Friday, July 12, 2019

Notes from UGCC visit with Pope of Rome

Given that the unions (Brest, Uzhorod) that created the Unia were political actions and not religious ones and that the current belief is that Greek Catholics are not a "third way" but are understood to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome" by many of the faithful, I wonder why they need to continue to separate themselves from Orthodoxy at all. If you were to make a list of all the things the UGCC, Melkites, et al. share with the Orthodox and what they share with Rome, the list would be far longer on the Orthodox side.

Even as they declare themselves a bridge between East and West, the Eastern side considers Greek Catholicism to be the opposite - a conditio cum qua non - an impediment to further work on unity. The OCU is not subject to Moscow, which was a major historical obstacle. And today, if the OCU is only acknowledged by some in world Orthodoxy, the UGCC is accepted by none of it. But is a volatile OCU preferable to the seemingly benevolent hand of Rome?

I'm happy to hear from Eastern Catholics of all stripes on the matter.

(RISU) - The Pope's visit to Ukraine, the granting of the Patriarchate to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the beatification of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky became closer to realization after a recent meeting with the Pope. This belief was expressed by the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav in an interview with the Italian media outlet ACI Stampa. The text of the interview was distributed by the Information Department of the UGCC.

"These two days (5-6 July. – ed.) were not intended to present ready-made decisions, considered and taken in advance in some Dicastery. These were days of study, analysis, thinking about further steps. We expect that in the near future there will be the fruits of these reflections, concrete decisions, the creation of certain structures and mechanisms that can help our Church to prosper in Ukraine and in the world," the head of the UGCC said.

"We have publicly invited the Pope to come to Ukraine," said the Primate. We repeated our invitation in an informal atmosphere when we met with the Holy Father during dinner at the house of St. Martha. The Pope told me, "I will think about it."

"We said to the Pope, "Today we are meeting with You and You are listening to us." And many of those who want to hear you and see you cannot be present here now. We are waiting for You in Ukraine so that You can touch the wounds of the war and help stop their bleeding." With such initiatives as "Pope for Ukraine", His Holiness Father Francis wanted to ease our suffering. However, we have the impression that we are working only to rectify the consequences of the war. And it is necessary to affect its causes. Therefore, when the Pope comes to Ukraine, it will be work to end the war," the Head of the Church added.

According to him, the issue of the Patriarchy of the UGCC was also considered during the meeting when they discussed the ecumenical dimension of the life of our Church.

"Patriarchate is a way of existence, not a reward. This is the development of mechanisms for the prosperity of our Church, as it increases our efficiency and pastoral work. Our Church, its development and flourishing is not a threat to our Orthodox brothers. We are not against anybody, but for their sake. This mental revolution is not yet complete. But we need new structures. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, every year a million of Ukrainians leave Ukraine, and we must provide pastoral support to these migrants," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav. This bit needs some context. The Ukrainian Greek Catholics consider their primate to be a patriarch. The Vatican considers him to be a "Major-Archbishop," which is a made up term put into place so as not to name a patriarch in opposition to the Orthodox primate for the same territory, but to acknowledge that he is something more than just an archbishop.

All this, in his opinion, testifies to the need for the establishment of a patriarchate: although the roots of the Church are in Ukraine, but the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is a global Church which goes beyond the borders of the geographical territory.

According to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky was also touched upon during the meeting. "Metropolitan Sheptytsky was the first to understand the global dimension of our Church. At the time when he headed the UGCC, it had only three dioceses in Western Ukraine which at that time was under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Today, we have 34 dioceses around the world, and this is also thanks to Metropolitan Sheptytsky who was the first to make pastoral visits to his faithful in all corners of the globe. And he did everything necessary for them to have priests and bishops. He was the first to note the pastoral needs of creating structures for migrants. We live by the fruits of what Metropolitan Sheptytsky started," said the Head of the UGCC.


