“That all the Orthodox Christians of Ukraine may live in peace and harmony, and that the Catholic communities in the country may contribute to this, in such a way that our Christian brotherhood may become increasingly evident”

643595_papa-francisco-patriarca-kiril-firman-acuerdo

Recently in Cuba, in the presence of the tyrant Raúl Castro, a joint declaration was signed by Bergoglio and Kirill, Patriarch schismatic Russian church, and ex- KGB agent (see article). The declaration proposes that Catholics and schismatics work together…under which shepherd? It is not clear whether they would join forces under the command of Christ or under that of wolves in Shepherds clothes… In the former case, that of being with Christ, there should have been mention of the schismatics’ need to reconcile with Rome, but we already know that Francis is not overly worried about that.

For centuries, a good part of the Ukrainians have understood exactly what Francis seems to have forgotten. And they fought and suffered to keep united to the Only Shepherd and remain within the flock of the Holy Church despite many persecutions. The Ukrainians are a people who have shed their blood for their faith, been tortured for their fidelity, and persecuted for following Christ. They deserve, then, the admiration of the Catholic world, and above all, need the support of the Vicar of He for whom they have given their lives…

400 years ago, Ukrainians who had been forced to join the schism, reconciled with Rome through the famous “Union of Brest”. The Ukrainian Bishops saw the Union as the first step toward the return of the entire Greek-schismatic church, which would put an end to the division that had started in 1054. But specific groups were violently opposed to this excellent plan: the Protestants, Muslims, and schismatic Russians. The Patriarchs of Moscow, and later, the communists (with the support and total complicity of the erroneously self-proclaimed ‘orthodox’ Church), sought to eliminate the Catholic Church from their territory.

1021591

The Denzinger-Bergoglio would like to present the historical facts of the past, both remote and recent. And we want to tell our Ukrainian brethren that their blood was not shed in vain, and that it is cherished by true Catholics, including the Denzinger-Bergoglio and collaborators. The fidelity of the Ukrainians serves as a model and stimulus for Catholics throughout the entire world.

Some final questions must also be resolved. Why is Bergoglio a friend of Kirill? What kind of ecumenism does Bergoglio wish to establish with him? Who benefits from it?

Francis

2016-02-12-Elia

Notwithstanding this shared Tradition of the first ten centuries, for nearly one thousand years Catholics and Orthodox have been deprived of communion in the Eucharist. We have been divided by wounds caused by old and recent conflicts, by differences inherited from our ancestors, in the understanding and expression of our faith in God, one in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are pained by the loss of unity, the outcome of human weakness and of sin, which has occurred despite the priestly prayer of Christ the Saviour: “So that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you … so that they may be one, as we are one” (Jn 17:21). […]
It is our hope that our meeting may also contribute to reconciliation wherever tensions exist between Greek Catholics and Orthodox. It is today clear that the past method of “uniatism”, understood as the union of one community to the other, separating it from its Church, is not the way to re–establish unity. Nonetheless, the ecclesial communities which emerged in these historical circumstances have the right to exist and to undertake all that is necessary to meet the spiritual needs of their faithful, while seeking to live in peace with their neighbours. Orthodox and Greek Catholics are in need of reconciliation and of mutually acceptable forms of co–existence.
[…]
It is our hope that the schism between the Orthodox faithful in Ukraine may be overcome through existing canonical norms, that all the Orthodox Christians of Ukraine may live in peace and harmony, and that the Catholic communities in the country may contribute to this, in such a way that our Christian brotherhood may become increasingly evident. (Joint declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, February 12, 2016)

Teachings of the Magisterium

Table of contents

I – A separation originating from a grave theological question and insubordination to Rome
II – Historic facts of attempts toward union by the Church
III – History of the Church in Ukraine

1 – The heart of the Ukrainian people always beats for Rome
2 – The position of the Bishops of Kiev in the Councils of Lyons and Florence, and the persecution suffered as a result
3 – A historic and providential event: the Union of Brest
4 – Who opposed the Union of Brest?
5 – Moscow tried everything to frustrate the accord
6 – The hatred of communist USSR for the Ukrainian Catholic Church

IV– Ecumenism must not be a pretext to betray Catholics over to the hands of the Schismatics


I – A separation originating from a grave theological question and insubordination to Rome


John Paul II
– The great schism of the East began with the negation of the precedence of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son…

María Ximena Rondón, Andrea Gagliarducci
– …and consummated with the disobedience of the Church of Constantinople to the Pope

Jacques Forget
– The way prepared with a spirit of defiance toward Rome


II – Historic facts of attempts toward union by the Church


John Paul II
– Frequent and intense efforts were made by Rome to restore full communion

Council of Lyons II (Ecumenical XIV)
– The Orthodox Emperor Michael Palaeologus revokes his errors and professes the opposite
– The Council of Lyons conceded privileges to the patriarchal churches united to Rome

Antonio Touron, OP
– The Pope and Saint Thomas worked intensely to overcome the schism

Bernardino Llorca, Ricardo García Villoslada
– Rome paid for all of the expenses of the Greeks during the Council of Florence
– The Council of Florence united the two Churches

Council of Florence (Ecumenical XVII)
– Rejoicing of the Supreme Pontiff and the Church for the union that was established


III – History of the Church in Ukraine


1 – The heart of the Ukrainian people always beats for Rome


Pius XII
– The Ukrainians looked toward the Church of Rome as an only mother, and to her they paid obedience and veneration

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM
– The Church of Kiev never formally broke away from Rome
– When the Byzantine Patriarch prohibited any contact with Rome, the Prince of Kiev placed all the Ukrainian lands under the protection of the Apostolic See
– Even after the Greek schism of 1054 AD, Kiev celebrated a Latin Liturgical feast as a sign of communion with the Holy See
– In 1147, the Metropolitan of Kiev publicly venerated the relics of Pope Saint Clement as a ‘sign of submission and obedience to the Apostolic See of Rome’


2 – The position of the Bishops of Kiev in the Councils of Lyons and Florence, and the persecution suffered as a result


Athanasius Peckar, OSBM
– The Metropolitan and the Prince of Kiev desired union with Rome

John Paul II
– The fidelity of the Church in Ukraine was testified to during the Councils of Lyons and Florence
– Isidore of Kiev: faithful interpreter and defender of the decisions of that Council, who endured exile for his convictions

John Paul II
– The desire to return to communion with the Apostolic See was always with the Ruthenian Bishops
-The Ukrainian bishops came to the conclusion that it was their own responsibility to return to the unity of the Church under the supreme authority of the Bishop of Rome
– The Church was never happy about the sad state of her disunity


3 – A historic and providential event: the Union of Brest


John Paul II
– The Union of Brest brought about official union of the Ukrainian Church with Rome

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM
– The Ukrainian bishops came out for the first time with a solemn declaration in favor of union with Rome

Pius XII
– The Metropolitan and the Bishops acknowledged one Supreme Pastor and First Bishop in the Church of God on earth, no other than the Holy Pope of Rome
– Discussions of the whole matter finally reached the desired happy result
– Pope Clement VIII joyfully communicated the news of this happy event to the world

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM
– At the Union of Brest the bishops affirmed their belief in the procession of the Holy Spirit


4 – Who opposed the Union of Brest?


