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Quote
Originally posted by OrthoMan:


How many novels do you read where you only read the last chapter (1946) to analyze the situation. To get the full story you have to start from page one chapter one (1596). When to remain Orthodox were declared an act of treason -

{The council met in the city of Brest on October 6, 1596. In order to prevent a parallel Orthodox council in any of the numerious Orthodox churches in the city, THE METROPOLITAN OF KIEV SEALED ALL ORTHODOX CHURCHES ON THE DAY BEFORE THE COUNCIL WAS TO BEGIN, EXCEPT FOR THE CATHEDRAL WHERE THE COUNCIL WAS TO TAKE PLACE. The Orthodox, nevertheless, converged on Brest as well, with Prince Ostrozhskii and his private army at the head. Failing to find an open church, and after waiting in vain for an invitation from the Uniates, they accepted an offer of a Protestant church school hall for a separate Orthodox Council. The Uniate Council passed a resolution excommunicating all the Orthodox clergy and laity participating in the Orthodox Council. The Orthodox in turn suspended all the clergy and lay participants in the Uniate Council and addressed a petition to the King, asking him to deprive "the traitors" of their dioceses and parishes. But the King decided otherwise: his edict of October 15 legalized only those Byzantine-rite Christians who joined the Unia; IT DECREED THE ORTHODOX CHURCH NULL AND VOID AND ALL IT'S CLERGY EXCOMMUNCATED; WHILE CONTINUING MEMBERSHIP IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH WAS DECLARED TO BE AN ACT OF TREASON AGAINST THE STATE.}

Sound familiar? First and last chapters of the novel are almost parallel. As they say what goes around comes around. And history repeats itself.
Why is chapter one to be over looked and just the last chapter important?

OrthoMan

OrthoMan-

Can you cite this reference? Who wrote it? One thing you overlook is that the majority of the rightfully ordained Bishops of the Orthodox Church of Kyiv willingly, and without overbearing military force compelling them, decided to freely enter into union with Rome. Which Bishops were present at the paralell Orthodox council in Brest? In which coucnil was the majority of the properlly vested authority present? Where was the Kyivan Metropolitan himself? In the Orthodox coucnil, or the council in support of unity with Rome? You know what the answers are.

Furthermore, Prince Ostrozhskii was not opposed to union with Rome, rather he wanted a full an complete union between Constantinople and Rome, not just Kyiv and Rome. Because his concept was not the one in favor, he acted in what one could not call otherwise sheer vanity and assembled his army and anyone who sided with him to rally in Brest. Who has the moral authority in a church, the bishops, or the lay member with an army?

The majority of the rightfully ordained bishops voted in favor of the unia and that is a stark contrast to the synod of 1946 wherein Soviet troops held guns to the heads of preists, not bishops, to sign a false declaration rescinding the Union of Brest.

The agitation of the split and polemics between Orthodox and Greek Catholics after Brest was fueled by Constantinople and later Muscovy trying to derail the union. But at the time of the Union the church that entered into this union was the Ruthenian Orthodox Church of Kyiv. There is no better or more proper name for this church at this point in secular history. Perhaps the union would have been more successful without the interference of outside political forces seeking to divide the Ruthenian nation? But alas, history shows us that the Orthodox outside of Rus' were successful in their efforts. For modern day Ukraine is still split along this single decision of the Kyivan Chruch in 1596.

The wrong actions of one secular government in 1596 does not justify, or sanction similiar improper actions of another secular state in 1946. Both actions were equally wrong. But it still does not hide the fact that the Church known today as the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Greek Catholic Church of Transcarpathia have a legitimate rite to exist and are valid churches.

Alex, I agree that St. Sophia's is an Orthodox shrine as well as a national shrine of Ukraine. But it is also a Greek Catholic church by the very nature of the fact that the Kyivan metropolitan signed into union with Rome and this Church of Kyiv, of which St. Sophia was the cathedral, is now known today as the Ukrainian Greek Catolic Church. My official position is that it should be a shared church, for it now has two masters (the Orthodox who opposed the union, and the Orthodox who supported the union).

Now what about Jesus folks?

Glory to Jesus Christ!
ALity :p

[ 05-14-2002: Message edited by: ALity ]

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OrthoMan-

By the way, I never read the last chapter of a book first. :p

ALity

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Dear Orthoman,

It simply wasn't my intention to say anything more than what I did about Orthodoxy in L'viv in response to that point.

I agree with you about Eastern Ukraine, although the "Kyivan Churches" including both Orthodox and Catholic Ukrainians are cooperating with each other in a way they are not with the Russians.

As for the book reading business, I just wanted to let you know that I've read a few in my life-time smile . The six professors on my doctoral examining committee absolutely insisted on it.

That you may feel I add a subjective interpretation to what I read and know, well, there is no person alive who doesn't, yourself included.

The notion that one can simply point to a body of facts and say, "See, I told you so" is sheer nonsense. Everything is interpretation and we believe what we want to believe, "facts" notwithstanding.

