BRAMA, Feb 6, 2007, 9:00 am ET|
Statement of UAOC Metropolitan Mykhayil Regarding the Ordination of 'Traditionalist Catholic' Clergy in Ukraine
His Eminence, Metropoitan Mykhayil
New York We are disheartened to learn of the ordination of priests and deacons
in Western Ukraine, who follow the "Society of St. Pius X," a movement which
separated itself from the Catholic Church following the reforms of the Second
Vatican Council, under the leadership of the late excommunicated French
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. This movement, which until the last decade was
confined to the Roman Rite, has now attempted to make inroads among the Greek
Catholic faithful in Ukraine, who have always followed the Byzantine-Orthodox
rituals and traditions.
Using the misleading name of the "Society of St. Josaphat" this group appears to aim at gaining popularity among the Ukrainian
faithful by perpetuating certain liturgical and theological sentiments, which
are products of the Latin Church and belong to a different period of time and
thinking. These practices, often termed "latinizations," have long been
abandoned by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the entire Catholic
communion as a whole, particularly since Vatican II.
Such attempts at the latininzation of the Ukrainian church have historically, always lead to
tragedy, disunity and ultimately, a loss of identity for our people as a whole.
In our times, the focus of inter-church relations in Ukraine has been on greater
unity which, with God's help, can eventually lead to a united Ukrainian Church,
faithful to the liturgical, spiritual and theological heritage we have received
from our ancestors in the faith. These things can only become reality by
concentrating on what we hold in common as Ukrainian Christians, not introducing
novel customs which are foreign to the Ukrainian ethos and identity.
We have followed the movement of this group and its tactics inside Ukraine during
the past decade and clearly see the confusion it can potentially cause for
believers. Therefore, we support Cardinal Husar, Archbishop Vozniak and our
brothers and sisters of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in this time of
latin traditionalist intrusion among the faithful in Ukraine. Likewise, we
pledge our continued cooperation in fostering greater unity among Orthodox and
Eastern Rite Catholics in Ukraine, praying for the day that God will grant our
Motherland a united church, faithful to it's rich and particularly Ukrainian
expression of the Eastern Christian faith.
(The Most Rev. Michael Javchak Champion, DD., MA
Archbishop of New York
Metropolitan of All America
Autocephalous Orthodox Church
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