Athanasius Peckar, OSBM
– Protestant influence pitted Prince Ostroz’kyj against Rome – he even formed an anti-Catholic coalition with the Protestants
– Saint Josaphat, intrepid champion of Catholic unity, was hunted down with bitter hatred and murderous intent by the schismatics, and then slain

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM
– The Cossacks, moved by the schismatic patriarch of Jerusalem, ally of the Muscovites, undertook a violent campaign and restored the Orthodox hierarchy in Ukraine


5 – Moscow tried everything to frustrate the accord


Pius XII
– The Russian civil authorities employed a project to destroy the unity of the Ruthenians with the Roman Church

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM
– The rulers of Moscow applied violence and terror against those who dared to join the Union of Brest
– Czar Peter I personally slaughtered several Basilian monks and tortured a Bishop
– Catherine II began a violent liquidation of Catholic parishes, forcing the faithful to join the Orthodox Church
– The insolent proclamation of the Synod of Moscow: “Catholic union in the lands under Russian possession no longer existed and neither it could exist in Orthodox Russia”

Pius XII
– Miseries, perils and hardships with which the Ruthenians strived to retain their faith when they had been driven by force and fraud into schism
– Examples of “fraternal love” of the Orthodox towards the Ukrainian Catholics


6 – The hatred of communist USSR for the Ukrainian Catholic Church


Natalia Shlikhta
– ‘Partnership’ between communists and schismatics against the Union: the Soviet state, professing militant atheism, finally fulfills the dream of the Moscow Patriarchate to ‘reintegrate’ its claimed ‘ecclesiastical territory’’

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM
– The Soviet authorities violently suppressed the Ukrainian Catholic Church

The Ukrainian Weekly
– The Russian Church is clearly an instrument for the carrying out of the policies of the Soviet state

Clemente González
– Cardinal Josyf Slipyj: 18 years of torture in the hands of the Russian Communists for the “crime” of unfailing fidelity to the Pope

John Paul II
– Praise for Cardinal Josyf Slipyi’s fidelity


V- Ecumenism must not be a pretext to betray Catholics over to the hands of the Schismatics


John Paul II
– The ecumenical work of our day especially between the Churches of the West and East, cannot overlook the importance of the attempts at restoring the unity of the Church


I – A separation originating from a grave theological question and insubordination to Rome


John Paul II

  • The great schism of the East began with the negation of the precedence of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son…

In truth, the question of the “origin” of the Holy Spirit, in the Trinitarian life of the only God, has been the object of long and multiple theological reflections, based on the Holy Scripture. In the West, Saint Ambrose, in his De Spiritu Sancto, and Saint Augustine, in the work De Trinitate, gave a great contribution toward the clarification of this problem. […] However, the Eastern brethren stuck to the formula of the Council of Constantinople (381) pure and simply, moreover because the Council of Calcedonia (451) had confirmed its “ecumenical” character (though in fact it was almost solely bishops of the East who had taken part in it). In this way, the Western and Latin Filioque became, in the following centuries, an occasion for schism, already brought about by Photius (882), but consummated and extended to almost all of the Christian East in the year 1054. The Eastern Churches separated from Rome until today profess in the symbol of the faith “in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father” without making mention of the Filioque, while in the West we expressly state that the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son.” (John Paul II. General audience, no. 5, November 7, 1990)

María Ximena Rondón and Andrea Gagliarducci

  • …and consummated with the disobedience of the Church of Constantinople to the Pope

The schism that caused the separation of the Catholic Church and the orthodox goes back to the IX century when the Emperor Michael III deposed and exiled Ignatius, the reigning Patriarch of Constantinople, and replaced him with a man called Photius. His nomination was considered as a grave fault because it was ordered by an excommunicated Patriarch and occupied a seat that had been usurped. The recognition of the legitimacy of Photius as Patriarch generated tension between Pope Nicholas I and the clergy of Constantinople. When the Pontiff asked to reinstall Ignatius and threatened Photius with excommunication if he did not leave the post, the latter [Photius] ended up denying the authority of the Pope and the process consequently commenced that would soon lead to the schism of the East, which occurred in the year 1054. (María Ximena Rondón; Andrea Gagliarducci. Diez claves para entender el encuentro del Papa Francisco y el Patriarca de Moscú [Ten keys to understanding the encounter of Pope Francis and the Patriarch of Moscow])

Jacques Forget

  • The way was prepared by nurturing a spirit of defiance toward Rome

The 9th century brought the schism of Photius, which, though transitory, prepared the way by nurturing a spirit of defiance toward Rome until the final defection of Constantinople. The Great Schism or Greek Schism occurred less than two centuries later, under Michael Cerularius, who with one stroke (1053) closed all of the churches of the Latins in Constantinople and confiscated their convents. The deplorable Greek schism, which still subsists and which, over time, divided into various communions, was consummated. The accords of reunification concluded in the Second Council of Lyons in 1274 and that of Florence in 1439, unfortunately did not have lasting results. (Jacques Forget. ¿Qué es un cisma? Mediante inicuas disensiones los cismáticos se apartan de la caridad fraterna, aunque creen lo que nosotros creemo [What is a schism? By iniquitous dissensions the scismatics withdraw from fraternal charity, even though they believe what we believe])


II – Historic facts of attempts toward union by the Church


John Paul II

  • Frequent and intense efforts were made by Rome to restore full communion

After the division which damaged the unity between the West and the Byzantine East, frequent and intense efforts were made to restore full communion. I wish to mention two particularly significant events: the Second Council of Lyons in 1274, and above all the Council of Florence in 1439, when protocols of union with the Eastern Churches were signed. Unfortunately, various causes prevented the promise and potential of those agreements from being realized. (John Paul II. Apostolic letter for the fourth centenary of the Union of Brest, no. 2, November 12, 1995)

Denzinger-Bergoglio Note:
 The Council of Lyons (1274), which was attended by distinguished theologians like St. Bonaventure (while his Dominican counterpart, St. Thomas Aquinas died on the way to the Council), had as its principal objective, union with the Greeks. In the fourth session, the confession of faith of Michal Palaeologus, the Greek emperor, was read in the presence of the Pope, clearly pronouncing the contrary of the errors of the schismatics. The reconciliation of the Greeks with Rome lasted only until the death of Michal Palaeologus, in 1282.

