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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, December 21, 2011, 9:00 AM ET

    Op-ed

    Ukrainian World – Praise for Major Archbishop Shevchuk
    By Bishop Paul Peter Jesep

    The Kyiv Post often gets it right. Its reporting and coverage have been exceptional regarding Ukraine's fledgling democracy and cultural reawakening. Its editorials have clearly kept hope alive for a democratic, sovereign Ukraine. In its 2011 year end top ten list of notables it rightly selected Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

    The newspaper highlighted the Major Archbishop's response to Patriarch Kirill's call for "Russiky Mir" or Russian World. He called for Ukrainians to build a "Ukrainian World" as opposed to Kirill's Russian World. The significance of the Major Archbishop's comment cannot be overstated. It is a call to cultural and linguistic arms.

    Russiky Mir is the philosophy and the formal name of an organization that the Moscow Patriarchate supports. Former KGB officer and Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin established the Russiky Mir Foundation in June 2007. It promotes history, language, and cultural heritage throughout the world from a distinctly Russian perspective. In doing so it identifies the individual contributions of ethnic groups once part of the Imperial and Soviet empires as Russian.

    According to the Foundation's website, "Russia's vibrant, multicultural society has made many artistic, musical, literary, and scientific contributions to global culture … Russian language is at the heart of Russian culture and society."

    This self-aggrandizement unwittingly underscores that there is no Russia, no Russianness, and no Russian soul without the subordinated multiculturalism of the past. Of all the cultures that have contributed to Russia, Kyiv-Rus and present day Ukraine remains its fundamental spiritual, emotional, and psychological core.

    Few in the West have noticed and those that have don't fully understand Russia's anxiety about the re-examination of widely held and long accepted views of its culture, history, and spirituality.

    According to Hegumen Filipp Ryabykh, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Orthodox Moscow-Patriarchate's Department of External Church Relations, "Ukraine was always considered the cradle of Russian civilization, and Moscow and St. Petersburg were considered the successors of Kiev [sic]."

    It is disingenuous when Fr. Ryabykh says that "Russia, even when it was building an empire, never considered Ukraine to be an object of colonization." Empress Catherine enslaved the Ukrainian peasantry with serfdom in 1776.

    He also said during an interview that "Russian culture can let various peoples communicate with each other, but it is not being imposed as something compulsory and exclusive." Jews were harassed, persecuted, and dehumanized throughout much of Russian history. The Ukrainian language was banned in schools in both the Imperial and Soviet periods. Speaking or promoting the language could get a person imprisoned.

    A nation's soul is defined by its writers, thinkers, composers, and other great artists. It is the creative spirit from within a nation that gives it a unique soul. Hence, Major Archbishop Shevchuk's call for a "Ukrainian World" was not just a patriotic call to arms. More important it is a reminder that a great nation is not measured by its army or economy. Its culture, language, and distinct history is its soul. Ukrainian World!

    Bishop Jesep is an author, New York lawyer, and designated United States spokesperson for His Beatitude Metropolitan Myfodii of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine, Ukraine's third largest Orthodox Church. The views expressed here are personal and in no way reflect the official positions of the UAOC. He may be reached at VladykaPaulPeter (a) aol.com.

    * * * * *

    Related:

  • Apr 22 12 - Op-ed: Aiding and Abetting the Moscow Patriarchate
  • Mar 23 12 - Friends of Ukraine Take Action
  • Feb 24 12 - Will Ukraine have Its First Modern Political Martyr?
  • Jan 23 12 - Holocaust Remembrance Day
  • Dec 30 11 - Ukrainian World – Praise for Major Archbishop Shevchuk
  • Dec 21 11 - Lessons from Muscovy
  • Aug 10 11 - Russian Truth
  • Apr 14 11 - President Yanukovych's Chance to Show Leadership
  • Mar 14 11 - An Open Letter to Viktor Yanukovych
  • Aug 27 10 - Independent Ukraine 2010
  • Jan 31 10 - Remembering Ukraine's Jews
  • Jan 15 10 - Orange Forever!
  • Aug 27 09 - UAOC Mourns the Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy
  • Jan 14 08 - UAOC Bishop Condemns United Fatherland and Union of Orthodox Citizens
  • Oct 25 07 - Bishop calls for Annual Holocaust Memorial Day
  • May 28 07 - Priests try to end anti-Semitism
  • Feb 12 07 - Statement on Anti-Semitism
  • Feb 5 07 - Kyiv Patriarchate Appoints U.S. Director of Public Affairs
  • Nov 23 05 - Archbishop Husar's Orange Revolution of Faith
  • Sep 12 05 - Yushchenko showed leadership
  • Sep 7 05 - Metropolitan Mefodiy of Kyiv to visit America
  • Sep 2 05 - UAOC issues strong condemnation of anti-semitism
  • Apr 28 05 - Yushchenko at the Kennedy Library
  • Apr 1 05 - Diaspora rebirth begins in dialogue
  • Mar 11 05 - The Politics of Orthodoxy
  • Feb 11 05 - The Diaspora's Future
  • Jan 21 05 - Ukraine, Orthodoxy, and the Greek Prelate
  • Dec 22 04 - Has the Diaspora failed? Can more be done?
  • Dec 22 04 - Russia will not leave Ukraine alone
  • Dec 14 04 - God, Faith and the Orange Revolution
  • Dec 8 04 - Ukraine must run the extra mile
  • Dec 1 04 - Cage the Russian Circus Bear
  • Nov 24 04 - Support liberty - Practical things you can do
  • Nov 22 04 - Ukraine's Election - NOW WHAT?
  • Oct 11 04 - Catholic Patriarchate in Kyiv
  • Sep 29 04 - Kuchma and the American presidential election
  • Aug 13 04 - Op-ed: Foreign churches cannot dictate a unilateral non-Ukrainian spirituality in Ukraine (Patriarch Filaret and Ukrainian Spirituality)
  • Jul 26 04 - Op-ed: Viktor Yushchenko and Ukraine's future (Ukraine needs a patriot as its next leader)
  • Mar 18 04 - Ukrainian influence in the 2004 American presidential election

    Email: VladykaPaulPeter(at)aol.com.

    Copyright © 1997-2011 BRAMA, Inc. All rights reserved.
    The images and information contained in BRAMA News and BRAMA Press reports may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of BRAMA and/or author/photographer. The views and opinions of authors expressed on Brama.com do not necessarily state or reflect the views of Brama - Gateway Ukraine or its officers, directors or associates.


  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

     

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