  1. Calling it now, the UOC will join the UGCC. I really don't think there is a coincidence between Bartholomew, the Ukrainian schismatics, his refusal to listen to the other sister Church and his cozening up with Rome. Plus, the wording that the UGCC is using trying to create a rival Uniate Patriarchate in Ukraine

    1. Although l respect your opinion as an individual, l am quite amazed & surprised as to how you could ever come to the above conclusions you have just made (i.e., your opinion about some secret collusion between the newly autocephalous UOC/ OCU and the UGCC via the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Rome)??!!

      What are the objective legally verifiable proof (if any) to show that there is a secret pact or conspiracy between OCU & UGCC, and between Rome & Constantinople??!!

      Do you in your right mind actually believe that the UOC/ OCU will join the Uniate UGCC?? For what reason & on what basis?? What are your evidence to prove that this is the case?? In fact, all evidence so far are to the contrary! Hierarchs after hierarchs from the UOC/ OCU (including the Primate) have stated that their cooperation with the Uniate UGCC can only be on practical levels, and not on dogmatic or sacramental levels, since UGCC has renounced the Greek Orthodox dogmas and has submitted itself to all the Roman dogmas since the Union of Brest! This has been repeated many many times by Metropolitan Filaret, Met. Epiphaniy, Met. Dimitry, Archb. Yevstratiy et al.
      So where do you get this silly idea/ info that UOC/ OCU will join UGCC?? From Russian propaganda army (Russian TV Channels, Newspapers, & online sites-cum-troll factories)??!!

      All of us as individuals can have all kinds of judgments, theories, & opinions.
      But those very opinions & judgments should be based on objectively proven, fully verifiable facts and data. Otherwise, what we believe to be "true" becomes mere conjectures, gossip, fantasy, & illusion... not reality!

    2. "Metropolitan" Epiphany has, to my knowledge never stated stated that unity with the UGCC can "only can only be on practical levels, and not on dogmatic or sacramental levels". In fact the aforementioned false hierarch has stated several times in the past that "unity with Greek Catholics is possible" even strongly implying that the Ukranian inmates are an "Orthodox church".

      My source for these claims is the Ukranian website, which is an independent publication by Ukranian Orthodox journalists.

    3. Sorry typo *Ukranian uniates* not *Ukranian inmates* :P

    4. Dear @Randy, if your standard of true & objective information about the OCU, Metropolitan Epiphaniy, & the Russian war in Ukraine is "", I feel truly truly sorry for you.
      It is one of the many Russian propaganda News Channels/ Media present in Ukraine.
      No Ukrainian in their right mind take these Russian mouthpieces seriously. Few even bothered to fact-check what these information manipulators spit out in the public domain anymore.

      If you want to genuinely & objectively learn what is actually happening in Ukraine (both on the political & religious fronts), you may do well to acquaint yourself with any normal well-established Ukrainian News Media outlet. There are even Russian langugage based Media whose actual reporting is objective & factual. So-called news media such as "" are mere Russian propaganda mouthpieces who spread more conspiracy theories & mass hysteria than actual news.

      By the way, if you are at least marginally familiar with the many many interviews of His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphaniy available in the Ukrainian media, you will quickly learn that he has directly stated more than once about the exact nature of cooperation possible between OCU & UGCC. He said that deep & fruitful cooperation is possible on practical areas but not on dogmatic or eucharistic domain. This area according to him include especially joint educational & research academic projects as well as common social humanitarian projects for the most vulnerable sections in society, especially those millions of Ukrainians from the Donbas war zones who have been violently uprooted since the Russian invasion of 2014 etc etc. Read at least one full interview of Metropolitan Epiphaniy concerning his vision for OCU in Ukraine (not the doctored materials from Russian propaganda outlets masquerading as News) then your opinion will be more in tune with reality.
      Until then, Kyrie Eleison!