Council of Lyons II (Ecumenical XIV)

  • The Orthodox Emperor Michael Palaeologus revokes his errors and professes the opposite

[Against the errors of the Orientals] This is the true Catholic Faith, and this in the above mentioned articles the most holy Roman Church holds and teaches. But because of diverse errors introduced by some through ignorance and by others from evil, it (the Church) says and teaches that those who after baptism slip into sin must not be re-baptized, but by true penance attain forgiveness of their sins.
[The destiny of the deceased] Because if they die truly repentant in charity before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for (sins) committed and omitted, their souls are cleansed after death by purgatorical or purifying punishments, as Brother John [Parastron, OFM] has explained to us. And to relieve punishments of this kind, the offerings of the living faithful are of advantage to these, namely, the sacrifices of Masses, prayers, alms, and other duties of piety, which have customarily been performed by the faithful for the other faithful according to the regulations of the Church. However, the souls of those who after having received holy baptism have incurred no stain of sin whatever, also those souls who, after contracting the stain of sin, either while remaining in their bodies or being divested of them, have been cleansed, as we have said above, are received immediately into heaven. (Denzinger-Hünermann 855–857. Council of Lyons II, Ecumenical XIV, profession of faith of Michael Palaeologus, July 1274)

  • The Council of Lyons conceded privileges to the patriarchal churches united to Rome

Also this same holy Roman Church holds the highest and complete primacy and spiritual power over the universal Catholic Church which she truly and humbly recognizes herself to have received with fullness of power from the Lord Himself in Blessed Peter, the chief or head of the Apostles whose successor is the Roman Pontiff. And just as to defend the truth of Faith she is held before all other things, so if any questions shall arise regarding faith they ought to be defined by her judgment. And to her anyone burdened with affairs pertaining to the ecclesiastical world can appeal; and in all cases looking forward to an ecclesiastical examination, recourse can be had to her judgment, and all churches are subject to her; their prelates give obedience and reverence to her. In her, moreover, such a plentitude of power rests that she receives the other churches to a share of her solicitude, of which many patriarchal churches the same Roman Church has honored in a special way by different privileges – its own prerogative always being observed and preserved both in general Councils and in other places. (Denzinger-Hünermann 861. Council of Lyons II, Ecumenical XIV, profession of faith of Michael Palaeologus, July 1274)

Antonio Touron, OP

  • The Pope and Saint Thomas Aquinas worked intensely to overcome the schism

One of the most ardent desires of Urban IV was to extinguish the schism of the East, and reunite the Greek and Latin Church, to afterwards be able to more successfully work toward the recuperation of the Holy Land. With these intentions, the Pope obliged Thomas Aquinas to undertake a work that might prepare the Orientals to unite themselves to the Holy See, convincing them of schism and error, through the same principles as those of their forefathers, and whose authority they respected. This occasion made him undertake his famous treatise against the errors of the Greeks. (Antonio Touron, OP. Vida Histórica de Santo Tomás de Aquino [The Historical Life of Saint Thomas Aquinas]. Imprenta Real, Madrid, 1792, pg. 225)

Denzinger-Bergoglio Note:
 Through the Council of Florence, Pope Eugene IV once again tried to finish off with the schism, reconciling the differences between Greeks and Latins.

Bernardino Llorca and Ricardo García Villoslada

  • Rome paid for all of the expenses of the Greeks during the Council of Florence

The Basileus John VIII Palaeologos (1425–1448) arrived with his brother prince Demetrius on March 4 [of 1438], and shortly after, the Constantinopolitan Patriarch Joseph II, a venerable elder and very united to Rome, but who, however, did not wish to lower himself to kiss the foot of the Supreme Pontiff […]. Two great figures stand out among the Greeks: Mark Eugenikos, metropolitan of Ephesus, ardent anti-Latin controversialist, the greatest enemy of the union, and the most wise Bessarion, Archbishop of Nicaea, feverous unionist, and friend of the Basileus. […] Alongside these figures shines also Isidore of Kiev, metropolitan of Russia, great promotor of the union; […] The expenditures made by Eugene IV due to the Byzantines, who were close to 700, were very great, for the Pope incurred the maintenance and lodging of them all, to whom he also distributed ready money. And yet Sylvester Syropulous, there present, complained that such a distribution had not been made for a long time! (Bernardino Llorca SJ; Ricardo García Villoslada. Historia de la Iglesia Católica, Vol. III, BAC, Madrid, pg. 331–332)

Denzinger-Bergoglio Note: 
 “On July 6, 1439, a decree of union with the Greeks was proclaimed in Florence, which had the value of an ex cathedra definition. The decree promulgated through the Bull Laetenter coeli, dealt with the procession of the Holy Spirit, of the Eucharist, of Purgatory and of the Primacy of Rome.” (José Antonio Sayés. La Iglesia de Cristo: Curso de Eclesiología, Palabra, Madrid, 2003)
 The reconciliation of the Greeks signified a complete adhesion to the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The Church did not permit that union be had, without the Greeks revoking their erroneous doctrines regarding the procession of the Holy Spirit, Purgatory and the Papacy. 
 These points may be found in the Denzinger-. From 1300 from 1303, it speaks of the procession of the Holy Spirit; 1304-1306, of the destiny of the deceased; 1307 of the Roman Primacy.

