Vatican - Meetings with heads of Greek, Czech Orthodox Churches
- The statement in the article way down below is totally false: Eastern
Orthodoxy in the former Czechoslovakia dates only to the 1920s
We Moravians in and from what is the present day Czech Republic and
Slovakia were enlighten with the Holy Gospel by Saints Cyril and Methodius
of Thessalonica in about 865. Saint Photius, the Great, Patriarch of
Constantinople sent his nephews to Great Moravia - Velká Morava, which is
the present day Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Southern Poland.. We were the
first Slavic people to receive Christianity even before Russia, the Ukraine,
Bulgaria, and Serbia.
We Moravians were the first people to have church services (Divine Liturgy,
Mass) and the Holy Gospels (the Bible) in our own language - Slavonic.
Saints Cyril and Methodius were extremely controversial because they were
the first to use Slavonic - a language other than Latin, Greek or Syriac in
Church Services and the Bible. They developed a special alphabet called
Glagolitic for the Slavonic language of our people. Later alphabets for
Slavonic and Slavic languages were developed and called Cyrillic after the
above St. Cyril.
St. Cyril died in Rome in 869 and was buried in the Church of San Clemente.
St. Methodius returned as the archbishop in Great Moravia where he died in
885. After the death of St. Methodius in 885, Bishop Wiching, a Latin, took
over, literally defrocked all the Slavonic priests and monks and sent them
down to the river naked. Some of the Slavonic priests and monks were sold
into slavery. Latin clergy then took over most of the area.
These Slavonic priests and monks, who were disciples of Saints Cyril and
Methodius and trained by them, then went on to bring the true faith to
Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine and Russia. However, we Czechs and Moravians were
the first to receive the Orthodox faith from Constantinople, where the
Patriarch of Constantinople (Istanbul) is today. He is the successor of St.
Photius, the Great, who was the uncle of Saints Cyril and Methodius and who
sent his nephews to Great Moravia the present day Czech Republic and
However, the people in Carpathian Mountain preserved the Orthodox faith,
given them by Saints Cyril and Methodius for several centuries because they
were isolated in the mountains from the powers of that day. They are known
as the Carpatho-Rus or Ruthenians.
As political power spread East from the West the Carpatho-Rus were forced to
become Uniates, that is, Eastern Rite Roman Catholics at councils at
Brest in 1596 and Uzhhorod Uhorod in 1646.
There was a group of Carpatho-Rus who were Uniats who immigrated to
America in the late 1800s. St. Alexis Toth, a priest in Minneapolis,
Minnesota, led his parish back to the Orthodox Church in 1891. He then
helped many other Carpatho-Rus in America return to the Orthodox Church.
In 1918 Czechoslovakia became an independent county from Austria-Hungry. A
number of priests and people left the Roman Catholic Church and joined the
Orthodox Church so they could return to the tradition of Saints Cyril and
Methodius. In 1921 St. Goradz (Matthias Pavlik) was made a bishop in
Czechoslovakia. In 1942 the Nazis executed St. Goradz and he was glorified
a saint as a martyr.
The Holy Brothers, Saints Cyril and Methodius are venerated in the Eastern
Orthodox Church with the title of "Equals to the Apostles." In 1880, Pope
Leo XIII introduced their feast into the calendar of the Roman Catholic
1980, Pope John Paul II declared them Co-patrons of Europe, together with
Saint Benedict of Nursia. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have been
working for the reconciliation of the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox
In America and in Texas many communities where Czechs, Moravians, and
Slovaks settled, the Roman Catholic Churches are named after Saints Cyril
and Methodius. For example there are churches in Corpus Christi and Shiner,
Texas named for Saints Cyril and Methodius. My grandparents named one of my
uncles Cyril Method. KJT lodges are also so named.
Consequently, the two Greek brother, Saints Cyril and Methodius of
Thessalonica were sent by the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople to Czech
Republic and Slovakia, which were then Great Moravia, in about 865. St.
Methodius remained there as archbishop until his death in 885. The Orthodox
Church was in the Czech Republic and Slovakia 950 years before 1920. The
Czechs, Moravians, and Slovaks have named Roman Catholic Churches after
Saints Cyril and Methodius and thus give witness to these saints, who
brought the Orthodox faith to our people in their own language Slavonic,
translating the Divine Liturgy (Mass) and Holy Bible. They did not use
Latin or Greek but the language of our people in that place over 1100 years
The Protestant churches did not even exist at this time. However, the
Protestants did follow the example of Saints Cyril and Methodius, and used
the language of the people in church services and the Holy Bible.
In the love and peace of Christ,
Father Frederick J. Janecek
A Texas Czech Moravian OCA Orthodox Priest
Meetings with heads of Greek, Czech Orthodox Churches
February 27, 2009
Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for
Promoting Christian Unity, offered an uncharacteristically
pessimistic assessment of ecumenical dialogue with the Greek Orthodox
Church following a meeting with its new leader, Archbishop Ieronymos
II. "There is still a strong resistance toward an ecumenical growing
closer, and because of that our steps must be prudent," Cardinal
Kasper told Vatican Radio. "I did not have very high expectations: It
would not be possible to resolve every problem in just one day, but
it was important to establish personal contact." Nonetheless,
Cardinal Kasper called Archbishop Ieronymos "a truly humble and
modest man. Our meeting has certainly been a beautiful one, and also
those with his collaborators."
Metropolitan Krystof (Christopher), head of the Orthodox Church in
the Czech and Slovak Republics, began a three-day visit to the
Vatican yesterday that will culminate in an audience with Pope
Benedict tomorrow. Eastern Orthodoxy in the former Czechoslovakia
dates only to the 1920s, when groups of Roman and Eastern Catholics
left the Catholic Church. The history of relations between the
Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church there has been a tortured one
that includes the forced conversion of Eastern Catholics to Orthodoxy
under Communist rule.
Rev. Father Frederick J. JaneCek
MA, MSW, ACSW, BCD, DCSW, LCSW, LMFT
ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA (OCA)
Website: http:// www.oca.org
5929 Mayhill Drive
Madison, WI 53711-4121
Telephone: (608) 273-2957
Cell phone: (608) 628-6910
SS. Cyril & Methodius Orthodox Church
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]