    5. I beg you, please do not slander the good people at as nothing but some "Russian propaganda outlet", especially in such a mean way. Such slander is appalling to me, when the good people at have brought me great peace in the past. If you can find an article from that has in any way "doctored the facts" as you have said I will gladly admit fault, but to just paint them as nothing but "Russian mouthpieces" is slanderous and absurd. I did not come to trust as a reputable religious news resource by myself, as ever since I first read it I have regularly checked the truthfulness and legitimacy of their reporting up against other independent news sources like,, ALE, and the BBC. I have never once found them to report false information. Even when they make a mistake they promptly correct it and apologize. If you disagree with their opinion column that's one thing, but most of their reporting is just direct quotes from other independent resources such as ALE,, BBC, etc. Even if you personally disagree with their stance in support of the canonical Ukranian Orthodox Church, there is no need to have such a mean reaction. Sentiments like that are what caused a group of radicals to storm their office buildings not so long ago. They are Christians as well, struggling towards Christ like anyone else. And may I remind you: fellow Ukranians, as I assume you are one.

      Anyways, I would rather stop now, as I am getting rather argumentative, and I do not want to scandalize my brothers in Christ with a stupid wretched sinner like me falling into the sin of Wrath. God bless the Canonical Ukranian Orthodox church under Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and all Ukraine; and for all those who have fallen away from the faith in Ukraine, God bless them as well! May God grant them his saving Graces, and the courage to return to the canonical UOC under Metropolitan Onufry!

      And may God bless you my friend Dislogist, my life! Forgive me wherein I have wronged you in any way! For I am wretched and terrible.
      Lord have mercy on us!

    6. @Randy, here again you are misunderstanding the whole point!

      Some Clarfication:
      1) First of all I don't claim at all that all information ever published by "" at all has always been incorrect. Do NOT be simplistic & reductionist about the intended meaning. Kindly focus clearly on the point being made.

      You have personally brought it up (i.e., specifically as your main source of information & as a reliable news media about the OCU, Metropolitan Epiphaniy, & the Russian war in Ukraine. It is at this precise point that I feel the urgent need to contradict you (speaking truth in love) by contrasting this particular Mefia with other common Ukrainian Channels/ Media who are far far more committed to reporting objectively verifiable, recorded facts from the ground reality in Ukraine.

      It is common knowledge by now in Ukraine's public space that news channels like "" at al do not produce independent, objectively verifiable reports when they specifically report about the OCU, the Russian war in the Donbas, and the alleged "persecution" of the Russian Church in Ukraine.
      There are plenty of free investigative Ukrainian Media channels/ sites today which took the charges/ claims of pro-Russian Channels/ Media regarding the above topics very very seriously... "StopFake.Org" is one such great example. But you could easily pick up/ watch/ listen to any normal mainstream Ukrainian News Media to see know the actual state of affairs. Most of the reported claims so far were/ are be proven to be baseless charges.
      If you want to look for individual reporters/ commentators on this issue who have both the necessary academic training and the moral integrity to speak truthfully, there are plenty of them.

      Such experts specialists on the above mentioned theme in Ukraine include a wide range of Orthodox hierarchs, clergy, & theologians such as Archimandrite Prof. Cyril Hovorun (UOC-MP, currently one of the world's finest Orthodox theologians with remarkable intellect but with an equally remarkable moral courage to speak the truth without any fear or favor); Metropolitan Oleksandr Drabinko (Ex-UOC Bishop, now OCU); Prof. Volodymyr Burega (UOC-MP, currently Prof. at Kyiv Theological Academy); Sergei Chapnin (ROC-MP, former Head of Moscow Patriarchate Publications), Deacon Prof. Andriy Kuraev (ROC-MP, current Prof. of Moscow Theological Seminary), Fr. Prof. Georgiy Kovalenko (Ex-UOC-MP, now OCU), Fr. Prof. Andriy Dudchenko (Ex-UOC-MP, now OCU), Professor Lyudmila Filippovich (Ex-UOC-MP, now OCU), Prof. Konstantin Sigov (Ex-UOC-MP, now OCU), Dr. Andriy Yurash (OCU), Deacon Paul Gavrilyuk (OCA, internationally renowned Ukrainian American theologian), Deacon Prof. Nicholas Denysenko (OCA, internationally renowned Ukrainian American theologian), Archbishop Job Getcha of Telmessos (Bishop of EP, internationally renowed Ukrainian Canadian theologian)... And many many Ukrainian lay expert commentators on this issue such as Katerina Shchetkin, Alexander Sagan, Dmitriy Goryeva, Petr Kraluk, Yuri Chernomorets, Tetyana Derkatch, and so on & so forth...