Sorry, but the idea that one's religious affiliation somehow crosses out one's national or cultural affiliation is a quaint North American idea. It doesn't exist anywhere else in the world.

And as for the Union of Brest, there have been many things that have impacted the Eastern Catholic Church that developed from that.

One cannot take the documents and words of the papers signed then out of the context of the 400 years since the Union was signed.

Do you deny any good that came from the Union of Brest?

If I were a secularist and you answered in the affirmative, I as a disinterested bystander would simply respond by saying you are being ideological.

Frankly, I'm getting tired about these kind of religious attacks at one another's Churches that serve no purpose other than to deepen hostilities and suspicions.

I don't think I, or anyone who is a Byzantine Catholic, should have to come here to justify their background which is more than the sum total of the documents signed at Brest-Litovsk.

Why don't you try saying something positive about it for a change?

There was one Russian holy man who said there was really only one difference between us: a letter - KaTolyky (us) and KaFolyky (Orthodox).

Have a great day!

Alex

[ 05-15-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]

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It seems that even though we had agreed that we had gotten away from the original subject matter of this folder, and further agreed to either open up a new thread or cease posting here, we are all alike in one respect. We all have to get in the last word. So, I will give you honest answers to two questions you asked me in your most recent post. You are probably not going to like them but good, bad, right, wrong they are my honest opinion. So here goes.

[Do you deny any good that came from the Union of Brest? ]

You are right I do not see any good that came from the Union. Because of the reasons and the way it came about, it did nothing but increase the hostility, hatred, and distrust between the RCC and the OCC. Excuse me for my complete honesty here but I look at the result of that union 400+ later and all I see is people who seem to have an identity crisis. People who do not want to be full fledged Roman Catholics but don't want to be full fledged Orthodox Catholics either. People who seem to change their religious identity every twenty or so years. In just my life time its gone from Greek Catholic to either Byzantine Catholic or Ukrainian Catholic (based on ethnic identity) to 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome'.
I read the 33 articles of the Union and to me, its pretty plain on why, and under what conditions, the union was signed. What other reasons can you interpret guarantees requested before the union could be signed such as -

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.

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.


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).

Can you imagine what life must have been for our ancestors as Orthodox Catholics if these articles had to be guaranteed before union with the RCC could become a reality?
Even the Bishops themselves give a clue as to WHY the Union was being made when they write -

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.

You don't have to be either a theologian or a historian to interpret the articles I have listed.

[Why don't you try saying something positive about it for a change?]

Because, in all honesty I have nothing positive to say about it. I have seen the results of that union. I have seen how your ancestors were treated by the RCC after the union. And I see how you are still being treated today and I just shake my head in bewilderment on WHY you stay.

I read in here your posts complaining about having to get permission from Rome regarding the election of Hierachs, married clergy, consecration of Bishops, etc. and then in the next sentence proclaim that you are a sui juris church 'in communion with' rather than 'under the authority of' Rome. And just shake my head because its all so illogical to me.

I think its time I just go into a lurk mode because I really don't like the way this thread has gone and how my honesty has gotten me in hot water with you all.

Because, in spite of everything, I do recognize you as 'separated' brothers and sisters and love and respect each of you individually as such. I don't know how to explain it other than its like having a sister you care about who is separated from you and in what you preceive as a bad marriage. You see how she has been been looked down upon in the past. And you stand by and see her complain about her current treatment while she does nothing to about it. Instead she says things like well he promised that things will get better (but they never do). Kind of like the 'battered wifes syndrome.'

Once again, forgive me for my total honesty regarding my feelings and opinions. It has gotten me into trouble before and it will do so again. But its the way I am.

OrthoMan

[ 05-15-2002: Message edited by: OrthoMan ]

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Dear Orthoman,

This whole topic is a can of worms, to be sure.

I don't, and can't, disagree with your assessment of the negative impact of the Unia.

Being Eastern Catholic today means to be in a state of tension via Rome.

It means worrying about your future married priests, getting upset when bishops are chosen and have pallia wrapped around them at their consecrations, and just when you think you've got all the liturgical Latinisms covered off, someone comes up with a new one nobody has ever seen before!

It's a constant struggle and perhaps the question we Byzantine Catholics should ask ourselves is why we put up with it? Certainly thousands of our ancestors didn't and returned to Orthodoxy.

For me, this decision isn't totally mine to make. I am imbedded in a family, a parish and a community.

Ultimately, Byzantine Catholics belong with their respective Orthodox Churches. Ultimately, the Unia, as the RC theologians have said as well, was a bad historical mistake.

But out of that mistake came a living community that suffered for its identity and faith and continues to progress in its life in Christ.

No one is saying that is the ideal situation, because it isn't.

We are two communities who are ultimately destined to become one - in God's good time, not ours.

When I said these exact same words to a ROCOR priest, he hugged and kissed me.

I was going to try this out on an OCA priest I met, but then gave up the idea when I heard his British accent . . . smile .