Bernardino Llorca and Ricardo García Villoslada

  • The Council of Florence united the two Churches

Finally, on July 4, the decree of union was approved in the church of Saint Francis. On Sunday, July 5, it was signed: by the Greeks (except for Mark Eugenikos and the Bishop of Stauropolis). […] From that moment on, the General Council of the Latin Church, legitimately congregated in Ferrara-Florence, could call itself the ecumenical council of the united churches. (Bernardino Llorca SJ; Ricardo García Villoslada. Historia de la Iglesia Católica, vol. III, BAC, Madrid, p. 336-337)

Council of Florence (Ecumenical XVII)

  • Rejoicing of the Supreme Pontiff and the Church for the union that was established

Eugenius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, for an everlasting record. With the agreement of our most dear son John Palaeologus, illustrious emperor of the Romans […] Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice. For, the wall that divided the western and the eastern church has been removed, peace and harmony have returned, since the corner-stone, Christ, who made both one, has joined both sides with a very strong bond of love and peace […] Let mother church also rejoice. For she now beholds her sons hitherto in disagreement returned to unity and peace […] Who, then, can adequately thank God for his gracious gifts? […] To you praise, to you glory, to you thanks, O Christ, source of mercies […] In the name of the holy Trinity, Father, Son and holy Spirit, we define, with the approval of this holy universal council of Florence… (Council of Florence. Bull Laetentur Caeli, Session 6, July 6, 1439)


III – History of the Church in Ukraine


1 – The heart of the Ukrainian people always beats for Rome


Pius XII

  • The Ukrainians looked toward the Church of Rome as an only mother, and to her they payed obedience and veneration

We think it will be useful if in this letter we give a brief historical summary of the events with which we are concerned. It must be observed in the first place that even before the union of the Ruthenians with the Apostolic See was happily concluded at Rome and confirmed at Brest in 1595 and 1596, these people had more than once looked to the Roman Church as the one mother of the whole Christian community and dutifully paid it due obedience and reverence. […] Not a few of his descendants [Saint Vladimir] also received the legates of the Roman pontiffs with due honor and were fraternally united with other Catholic communities, even after the Church of Constantinople was separated by the lamentable schism. (Pius XII. Encyclical Orientals omnes Ecclesias, no. 5, December 23, 1945)

Denzinger-Bergoglio Note:
 Father Athanasius Peckar, OSBM (of the Order of Saint Basil) wrote a very well-documented study about the Order and consigned a considerable part of it to the Church in Ukraine. To carry out his work, he had access to the Vatican archives in their original language, where all of the historic fidelity of the Catholics in Ukraine, and the persecutions suffered during by them centuries due to their obedience to Rome, is amply registered.

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM

  • The Church of Kiev never formally broke away from Rome

Since the acceptance of Christianity as their established religion one thousand years ago, the Ukrainians were called by Divine Providence to bear witness to this truth. Moreover, after the Eastern division in 1054, the Ukrainian people, professing their faith “in one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church,” continued to lean toward the Apostolic See of Rome where the Successor of Saint Peter resided. It must also be noted that the Kievan Church never formally broke away from Rome. [H. Luzhnyc’kyj, Ukraïns’ka Cerkva mizh Sxodom i Zaxodom, Philedelphia: SUK, “Provydinnja”, 1954, 90-93]. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

  • When the Byzantine Patriarch prohibited any contact with Rome, the Prince of Kiev placed all the Ukrainian lands under the protection of the Apostolic See

At the time when the Byzantine Patriarch anathemized the Pope of Rome as a heretic, prohibiting any contact with the Roman See, the Prince of Kiev, Izjaslav, placed all the Ukrainian lands under the protection of the Apostolic See and received a royal crown from Pope [Saint] Gregory VII in 1075 [cf. Papal Bull in Welykyj, DPR, vol. I, 5-6; Welykyj, Z Litopysu, Tom. I, 209-233]. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

  • Even after the Greek schism of 1054 AD, Kiev celebrated a Latin Liturgical feast as a sign of communion with the Holy See

In 1087, when the holy relics of Saint Nicholas were being transferred from Myra in Lycia to Bari in Italy, a certain monk, named Theodore, the envoy of Metropolitan John II of Kiev (1080–1089) to Pope Clement III, was present and on his return he masterfully described this solemn historic event, which has been preserved for us as the Legend of Kiev. [G. Cioffari, La leggenda di Kiev. Bari: Centro Studi S. Nicola, 1980] In 1089, Pope Urban II instituted the Feast of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas to Bari, to be celebrated on May 9. Shortly after the feast was introduced in Kievan Rus’, although the Patriarch of Constantinople never gave his approval of such celebration [J. Katrij, OSBM, A Byzantine Rite Liturgical Year. transl. by D. Wysochansky, OSBM, Detroit-New York: Basilian Fathers, 1983, p. 270]. This only corroborates the fact that the Church of Kiev continued to have friendly relations with Rome even after the 1054 schism. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

  • In 1147, the Metropolitan of Kiev publicly venerated the relics of Pope Saint Clement as a ‘sign of submission and obedience to the Apostolic See of Rome’

This gravitation of the Kievan Church toward Rome continued into the 12th century as can be seen at the Synod of Kiev, celebrated in 1147, and presided over by Bishop Onuphrius of Chernyhiv. At the Synod, Clement Smoliatych, a monk of the Zarub Monastery, was elected as the Metropolitan of Kiev. At his consecration the relics of Pope Saint Clement, venerated in the Church of Tithes (Desiatynna Cerkva) of Kiev, were placed on his head as a “sign of submission and obedience of the Kievan Church to the Apostolic See of Rome.” [A. Welykyj, “Kyïvs’ka mytropolija v 100 lit po szyzmi Kerularija”, in Analecta OSBM, III (1960) 348–374; IV (1963) 461483] (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)


2 – The position of the Bishops of Kiev in the Councils of Lyons and Florence, and the persecution suffered as a result


Athanasius Peckar, OSBM

  • The Metropolitan and the Prince of Kiev desired union with Rome

In the 13th century Metropolitan Peter Akerovych of Kiev (1241-1245) participated in the Ecumenical Council of Lyons (1245), during which he solemnly professed the Catholic faith and concelebrated the Holy Liturgy together with Pope Innocent IV. Here we must also mention the efforts of Prince Danylo of Halych and Volhynia (1228–1264) to unite the Ukrainian Church with the Roman See. On that occasion the Pope once again placed the Ukrainian lands “under the protection of Saint Peter and the Apostolic See,” and the Papal Legate, Abbot Opizone of Mazzano, crowned Danylo as King of Rus’-Ukraine at Drohochyn in 1253. Unfortunately, the Tartar invaders frustrated Danylo’s efforts and he was forced to retract his coalition and union with Rome. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

John Paul II

  • The fidelity of the Church in Ukraine was testified to during the Councils of Lyons and Florence