      I have carefully read many many of their works... investigation, reportage, & balanced opinions expressed in essays, articles, journals, book chapters, & seminar talks on the Ukrainian political & religious question.
      I beg you to kindly try reading at least some of them to begin with...
      I assure you, their reportage about even the most contested & controversial issue (political & religious) on Ukraine is very very nuanced, balanced, truthful, & most importantly based on solid facts & objective evidence... that is what good & rigorous schalarly analysis does (unlike most of the Channels/ Media such as "" who are clearly beholden to the ideological line of the Russian State & Church).

    7. So, No! my friend. I am NOT "slandering" against "" & their well-known sister pro-Russian Media channels in Ukraine. I have ZERO interest in either slandering or glorifying any Channel/ Media. I only felt the need to point out the false reporting, erroneous charges, & baseless narratives they have regularly made concerning anything that contradicts the official narrative of the Russian Church & State (i.e., about the OCU, the Russian war in Ukraine, etc). Most of their complains & accusations against OCU & Ukraine can be crosschecked & cross-examined for veracity at "StopFake.Org" easily.

      2) Secondly, I do understand that the fact that the present Ukrainian political & religious question may be a deeply felt emotional issue for many Russians & Ukrainians on both sides of this divide. And I can respect the sentiments involved on both sides.
      But I am personally very very uninterested in judging this complex issue from an emotional point of view. Because involving too much of our feelings & emotions in a complex issue like Ukraine tend to cloud our judgments of the situation. And it can prevent us from objectively examining the issue (in dispute) and putting our own deeply felt views under critical scrutiny. In short, too much emotion prevents us from bring sufficient objective & self-critical in our assesments. We often let our feelings & emotional biases overrule what objective facts & ground reality told us. This is a common disease amongst us Orthodox Christians.

      3) Likewise, I have no interest whatsoever in making ideological judgments about Ukraine as a whole, about the OCU, about the supposed "persecution" of so-called "canonical Church", & about the Russian war in Donbas.

      Making an ideological judgment might mean, for example:-
      a) Calling one group (i.e., majority Ukrainian patriots) as Fascists, Nazis, Banderite terrorists, etc etc whenever they talk about preserving & protecting the national independence (political & religious) of Ukraine against Russia... and then labelling the other group (Russians & followers of "Russkiy Mir"/ Russian world in Ukraine) as the true "Hiers of Holy Russia"/ of "Moscow, the Third Rome" blah blah blah irrespective of whatever actually happens at the level of ground reality.

      b) Labelling & stigmatizing others (former UOC-KP & UAOC, currently OCU believers) as "schismatics", "uncanonical", & "heretics" who are supposedly devoid of any sacramental grace and shamelessly treating them as if they are unclean & untouchables... all in the name of "Holy Canons" & "Holy Orthodoxy!" No thought & attention is given to the fact that these so-called "schismatic", "uncanonical", & "heretical" groups share the same sacraments, same dogma, same theology, same liturgy, & same spirituality!

      Is it "christian", "biblical", & "truly canonical" to stigmatize, marginalize, & deny our opponents their dignity as another part of the body of Christ in this way?
      NO! It is in fact an outright SIN against the holiest Canon of canons i.e., Christ's Gospel command to love one's enemies & be peacemakers.

      I therefore don't believe in the ridiculous ideological assumption that some people (ROC/ UOC-MP) are "good" & "canonical" and therefore automatically "holy" & "righteous"... while some others (OCU) are not!

    8. God bless you, my brother. My life!

  2. I'd venture to say that it has never been about theological unity, rather administrative unity with Bishop of Rome at the head. Its similar to the reason that *most* Catholics who adhere to the old Latin Mass and pre-Vatican II theology and mores still stay canonically bound to their diocese, even though they strongly disagree with the direction of the Catholic Church, both local and universal, over the past half century. Unity in diversity in action. To be sure, the West and the East did look at certain issues differently in the first millennia, but I'm doubtful it was in the same vein as we see today.

