Statement of UAOC Metropolitan Mykhayil....
BRAMA, Feb 6, 2007, 9:00 am ET
Statement of UAOC Metropolitan Mykhayil Regarding
the Ordination of 'Traditionalist Catholic' Clergy in Ukraine
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 Th.)
Archbishop of New York
Metropolitan of All America
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church