The fidelity of your Church to this Holy See was once testified to by your ancestors, in the Council of Lyons, as well as later in Florence, by the mouth of your metropolitan, the future Cardinal Isidor. This fidelity was promised, in the name of all of your hierarchy of that time, by the bishops Ipacio Pozio and Cirilo Terleckyj before Pope Clement VIII; and – what if more important – for this fidelity not a few of your brothers and sisters have given their lives. (John Paul II. Address to bishops of the Ukrainian Synod, December 1, 1980)

  • Isidore of Kiev: faithful interpreter and defender of the decisions of that Council, who endured exile for his convictions

The Bishops of the Metropolitan of Kiev, in restoring communion with Rome, made explicit reference to the decisions of the Council of Florence, a Council which had numbered among its participants representatives from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In this context, the figure of Metropolitan Isidore of Kiev stands out. As a faithful interpreter and defender of the decisions of that Council, he had to endure exile for his convictions. (John Paul II. Apostolic letter for the fourth centenary of the Union of Brest, no. 2, November 12, 1995)

  • The Russians did not accept the implantation of the decree of the Council of Florence and imprisoned Isidore of Kiev

The desired union was concluded at the Council of Florence in 1439, in which Metropolitan Isidore of Kiev (1436.1458) played an important role. The Union of Florence was favorably received in the Ukrainian lands under Lithuanian rule, but it was opposed by Moscow, where Prince Basil II imprisoned Metropolitan Isidore immediately upon his arrival. Fortunately, Isidore was able to escape to Lithuania. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

  • The desire to return to communion with the Apostolic See was always with the Ruthenian Bishops

Nevertheless, when that Council was over, it is well known that Isidore, that same Metropolitan whom the Supreme Pontiff appointed as his Legate ‘a latere’ in Lithuania, Livonia, and Russia, whom he had raised to the dignity of Cardinal and whom his people praised very much on account of the union of the Churches that had been brought about, suffered much because of his devoted ecumenical zeal–he was even thrown into prison in Moscow and having escaped from there he finally arrived in Rome from where he directed the whole cause of unity. But the more serious conditions which prevailed in his fatherland at length made the high hopes of unity, which had been seen in the Council of Florence, come to nothing. Nevertheless, the desire to return to communion with the Apostolic See was always with the Ruthenian Bishops. In December 1594 and in July 1595 they declared that they were ready to enter upon the path of unity with Rome and so they sent some representatives to discuss that very subject. (John Paul II. Letter to Cardinal Joseph Slipyj for the millennium of Christianity in Rus (Ukraine), no. 4, June 16, 1979)

  • The Ukrainian bishops came to the conclusion that it was their own responsibility to return to the unity of the Church under the supreme authority of the Bishop of Rome

The idea of the Church unity was planted into the hearts of the Ukrainian people together with Christianity, and was nurtured and preserved in the bosom of the Ukrainian Church for many centuries in hope that the Constantinopolitan Church would be the first to take necessary steps toward the union. After the fall of Constantinople, this hope simply vanished, since the Patriarchs were oppressed under the Turkish yoke and were unable to do anything in order to return to the desired unity. Under these conditions the Ukrainian and Belorussian bishops came to the conclusion that it was their own responsibility to return to the unity of the Church, under the supreme authority of the Bishop of Rome. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

John Paul II

  • The Church was never happy about the sad state of her disunity

However that may be, these facts and events bear witness to the fact that the Church was never happy about the sad state of her disunity and she has always considered it to be contrary to the will of Christ the Lord. (John Paul II. Letter to Cardinal Joseph Slipyj for the millennium of Christianity in Rus (Ukraine), no. 4, June 16, 1979)


3 – A historic and providential event: the Union of Brest


John Paul II

  • The Union of Brest brought about official union of the Ukrainian Church with Rome

The day is drawing near when the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church will celebrate the fourth centenary of the union between the Bishops of the Metropolia of Kievan Rus’ and the Apostolic See. The union was effected at the meeting of representatives of the Metropolia of Kiev with the Pope on 23 December 1595 and was solemnly proclaimed at Brest-Litovsk on the River Bug on 16 October 1596. Pope Clement VIII, in the Apostolic Constitution Magnus Dominus et laudabilis nimis, announced the union to the whole Church and in the Apostolic Letter Benedictus sit Pastor he addressed the Bishops of the Metropolia, informing them that the union had taken place. (John Paul II. Apostolic letter for the fourth centenary of the Union of Brest, no. 2, November 12, 1995)

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM

  • The Ukrainian bishops came out for the first time with a solemn declaration in favor of union with Rome

On June 24, 1590, after discussing this matter at their annual meeting, held in Brest, the Ukrainian bishops came out for the first time with a solemn declaration in favor of union with Rome. They only demanded that their liturgical rites and ceremonies be maintained by the Apostolic See and that the King of Poland confirm all the privileges granted to their Church in view of the Florentine Union (cf. the Declaration in: Welykyj, DUB. 7-8). (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

Pius XII

  • The Metropolitan and the Bishops acknowledged one Supreme Pastor and First Bishop in the Church of God on earth, no other than the Holy Pope of Rome

On 2nd December 1594, the metropolitan and six bishops, after taking counsel together, published a joint declaration in which they proclaimed themselves ready to promote agreement and the long desired union. We have come to this determination, they wrote, ‘from the consideration, full of sadness for us, of how great are the hindrances men find in the way of salvation in the absence of this union of the Churches of God. From the time of Christ our Savior and his holy apostles, as the canons and councils make clear, our predecessors long continued in this union; they acknowledged one Supreme Pastor and First Bishop in the Church of God on earth, no other than the Holy Pope of Rome, and obeyed him in all things. While this state of affairs remained in its vigor there was ever order in the Church of God and increase of divine worship’ (cf. Baronius: Annales, VII, Rome 1596, App. p. 681). (Pius XII. Encyclical Orientales omnes Ecclesias, no. 9, December 23, 1945)

  • Discussions of the whole matter finally reached the desired happy result

Discussions of the whole matter began at once and finally reached the desired happy result. On 23rd December 1595 the emissaries were admitted to the presence of the supreme pontiff; they read the declaration of all the bishops before the illustrious assembly and then in their own name and that of the other bishops made a solemn profession of faith and promised due obedience and respect. (Pius XII. Encyclical Orientales omnes Ecclesias, no. 10, December 23, 1945)

  • Pope Clement VIII joyfully communicated the news of this happy event to the world