  3. There's this:

  4. Since their inception the unia have been second class citizens in the rcc. In fact they are great examples as how the rcc speaks with forked tongue. On one end, in the west, they maintain celibate (sic) clergy while in the east married clergy abound. Here in the USA their Ukrainian and ruthenian dioceses are crumbling. Why? Because they have no American eastern rite alternative, and because Latin rite policies favor their rite over that of the east. In my experience the most ethnocentric are the Ukrainian eastern riters. They are more Ukrainian than their orthodox brothers from kiev. Although they are always trying to prove to the world that they are the model of what an Ukrainian is.

    1. Well said. I have always loved and truly admired the canonical Ukranian Orthodox faith. The Ukranian Orthodox spiritual tradition has such a great and deep well of knowledge. I especially love the writings of St. Dimitri of Rostov. True Ukranians are those who love God more than their ethnic background.

    2. @Randy:

      Why only targetting Ukrainians here again brother?! Convenient targets??!!
      Reality Check - Every single national groups & local churches within worldwide Orthodoxy has been guilty of the SIN/ HERESY of ethnophyletism both in the past and even today! This has been (and still is) the case with every single Orthodox country!
      Consider the following political ideologies of... Greeks ("Holy Byzantine Empire!", "Holy Greece!" etc), Antiochian Arabs ("Chosen Arab Nation!", "Original Arab Orthodoxy!"), Russians ("Russkiy Mir/ Russian World", "Uniqueness of Holy Russia!", "Moscow, the Third Rome!"), Serbians ("Holy Serbia!" "Slav Superiority!", "The Chosen Race!"), Bulgarians ("Holy Bulgaria!"), Romanians ("Holy Romania!", "The Chosen Latin Orthodox Nation!"), and so forth.

      The problem of "ethnophyletism" (i.e., loving one's nation, civilization, & ethnic identity more than the Gospel of Christ, and putting the interests of the nation-state above that of the Kingdom of God (i.e., the Church).

      Is there one Orthodox nation or local Church in Church History who has been free & uncorrupted from this spiritual cancer called ethnophyletism?! Read proper Church History 101... and the answer is "NONE!" "ZERO!"
      Not a single one of the Orthodox nationalities & local churches has ever been free or unsoiled by this heresy/ sin of ethnoohyletism... and they still are not free from it today. Neither the Greeks nor Slavs nor Romanians nor Arabs are free from this cancer.

      In fact, Church History tells us that every single one of the newly created modern autocephalous Churches from Russia onwards upto Ukraine today gained their autocephaly through heavy political, geopolitical, or extremely nationalistic instruments! In fact the manner in which the Russian Church gained its autocephaly & patriarchate from Constantinople (through military threats/ blackmails and bribes/ simony) still casts huge shadows of its legitimacy & doubts.

      So why cast so much stones at Ukraine/ Ukrainian autoceohaly today? Hypocrisy? Double-standards?
      Whatever opinions we may individually have about the complex political and religious situation in Ukraine today, one thing is crystal clear... if anyone wants to be sanctimonious & "holier-than-thou", pompously lecturing Ukraine, Ukrainians, & the autocephalous Ukrainian Church (on what they ought to/ ought not to do) somebody should remind such self-obsessed hypocrites that they themselves should first practice what they preach.
      Could anyone tell me that the violent ideology of "Russkiy Mir/ Russian War" so zealously preached from the Pulpits of the Kremlin & on the Highest Altars of the Russian Church is not ethnophyletistic?! Give me a BREAK!!! It is ethnophyletism through and through... here a unique "Russian" identity is defined in terms of a shared spiritual civilization of "Rus"... a very violent idea! Inspired Vladimir Putin to invade two neighbouring Orthodox countries of Georgia and Ukraine. A very very violent ethnophyletism indeed!
      Which Orthodox hierarch, local Synod, clergy, or monk has ever come out in condemning this violent nature of the Russian world & its disasterous consequences in Georgia and Ukraine??? NONE!!!
      WHY this moral failure to criticise this spiritual cancer afflixting Russian politics & Russian Church today??!!

