union, he accomplished, with the Holy Spirit disposing us for it, what he purposed, and appointed the day dedicated to St. George the Martyr for making the profession of faith.

On that day we sixty-three priests came together and followed the aforementioned most Reverend Bishop of Eger to the church named above. So after the enactment of the mystery of the bloodless sacrifice performed in our Ruthenian tongue, and after sacramental expiation of their sins by some of the priests, we pronounced the profession of faith in an audible voice according to the prescribed formula, namely:

We believe all and everything that our Holy Mother the Roman Church bids us believe. We acknowledge that the most holy Father Innocent X is the universal Pastor of the Church of Christ and our Pastor, and we with our successor’s desire and wish to depend on him in everything; with, however, the addition of these conditions:

First: That it be permitted to us to retain the rite of the Greek Church;
Second: To have a bishop elected by ourselves and confirmed by the Apostolic See;
Third: To have free enjoyment of ecclesiastical immunities.

To these the most Reverend bishop acceded without difficulty. The whole of this, too, the most Illustrious Benedict Kisdi, Bishop of Eger, with his Vicar General, and the Reverend Father Thomas Jaszbereny, religious of the Society of Jesus, being present ratified in the year one thousand six hundred and forty-eight. This business of ours received very great support from the paternal solicitude both of the Most Illustrious and Most Reverend Primate of Hungary George Lippay, Archbishop of Esztergom, twice invoked by us through a mission undertaken by the aforesaid Reverend Basilian Fathers, and of the Most Reverend Bishop of Vacz, Matthias Tarnoczy also, to both of whom we are for ever obliged.

Bringing these events before the notice of Your Holiness we unanimously and humbly beg Your paternal benediction, the advance of our cause and the confirmation of the Most Reverend father Peter Parthenius elected by us as bishop.

In Uzhorod, in the year one thousand six hundred and fifty-two, the fifteenth day of January.

The most humble servants of Your Holiness, priest of the Greek rite,

Alexius Ladomersky, archdeacon of Makovica
Stephen Andrejov, archdeacon of Spis
Gregory Hostovicky, archdeacon of Humenne
Stephen, archdeacon of Seredne
Daniel Ivanovic, archdeacon of Uz
Alexius Filipovic, archdeacon of Stropkov

From The Union of Uzhorod by Michael Lacko, SJ Published by the Slovak Institute, Cleveland-Rome, 1976, Pages 107-109

Teachings of Christ

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7,8 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our distresses are notorious, even though we leave them untold, for now their sound has gone out into all the world. The doctrines of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set at nought; the devices of innovators are in vogue in the Churches; now men are rather contrivers of cunning systems than theologians; the wisdom of this world wins the highest prizes and has rejected the glory of the cross. Shepherds are banished, and in their places are introduced grievous wolves hurrying the flock of Christ. Houses of prayer have none to assemble in them; desert places are full of lamenting crowds. The elders lament when they compare the present with the past. The younger are yet more to be compassionated, for they do not know of what they have been deprived. All this is enough to stir the pity of men who have learnt the love of Christ; but, compared with the actual state of things, words fall very far short....

Saint Basil the Great
(Letter 90)