On the same day our predecessor Clement VIII joyfully communicated the news of this happy event to the world by the Apostolic constitution Magnus Dominus et laudabilis nimis. How great was the joy and goodwill with which the Roman Church welcomed the Ruthenian people on their reception into the unity of the fold may be seen also from the Apostolic Letter Benedictus sit Pastor, issued on 7th February 1596, in which the supreme pontiff informed the metropolitan and the other Ruthenian bishops of the happy establishment of the union of their whole Church with the Apostolic See. (Pius XII. Encyclical Orientales omnes Ecclesias, no. 11, December 23, 1945)

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM

  • At the Union of Brest the bishops affirmed their belief in the procession of the Holy Spirit

Only two of the articles are concerned with dogma. In article 1, the bishops affirm their belief in the procession of the Holy Spirit, which is based on the agreement between Latins and Greeks reached in Florence: “the Holy Spirit proceeds not from two beginnings nor in two processions, but from one beginning as source, from the Father through the Son”. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

Denzinger-Bergoglio Note: for a Doctrinal clarification regarding the ‘Filioque’ and the use of the words ‘proceeding from the Father through the Son’, which is to also affirm that the Holy Spirit ‘proceeds from the Father and the Son’ while laying emphasis on the order of the divine processions, see: this study. 
  • The Ukrainian Bishops saw the Union of Brest as a first step toward the union of all of the Greek Church, thus putting to an end the schism of 1054

[Article 31 of the Union of Brest] If, God willing, the time comes that also the rest of our brothers of the Eastern church of the Greek rite come to holy union with the Western Church. And then by a common unity and consensus of the universal Church some improvements are brought about in the Rites and discipline of the Greek Church, we should be participants in that, since we belong to the same religion, (Article 31). (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

  • What was achieved at Brest was not a theoretical solution, but a concrete carrying out of union between the Orient and Latin churches

Yet the union not only endured, but even thrived. An evaluation of the accomplishment of the hierarchy in Brest in 1595 and 1596 must take into account not only the resulting division, but also its lasting testimony to Church unity. What was achieved at Brest was not a theoretical solution, but a concrete carrying out of union that is, how to recognize the primacy of the pope of Rome in a particular Church, in its specific political and cultural circumstances. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)


4 – Who opposed the Union of Brest?


Athanasius Peckar, OSBM

  • Protestant influence pitted Prince Ostroz’kyj against Rome – he even formed an anti-Catholic coalition with the Protestants

It is very significant to note that in his Manifesto Ostroz’kyj ascribed to himself a divine calling (“by the grace of God”) to head the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This he did in conformity with the Protestant teaching that not the bishop but the secular prince is the head of the particular Church according to the famous principle, “Cuius regio, eius et religio.In order to succeed in his campaign against the union Prince Ostroz’kyj did not hesitate to conclude an anti-Catholic coalition with the Protestants during their Congress in Torun, August 21-26, 1595. He even invited them to an armed revolt against King Sigismund III, who, according to Prince Ostroz’kyj, violated his oath by which he guaranteed the freedom of religion. Thus, we are fully justified to conclude that Prince Ostroz’kyj, who at first was leaning toward union, under the Protestant influence developed in his heart hatred toward Rome, and was ready to use any means to defeat the efforts of the Ukrainian hierarchy trying to conclude the union with the Apostolic See of Rome. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

Pius XII

  • Saint Josaphat, intrepid champion of Catholic unity, was hunted down with bitter hatred and murderous intent by the schismatics, and then slain

Josaphat Kuntzevitch, archbishop of Polotsk and Vitebsk, was famed for his holiness of life and apostolic zeal, and was an intrepid champion of Catholic unity. He was hunted down with bitter hatred and murderous intent by the schismatics and on 12th November 1623 he was inhumanly wounded and slain with a halberd. (Pius XII. Encyclical Orientales omnes Ecclesias, no. 15, December 23, 1945)

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM

  • The Cossacks, moved by the schismatic patriarch of Jerusalem, ally of the Muscovites, undertook a violent campaign and restored the Orthodox hierarchy in Ukraine

After the death of Prince C. Ostroz’kyj the campaign against the Union of Brest was continued by the Cossacks. It was under the protection of Cossacks that the Ukrainian Orthodox hierarchy was restored by Patriarch Theophanes of Jerusalem in 1620. After his arrival in Kiev, Theophanes threatened that he would impose on the Cossacks “all the ecclesiastical penalties”, if they would dare to fight against their brothers in faith, the Muscovites. He invited them instead to fight against the union with all their forces. This signaled a beginning of a violent campaign of the Cossacks against the Union of Brest, under the leadership of Hetman Peter Sahajdachnyj (1613–1622). (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)


5 – Moscow tried everything to frustrate the accord


Pius XII

  • The Russian civil authorities employed a project to destroy the unity of the Ruthenians with the Roman Church

However it came about by the inscrutable will of God that towards the end of the century this community was harassed by many persecutions and vexations, and after the partition of Poland these became ever harder and more bitter in the areas which were annexed to the Russian Empire. After the death of Alexander I the rash policy was deliberately adopted of entirely breaking the union of the Ruthenians with the Roman Church. Already most of their eparchies had been almost cut off from any intercourse with the Apostolic See. Soon bishops were chosen who were imbued and inspired with zeal for schism, and so would become the lackeys and applauders of the civil power. In the seminary of Vilna, founded by the tsar Alexander I, teaching hostile to the Roman pontiffs was imparted to the clergy of both rites. The Basilian Order, whose members had always been a great support to the Catholic Church of the Eastern rite, was deprived of its own government and administration, and its monks and monasteries were entirely subjected to the consistories of the eparchies. Then the priests of the Latin rite were prohibited under grave penalties from administering the sacraments or other religious helps to the Ruthenians. Finally, alas, in 1839 the union of the Ruthenian Church with the dissident Russian Church was solemnly proclaimed. (Pius XII. Encyclical Orientales omnes Ecclesias, no. 19, December 23, 1945)

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM

  • The rulers of Moscow applied violence and terror against those who dared to join the Union of Brest

Following their expansionist policy, the rulers of Moscow considered themselves “Defenders of Orthodoxy,” and used all their power and influence to destroy the Union of Brest. At the beginning they were instigating the Ukrainian Cossacks against the union and later, invading the Ukrainian and Belorussian lands within the Polish kingdom, they directly applied violence and terror against those who dared to join the union [of Brest]. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

  • Czar Peter I personally slaughtered several Basilian monks and tortured a Bishop

As an example, let us recall the violent reaction of Czar Peter I when Bishop Demetrius Zhabokrytskyj of Luck ventured to join the union in 1702. In 1709, under the pretext of helping King August II, Czar Peter I invaded Poland, terrorizing the Ukrainian and Belorussian populations in union with Rome. After laying his hands on Bishop Zhabokrytskyj, Peter personally tortured and abused him and then deported him to Moscow, where the bishop died as a victim of Peter’s hatred of the union in 1715. Peter’s detestation and hostility toward the union is generally known on account of the so-called Tragedy of Polock (1705), when the czar personally, with his own hands, slaughtered several Basilian monks in their church (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

  • Catherine II began a violent liquidation of Catholic parishes, forcing the faithful to join the Orthodox Church

The same policy of the Moscovite czars against the union continued, especially during the rule of Catherine Il (1763–1796), who successfully manipulated the uprising of the Ukrainian “Haydamaks” against the Catholic population, characterized by the Uman Massacre of 1768.