    3. Indeed all forms of nationalism/ patriotism within the Church carries the danger of surrendering the priority of the Kingdom of God in favour of the Kingdom of Men.
      It is correct to advise caution for Ukrainian nationalism also in this light. But this warning/ critique should only be made with corresponding awareness that everyone else have also been guilty (and still are) of this sin & heresy.
      So, a balanced & measured criticism coming out of self-criticism first.
      Otherwise it will only show our obvious biases, hypocrisies, & double-standards.

      And people in this current generation can smell inauthentic, hypocritical, & double-standard attitudes and actions from miles and miles away. No way to fool people today. Our inner intentions & real motivations have a way of exposing themselves!

      "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7).
      "You hypocrite! First, remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:5).

    4. God bless you my friend! Indeed I am the most terrible and wretched sinner. I have no right to criticize the actions of others, as my own sins wash over me like a great wave, and only Christ can save me from drowning in my own filth. My life! Let us pray that the Most Holy Trinity will grant us the great strength not to walk in the council of schismatics! Christ is in our midst! He outpours his love on us, and it is truly sweet!

  5. Amen to that insight Randy. Sometmes Ukrainian nationalism borders on insanity.

  6. I have been a regular visitor and then member of the local Ruthenian (Byzantine Catholic) parish for nearly four years now and can offer some general thoughts and information. In regard to the general ethos, I sense from many anecdotes and some web investigation that the orientation of the really committed Ruthenians is now pretty much entirely oriented toward Orthodox spirituality, liturgy and theology, as SVIATOSLAV himself said in an address in Toronto a couple of years ago, he even said there that we live in communion with Rome as was done by all Orthodox in the first millennium. This latter statement would best be characterized as an aspirational view rather than factual at present, as there is no doubt that Rome has a more direct influence on our affairs than would have been the case earlier. The recent meeting in Rome would be consistent with that thought, I think. Nevertheless on the individual level, many of us look almost entirely to Orthodox ( and also Copt) spiritual writers for wisdom and guidance, especially of course, the Russians. In our local bible study most of us use the Orthodox Study Bible as our source, with reference to Latin sources only secondarily. Of course, in the liturgy we commemorate Francis, the Pope of Rome, but I think I speak for many of us when I say that he seems like a far distant hierarch. Latinizations like the rosary, stations of the cross, exposition of the blessed sacrament, etc., are entirely gone where I am, although I gather this varies a lot from place to place.

    All this said, it cannot be denied that the Latin Church, being so much larger and everywhere present, offers attractions that are hard to ignore. In our large city,mtherevare only one Ruthenian and one UGCC church each and travel to them can be quite time consuming for some, of not many. On the other hand, a Roman parish seems always to be very close by, so fulfilling one’s Sunday duty there can often occur. Similarly for the young, the Latin pool of eligible spouses is much greater than that from the Greek Catholic (shorthand for at least the Ruthenian and Ukrainian Catholics) community, so there is the inevitable “intermarriage”, with the usual results. I cannot speak with any real knowledge about formation in the Greek Catholic community but it seems that whatever formation is done does not often create the felt need to remain a Greek Catholic in spite of the Latin attractions of ease of access, personal relationships and the like. Also the internet resources for Greek Catholics are relatively few, and certainly do not match in quality or quantity those from the Latin side (even though the Latin contentiousness on the web can be very off turning). These I think are some of the factors that are contributing to the rather dramatic drop in numbers among the Greek Catholics in the US anyway. And there is also of course the ethnic exclusivity that can dominate some parishes. Not, fortunately, the one that I belong to, but even I hear the stories, for example, our parish mission in a nearby city failed to attract the Ukrainians,who do not have their own parish there, because the liturgy is all in English, and not Ukrainian. So the Ukrainians tend to go to the local Ordinariate parish, also all in English, of course.