You are in trouble with no one - can't we rip each other apart once in awhile? What kind of Slavs are we if we can't? smile

I hope that you aren't starting to feel North American assimilationist pressures and are wimping out as a consequence smile

Alex

[ 05-15-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]

[ 05-15-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]

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Alex:

Thanks for your honest reply. You made my day. Can't stand to have people mad at me or p----- off at me!

OrthoMan
(Your Orthodox brother)

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Dear Bob,

Remember - You da Ortoman!!

In addition, I think one of my Ukie confreres made a slightly disparaging remark about the OCA being a former Russian jurisdiction etc.

As you know, and as I know, the OCA has many Ukrainians within its fold. I have an article by one of them who wrote about how the OCA is wonderfully accommodating to Ukrainian identity and culture.

I've been to a number of OCA parishes in the U.S. and am always impressed by the way your Church is both so welcoming and open to others.

As a matter of fact, the last time I was at St Demetrios' parish in Naples, Florida, the Presbytera thought I was a new parishioner and asked me to help with some of the furniture moving - which I did, no problem!

Alex

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Kristos Voskrese,

Actually, I disagree with both of you. I don't see the Unia as a bad thing. The way we "uniates" practice the faith is fine even with the dreaded Latinizations as they are. So we don't dress like the Orthodox, we dress like Eastern Catholics. With all due respect, OrthoMan, you don't understand it because you are not in it. HAving been Greek Orthodox for only a few years, I don't pretend in any way to understand your internal problems as well.

As I have stated before, the jurisdictional problems of the Orthodox should not apply to Catholics of any church. I feel that we Byzantines almost want to have these issues to make us appear more Orthodox. The treatment of our Roman big brothers has been no less brutal to us than that among the Orthodox with themselves.

I feel we should be careful criticizing the Unia. Dispite its problems, it is why many us are Catholic today despite old world sentiment. Our practices have developed the way they have for reasons good and bad. Although we are trying to change them back to original, I don't feel we whould label them as inapropriate in any way. After all, who are we to go to for a model? Many of the practices of our Orthodox brothers appear to be more ethnically motivated than necessarily pure "Orthodox".

At any rate, I feel we should focuss on building our own praxis that is appropriate to us. To me, this means finding the Faith as practiced by the Rusyn people at the time of the Unia. Of course, this might even mean starting to use an Old Believers' typicon!? Just my thoughts, no offense is meant..

Dmitri


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Dear Dmitri,

You are right, no disagreement here.

Certainly, with the Unia, a new spiritual culture was started with us Eastern Catholics, although ideally our liturgical practice should be identical to that of the Orthodox.

But what Orthoman said isn't what I haven't heard from many Eastern CAtholics over the years as well.

So many great minds saying similar things MUST be right about at least a few of them. smile

Alex

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My dear Alex,

But I still disagree, our practice should not reflect that of modern Orthodox as that is not our heritage. Our heritage is the Orthodoxy of the late middle-ages. Add to that, the parxis as developed by us over time to present. That is who I feel we are. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with the modern Orthodox praxis, but it is not ours. Some might argue that it never was.

Dmitri

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From the perspective of being a cradle Greek Catholic amongst those tend to favor the more Orthodox in our churches political spectrum, I can identify with the "battered wife syndrome".
The Union of Brest was a last ditch effort by the hierarchs Orthodox Church of Kyiv and the Ruthenian nation to preserve their faith and culture in the heart of a major European power that was undergoing huge religious changes, independent of the Kyivan Church.

Sometimes, I think that it would just be easier and better to just bail out to the OCA like so many of the faithful of my church in years past. I believe, like others loyal to the unia, that for good, or bad this is our church. And after all the great suffering we have endured from the Roman Catholic Church and, more recently, at the hands of the Russian Orthodox Church under Soviet persecution, to just walk out now is unimaginable, at least for me.

I doubt whether some Orthodox churches would welcome us back without trying to purge us first of all our infirmities.

ORTHOMAN- I don't feel any personal anger towards you. I, like yourself, am very opinionated and passionate over certain issues.

I try to be civil when I write. wink

Glory to Jesus Christ!
ALity

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Dear Dmitri,

You raise a fascinating subject!

In fact, the liturgical Orthodox tradition of that period of the so-called "Kyivan Baroque" was common to both Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches as a (much) Latinized model.

I've thought about this for a while, and if I were to do a theological thesis in lieu of priesthood training or some such other thing that is the result of my active wishful thinking, I would do it on this subject.

My own view on this is that it is precisely because the Ukrainian Orthodox church was so Latinized (not only because of returning Eastern Catholics, but also because of influence from Orthodox students studying in Catholic centres such as Paris) that allowed periodic returns to Orthodoxy of EC's.

Ironically, what the EC founders of the Unia wanted to achieve in terms of distinctiveness from Russia and Poland, the Orthodox Church there had already achieved, and this without union with Rome.

I hear my wife calling me to get back to work. How's everything in the Pelican State?

Alex

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