After the threefold division of Poland (1772, 1793 and 1795), when the majority of the Ukrainian and Belorussian lands were handed over to Russia, Catherine II began a violent liquidation of their Catholic parishes, forcing the faithful to join the Orthodox Church. To have some idea of the dimension of this violent persecution of union by Catherine II, it is sufficient to mention that at that time 145 Basilian monasteries and 9,316 Catholic parishes were liquidated, and more than 8 million faithful were forced into Orthodoxy. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

  • The insolent proclamation of the Synod of Moscow: “Catholic union in the lands under Russian possession no longer existed and neither it could exist in Orthodox Russia”

The Calvary of Union continued under Czar Nicholas I (1825–1855), who finished the work of violent liquidation of the union among the Ukrainian and Belorussian population under Russian occupation “in retaliation”, so to speak, for the Polish revolt of 1831. By 1840, the Holy Synod of Moscow proudly informed the world that the “Catholic union in the lands under Russian possession no longer existed and neither it could exist in Orthodox Russia.” The Ukrainian Catholic eparchy of Kholm, under Russian rule since 1815, somehow survived the rage of Czar Nicholas I against the union. This temporary survival however was short lived. After a bloody and violent persecution it was also liquidated by Czar Alexander II in 1875. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

Pius XII

  • Miseries, perils and hardships with which the Ruthenians strived to retain their faith when they had been driven by force and fraud into schism

Finally, alas, in 1839 the union of the Ruthenian Church with the dissident Russian Church was solemnly proclaimed. It is impossible to describe the miseries, perils and hardships with which the most noble nation of the Ruthenians was afflicted at that time, for no other crime or guilt but that of crying out against the wrong done it and striving to retain its faith, when it had been driven by force and fraud into schism. (Pius XII. Encyclical Orientales omnes Ecclesias, no. 19–20, December 23, 1945)

  • Examples of “fraternal love” of the Orthodox towards the Ukrainian Catholics

Besides all this a new and no less bitter persecution of Catholicism was begun a few years before the partition of Poland. […] Many churches of the Ruthenian rite were taken away from the Catholics by force of arms; the priests who refused to abjure their faith were put in chains, insulted, scourged and cast into prison, where they suffered cruelly from hunger, thirst and cold. Not inferior to these in constancy and fortitude were the clergy who, about the year 1839, suffered the loss of their goods and even of their liberty, rather than abandon their religious duties. Among these we wish to recall in a special way the well-known priest, Joseph Ancewski, who was kept in harsh confinement in the monastery of Suzdal for thirty-two years, attaining the reward of his singular steadfastness in 1877, when he died a most holy death. We recall also the one hundred and sixty priests, who for open profession of the Catholic faith were torn away from their families, which were left in wretchedness, were transported into the interior of Russia and imprisoned in monasteries, but could not be turned from their holy resolve by hunger or any other affliction. Equally conspicuous for fortitude were the many, both clergy and laity, of the eparchy of Chelm, who with unconquerable courage resisted the persecutors of the Catholic faith. For example, when troops came to seize their church and hand it over to the schismatics, the inhabitants of Pratolin did not resist force by force, but, unarmed, put their crowded bodies in the way of their attackers like a living wall; some were wounded and savagely ill-treated, some suffered long imprisonment or were deported to the icy regions of Siberia, some, finally, were put to the sword and shed their blood for Christ. (Pius XII. Encyclical Orientales omnes Ecclesias, no. 49–51, December 23, 1945)


6 – The hatred of communist USSR for the Ukrainian Catholic Church


Natalia Shlikhta

  • ‘Partnership’ between communists and schismatics against the Union: the Soviet state, professing militant atheism, finally fulfills the dream of the Moscow Patriarchate to ‘reintegrate’ its claimed ‘ecclesiastical territory’

On March 8-10, 1946, a ‘self-liquidation’ Council of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) took place in Lviv. Staged by the KGB and the Council for the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church (CROCA), it pronounced the ‘reunification’ of this church, predominant among the population of the recently annexed Western Ukraine, with their ‘Mother-Church,’ the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). Three years later, after the last remaining Greek Catholic diocese of Transcarpathian Ukraine also ‘returned’ to the Moscow Patriarchate, CROCA leadership had every reason to report on the successful liquidation of the Uniate church in Ukraine. Somewhat paradoxically, the Soviet state professing militant atheism had finally fulfilled the dream of the Moscow Patriarchate to ‘reintegrate’ its claimed ‘ecclesiastical territory.’ This ‘partnership’ of the communist regime and the ROC in their struggle against the ‘Union’ has for decades been the focus of a scholarly debate. (Natalia Shlikhta, PhD. Church within the Church as a mode of the survival of West Ukrainian religious community under Soviet rule)

Athanasius Peckar, OSBM

  • The Soviet authorities violently suppressed the Ukrainian Catholic Church

In 1944, Western Ukraine was occupied by the Soviet forces. The Soviet authorities continued the anti-union policy of Russian czars and violently suppressed the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Western Ukraine after the staged Synod of L’viv in 1946. Today the modern Moscow hierarchs, just as their predecessors in czarist Russia, officially proclaim that “in Soviet Union the Ukrainian Uniate Church does not and cannot exist!” The fear of the Church union in Russian circles is still great even to this day. This only demonstrates that the union with Rome must be and in fact is of great importance to the promotion of the Ukrainian cause. (Athanasius Peckar, OSBM. The Union of Brest and attempts to destroy it)

The Ukrainian Weekly

  • The Russian Orthodox Church is clearly an instrument for the carrying out of the policies of the Soviet state