    With respect to union with our Orthodox brothers, I am very happy that there is a certain amount of fraternal contact, and this seems to be especially the case with some of the clergy, and some meetings such as the Orientale Lumen conference, but we all experience or know of, the obstacles at the local levels, to real prayer together, much less intercommunion, so any kind of juridical union seems to be far, far away, unfortunately.

    1. Similarly for the young, the Latin pool of eligible spouses is much greater than that from the Greek Catholic (shorthand for at least the Ruthenian and Ukrainian Catholics) community, so there is the inevitable “intermarriage”, with the usual results.

      Literally the only justification for a Ruthenian Catholic parish in the West is ethnocentrism. And unless the parents are going to arrange marriages with spouses from the old country, then the end of the Ruthenian Catholic church in the US is in sight.

  7. I should just add that when we say the creed at liturgy, we do not include the filioque. Also, those of us who try to pray some of the horologion use either a Ruthenian online version, or the Melkite Catholic version, that are very close to Orthodox versions, and of course the Jesus Prayer is a primary prayer. I own both Orthodox and Greek Catholic Prayer Books, in English, and they are very similar.

  8. there is no rational excuse for the rival unia to exist ---if you want to play Eastern Orthodox Christian, then become so. You originally were, wern't you. No tomes of verbiage will erase this history.

    1. Ultimately I respect the people who have fallen under the unia and their spiritual struggle, but ultimately the unia is, at its core, a political creation; made from it's very inception to trick unknowing laity into apostasy. Best thing to do is to pray that those under the unia see the errors of the papacy for what they are, and return to the fold of the one true church.

  9. Remember Jesus not only prayed but was also proactive ,,,, we need to follow in the footsteps of rt rev Peter kohanik of blessed memory

  10. Speaking as a Latin Catholic who follows this blog and has had a long relationship with the UGCC through friends, I think it's absurd Rome hasn't already recognized +Sviatoslav as a patriarch. He is commemorated as patriarch in UGCC liturgies in both English and Ukrainian (the liturgical books say "major archbishop" in English but the Ukrainian version says "patriarch"). The UGCC is struggling in the US from what I can see, but it remains one of the largest Eastern Churches in communion with Rome. I've always admired the perseverance of those born into the UGCC and their commitment to their faith. Frankly I've heard horror stories of what some had to endure under the Soviets. That deserves some recognition on Rome's part.

    I don't understand the point of any hesitation or concern for offending Orthodox sensibilities by withholding recognition. There are already Eastern Catholic hierarchs with the rank of patriarch in Orthodox jurisdictions that would potentially be an obstacle to any future "reunion" (the Melkites come to mind). The Orthodox have no qualms about missionary work in Rome's canonical territory, so why should Rome be concerned? This seems like an instance where there is a tension between the spiritual needs of Catholics and ecumenism with the Orthodox. If the situation were reversed I would expect any Orthodox hierarch to prioritize the needs of those within his own communion. The Pope should do the same.

  11. Would not true christian charity be the allowing of the uniates to return to their mother church and the return of the sacred items looted in the 4 th crusade

    1. The return of sacred items, certainly. But "allowing of the uniates to return to their mother church" has a lot of underlying assumptions that I don't believe are shared by Rome nor by the UGCC itself (I've been told by some Ukrainian Catholics that the term "Unia/Uniate" is offensive so I will refrain from using it).

      There is nothing stopping Ukrainian Catholics from becoming Orthodox in the United States, and from what little I have seen of the situation in Ukraine it doesn't seem like the Ukrainian government is forcing them to remain in communion with Rome either. Rome cannot stop anyone from leaving. Besides, Catholicism sees itself as the True Church, just as Orthodoxy sees itself as the True Church. How would it be Christian Charity to encourage anyone to enter into schism? Your question also implies that Ukrainian Catholics all want to be Orthodox. In my limited experience that is not the case. If it were, one would have expected the UGCC to have ceased to exist when it was formally liquidated by the Soviets and all its property transferred into Orthodox hands.