Friday, March 28, 2008

Interesting story from Rorate Caeli...

Unauthorized Episcopal Consecrations in Ukraine

News is now spreading of the consecration shortly before March 23 -- Easter Sunday according to the Gregorian Calendar -- of four Ukrainian Greek Catholic priests as bishops, without being nominated by the Major Archbishop of Kyiv and head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Lubomyr Cardinal Husar, and without receiving the necessary Papal blessing.The UGCC has issued a communique condemning the consecrations. Strangely enough, secrecy and uncertaintly currently cover the identity of the consecrating bishop, and there are questions over whether this bishop was a real, validly consecrated bishop in the first place.This comes a little more than four months after the excommunication of Fr. Basil Kovpak, founder and head of the Society of St. Josaphat (SSJK), a Ukrainian Greek Catholic society of priests which is currently associated with the Society of St. Pius X. Fr. Kovpak was excommunicated by Cardinal Husar for attending the ordination of two SSJK priests and five SSJK deacons by SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson.While the two events do not seem to be related, both have their roots in the same controversies now shaking the UGCC. In their Open Letter to the Holy Father the new "bishops" profess filial devotion to Rome while justifying their consecration as a necessary action in the face of the alleged modernism and hyper-ecumenism of the current Major Archbishop. In particular, they denounce the Balamand Agreement of 1993, which rejected Uniatism as a model for the future. They also condemn what they consider to be the "schismatic" and "apostate" attitudes of the Cardinal Husar and of the UGCC hierarchy, as well as the negative attitude being shown within the UGCC to Latin devotions such as the Rosary, Way of the Cross, Devotion to the Sacred Heart, etc. The letter also alleges that theological modernism is beginning to pervade the UGCC and even speaks of its "practical schism" from the rest of the Catholic Church. The letter, thus, reveals a theological and spiritual position nearly identical to that of the SSJK.These consecrations seem to be the latest sad chapter in the theological and liturgical debates currently besetting Ukrainian Greek Catholicism (as well as certain other Byzantine-Rite Catholic Churches). In a nutshell, the debates revolve on whether the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church must return to a purely Byzantine liturgy and theology and should attempt to be as close to Eastern Orthodoxy as possible (even sharing the same theology -- a position that Cardinal Husar has publicly endorsed while expressing his belief in the necessity of communion with Rome), or whether it must keep the "traditional" Latinizations of UGCC liturgy and spiritual life, and focus on emphasizing its distinctively Catholic identity vis-a-vis the Orthodox Church.More analysis of this event can be found here.


Anonymous said...

Having read the positions of the new Bishops, and having a fairly good knowledge of the Society of Saint Josephat, I know that the faithful of the Ukranian Church hahve their sympathies with the new Bishops and the Society of Saint Josephat, NOT with Cardinal Husar, the Balamad Conventions, or ecumenism.
If this is going against the Pope, so be it.
The Latin Rite Church was destroyed by Vatican II, and the same Modernism which is now attacking the Uniate Churches. Ecumenism is the root cause of the collapse.
If the new Bishops (supported by a huge percentage of the ordinary people), stand to preserve the Faith, then they are correct.
Everyone knows that Catholics should be loyal to the Pope, but when the Pope and his advisors deliberatly take actions which destroy the Faith, (Vatican II , Novus Ordo, ecumenism, Balamad Accords, Assisi Interreligious Gathering 1986, Agreement on Justification with Lutherans (1999), then what are faithful Catholics to do? Accept error and watch the Church collapse?
I don't think that's what Christ meant by Peter being the rock on which the Church is built. I am sure Christ would not want his Faithful to adhere to error.
God bless the new Bishops if they stand against the errors of Cardinal Husar, etc. and are faithful. If they are linked to the SSPX, they have chosen champions of the Catholic Faith to assist them.

Castor said...

That is nonsense. How can anyone calculate that they are supported by "a huge percentage of the ordinary faithful". Did you take a survey? Our parish doesnt support them. It is a diabolical trick to equate the necessity of these ordinations with a defence against certain erroneous positions. These people had sectarian tendencies before they were even ordained priests. Modernism is a problem in all Christian Churches but these men will do nothing to stop it because they have their own agenda. Such rants are the result of never having studied theology systematically.

Miguel José Ernst-Sandoval said...

While I don't agree with their actions, I completely understand the position of the SSJK.

There are more than a few Byzantine-Slavic Rite Catholics these days who say things like: "the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception doesn't apply to us" and "papal infallibility only applies to Catholics of the Latin Rite". However, the common people know better.

The Second Vatican Council opened the door to schism...

Castor said...

I agree with what You say about some Eastern Catholics not undertanding about recently defined dogmas. I reckon that a much larger percentage of Latin Catholics dissent from Catholic teaching than orientals. Just my feeling

So did the First Vatican Council, the Council of Trent and the Fourth Lateran Council open the door to schisms and heresies, which were ripe and ready and would have wrecked worse havock if the councils had not said what they did.