The Russian Orthodox Church had been revived during the war as one of the means to fan the patriotism of the Russians. Likewise it was intended to cause the Balkan Orthodox people to look up to the USSR as the defender of their faith. The Russian Church is frankly an instrument for the carrying out of the policies of the Soviet state, including the denationalization of the non-Russian peoples of the Soviet Union. In effect, it is following the policies of the Russian Church of Tsarist times, which was directly controlled by the Tsar through his representative, the Procurator, in the Holy Synod of the Church. Having disposed of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Moscow next turned its attention to the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Eastern Rite. While the venerable Metropolitan Sheptitsky lived, not much pressure was exerted in that direction. Perhaps this was because of the world-wide fame of this great prelate. Once he died, however, a savage persecution of the Church and its followers began. It is here that the [newspaper] America begins to sketchily tell some of the story. The first blow fell upon the hierarchy. All the bishops, including Sheptitsky’s successor, Metropolitan Slipiy, were jailed. Several of them died in jail, including Metropolitan Slipiy and the old Archbishop Khomyshyn. Scores of priests were executed, and hundreds of others arrested. Upon the comparatively remaining few and their flocks, pressure accompanied by persecution, restrictions and indignities has been applied to make them forsake their Church, join the Russian Orthodox Church and acknowledge the authority of the Moscow Patriarch. […] What success this modest proposal met with, Mr. Keenan writes, may be seen from an address by the Most Rev. Ambrose Senyshyn, Auxiliary Bishop of the Ukrainian American Catholics, before the representatives of the American Hierarchy at their annual meeting in November of last year. The reign of the Soviets in western Ukraine, said Bishop Senyshyn, “… has been a ruinous one. Brutal enforcements, seizure of cultural possessions, confiscation of Catholic religious institutions, heavy pressure aimed at making Catholics join the Orthodox Church, killing and imprisoning clergy and outstanding people, give a brief but clear picture of the devastation and enslavement wrought.” (The Ukrainian Weekly. Red persecution of Ukrainian Catholics, having destroyed independent Ukrainian orthodox church, soviets now try to do likewise to Catholic Church, January 19, 1946)

Clemente González

  • Cardinal Josyf Slipyj: 18 years of torture in the hands of the Russian Communists for the “crime” of unfailing fidelity to the Pope

In June 1944, the Soviet armies invaded Ukraine and accused those who could put obstacles to the communist maneuvers of collaborationism. The first to fall into the prisons were the Catholics due to their link with Rome. […] Josyf Slipyj, as head of the Catholic Church in Ukraine, was the center of attacks from the Soviet authorities who, with the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow, had decided to eliminate Catholicism from all territories of the USSR. To prepare the rupture with Rome and proclaim the “unification” with the Orthodox Russian Church, the pseudo-synod of Leopolis was convoked. They then proceeded to the arrest and deportation of the bishops, clergy and religious who did not accept the conclusions of the Assembly of Leopolis. Churches, libraries, schools and other Catholic goods passed on to the hands of the Orthodox. The Metropolitan Slipyj, at 53 years of age, was arrested on the night of April 11, 1945. His Via Crucis had begun: 18 years of physical and moral tortures, of interrogations and deportations, of hunger, thirst and humiliations. 18 meticulously documented years; the desire to prove the culpability of Slipyj has provided an ample dossier of his crime: unfailing fidelity to the Pope. Without leaving the Gulag Archipelago, Slipyj suffered four condemnations. The process of his “passion and crucifixion” we may find in his memoirs and in the extensive correspondence that his prison companions shared with him after his liberation in 1963. There are written testimonies by Ukrainians, Polish, Belarussians, Germans, Czechs, Austrians, Romanians, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Italians – some Hebrews, others Orthodox or Catholics. All agree in having seen barbarian communism defeated before the indomitable integrity of Msgr. Josyf Slipyj. (Clemente Gonzalez. Cardinal Josyf Slipyj)

John Paul II

  • Praise for Cardinal Josyf Slipyi’s fidelity

This same cross has already played its part in your own life, our esteemed brother, [Cardinal Slipyi] and even in the lives of many of your brothers in the Episcopate who, whilst enduring sorrows and injustices for Christ, were faithful to the cross right up to their last breath. The same must be said of many other priests, men and women religious, and the faithful laity of your Church. Fidelity, then, to the cross and to the Church gives a special witness by which the faithful of your nation prepare themselves at this time to celebrate the first millennium of Christianity in “Rus”. (John Paul II. Letter to Cardinal Joseph Slipyj for the millenium of Christianity in Rus (Ukraine), no. 5, June 16, 1979)


IV– Ecumenism must not be a pretext to betray Catholics over to the hands of the Schismatics


John Paul II

  • The ecumenical work of our day especially between the Churches of the West and East, cannot overlook the importance of the attempts at restoring the unity of the Church

The ecumenical work of our day, that is, that striving after mutual fellowship and communion, especially between the Churches of the West and East, cannot overlook or lessen the importance and usefulness of each of the attempts at restoring the unity of the Church which were made in the past and which – even if only partially – had happy results. Your Church among other Eastern Catholic Churches which have their own rite is considered to prove the truth of this. Without doubt the genuine ecumenical spirit–according to the more recent meaning of the Word – must be shown and proved by a special respect for your Church just as for the other Eastern Catholic Churches which have their own special rites. […] By virtue of this principle to which the Apostolic See has again and again appealed and which it has declared, it is lawful for each believer to profess his own faith and to be an active member of the Church community to which he belongs. The observance of this principle of religious freedom requires that the right of living and acting proper to the Church to which each citizen belongs should be respected. (John Paul II. Letter to Cardinal Joseph Slipyj for the millennium of Christianity in Rus, Ukraine, no. 6, June 16, 1979)


Discover another innovation:

moralfamiliaFamily morality has ‘overly rigid classifications’ that should not be obeyed?

One thought on ““That all the Orthodox Christians of Ukraine may live in peace and harmony, and that the Catholic communities in the country may contribute to this, in such a way that our Christian brotherhood may become increasingly evident”

  1. If Francis wants peace with Russian Orthodoxs, instead of signing papers with schismatics why doesn’t he follow Our Lady of Fatima’s advice and consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart? What are his intentions? Which church is he favoring? The true Church of Christ of the false “church” of the schismatics? Seeing all this confusion within the Church we Catholics need to heed Our Lady’s petition and pray the rosary everyday and beg that the promise of her triumph over the evil one come as soon as possible. Maybe you could publish some prayers we can pray for the Church in these troubled days.

    Like

Comment on this item of the DzB?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s