Power at any cost: how UGCC forged its authority by deceit and denunciation

13 June 2017 11:23
Power at any cost: how UGCC forged its authority by deceit and denunciation
Attempts to attach Orthodox Christians to the Catholic Church have been made almost since the beginning of the notorious schism, the formal dating of which historians refer to 1054. But practically all initiatives of Uniates to integrate the RCC and the Orthodox Church suffered a complete or relative collapse.

The Lyons (1274), the Florentine (1439), and then the Brest (1596) Union were not supported by the greater part of the Orthodox world and remained dark spots in the history of the Orthodox Church, indicating, on the one hand, the weakness of a separate part of the episcopate, and on the other hand, the futility of all efforts aimed at finding a compromise with the Catholic Church. All these unions clearly indicated the fact that unification with the Vatican is possible only on the same conditions as those offered by the Vatican itself (the recognition by the Orthodox of the Catholic ecclesiology and dogmatic features of the RCC, including the papal primacy).

At the same time, Catholics themselves have never left the idea of attaching schismatics (as they call the Orthodox) to the papal throne. Even the relative failure of the Brest Union did not embarrass them at all. Using in some places political pressure, in others physical and military force, in the third descending to deception and bribery, the Uniates by the mid-end of the XVII century almost completely crushed the territory of Chervonnaya Rus (modern Western Ukraine) and most of the territory that today belongs to Central Ukraine.

Interestingly, Uniates acted according to the same scheme they are applying today. It is known that, without receiving support from below (that is, from ordinary Ukrainians who were faithful to the Mother Church, at that time to the Patriarchate of Constantinople), the Uniates used pressure from above to implement their plans. Through bribery or some other means, including political privileges, they recruited in power in their ranks. Of course, the main attention was paid to the rich and eminent dignitaries, the deputies of the Seim or other persons influencing politics. Then, with their help, the Uniates not only adopted anti-Orthodox laws (for example, they forbade baptizing, crowning and burying Orthodox Christians), but also with impunity and brazenly seized Orthodox churches.

During the famous Mogilev rebellion, when residents of the city of Mogilev opposed to the "missionary" activity of one of the most brutal preachers of the union Josaphat Kuntsevich, Polish King Sigismund ordered not only to execute the instigators of resistance, but also to take away all the Orthodox churches in the city. Of course, you will ask, what do the described events have to do with the present? They do in a direct way.

Probably, those who watched the live broadcast from the funeral of former head of the UGCC, US citizen Lubomyr Husar, noticed that his body was being carried on a gun carriage, which, in turn, was pulled by American military car Hummer. Around the coffin there were not only clergymen, but also the military. Svyatoslav Shevchuk, the current head of the UGCC, as if justifying himself for such an incredible and difficult to explain degree of militarism during the priest's funeral, remarked that all these "military honors" are a tribute to the Ukrainian army from the deceased. This statement we leave on the conscience of Svyatoslav Shevchuk ... And remember that Christ, when entering Jerusalem, deliberately chose the colt, not the horse, for example. Because the horse was associated with war and aggression, whereas Christ preached peace and love. So, what do the Greek Catholics preach to us, the Ukrainians?

In 2000, Pope John Paul II held a solemn mass, which was called Mea culpa (Latin "My fault"). During this mass, Catholics, along with the head of their Church, repented for manifestations of intolerance and violence committed against dissenters. They also asked for forgiveness for the organization of religious wars and crusades, and in this regard, for all the cruel and often inhuman measures that the Catholic Church used to plant its faith. They condemned, among other things, the practice of the Inquisition, apologized for disrespect for other cultures and religions, for crimes against human dignity, against women, against certain races and nationalities." They also apologized for crimes against the rights of the individual and against social justice. Catholics also repented for the split that entered the Christian world by their fault. According to the Pope, he "begs forgiveness from God for the injustice committed by Christians over the centuries."

At that time, it seemed that Christians are entering the new millennium with a new vision having reconsidered their existence, with the intention, together with other Christians, to build a common future on the foundation of mutual respect and cooperation. But all this turned out to be another deceit on the part of the RCC. Already in 2001-2002, they are engaged in active proselytizing activities in Ukraine and Russia, and are also trying to infiltrate Georgia. However, as it has been repeatedly proven in the history of our country "and other countries, such RCC activities very often lead to unpredictable consequences.

Our great countryman, poet and artist Taras Shevchenko, in one of his poems described what happened in Ukraine during the Catholic (read "Uniate") expansion in the late XVI - early XVII centuries:

When we were Cossacks
And there was no union at all,
We used to enjoy our life!
... Until by the name of Christ
Catholic priests came and burnt
Our quiet paradise. And poured
Extensive sea of tears and blood,
And orphans by the name of Christ
Were murdered and crucified
The cossacks’ heads bent,
Like trampled grass,
Ukraine is weeping, weeping, weeping!
And heads are falling on the ground
The torturers are seething
And shout: "Te deum! Alіluya!.."
After June 22, 1847, the Orsk fortress - 1850, Orenburg

It should be noted that these words of the Kobzar are valid not only for the XVII, but also for the XX century. In the early twentieth century, the UGCC was active in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, working very closely with the authorities. It is known that before the First World War a large number of former Uniates returned to the faith of their fathers, that is, to Orthodoxy. And the Greek Catholics, like their older Catholics, declared something like a crusade against those who decided to leave their organization. The Orthodox Church was subjected to open and cruel persecution. Uniates, with the active assistance of state power, were engaged in the physical destruction of the Orthodox and dissenters in general. First of all, this concerned Rusyns living in the territory of modern Ukraine. Talerhof almanac in terrible detail describes all those atrocities committed by Uniates and officials against Orthodox Christians.

It was the Greek Catholic priests who wrote denunciations in which they accused the Orthodox and Rusyns of separatism and undermining the state structure of the great Austro-Hungarian Empire. Of course, as today, in such cases, no evidence was supplied. But, despite this, according to the denunciations of these priests, soldiers shot hundreds of people. A visit to Orthodox worship was often punished with a fine, could result in imprisonment or death. As the crown of this genocide of Rusyns in the territory of the modern Czech Republic and Austria, the first concentration camps in Europe – Terezin and Talergof – were created by the Uniates and the authorities. In these death camps, which later served as a template for the creation of such places in Nazi Germany, tens of thousands of Orthodox people and Rusyns were exterminated.

After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Uniates, according to the tradition, began to closely cooperate with the Polish authorities. Wishing to apple-polish the authorities as much as possible, the Uniates actively participated in repressions against the Orthodox. For example, when a riot broke out among the peasants who were dissatisfied with taxes and forced executions, police and cavalry detonated 800 villages and arrested thousands of peasants who were dissatisfied with the existing policy. Historians note that in suppressing the riots, the authorities were helped by nationalists and the Uniate Church. This help was not for free – many needs of the Greek Catholic Church were financed from the state treasury, and head of the UGCC, Andrei Sheptytsky, received from the state a salary almost the same as the head of state. In addition, the UGCC had privileges and lands, and the brother of the UGCC head was a general of the Polish army. All this, of course, contributed to the almost complete fusion of the state and the Church.

Having driven themselves into the position of militant church structure, writing denunciations on which thousands of fellow citizens were killed, the Uniate priests understood that after this, whether they want it or not, they have only one way – to rely on force. Otherwise, they would risk revenge sooner or later on the part of those who lost their fathers, mothers or children because of their denunciations. Therefore, various semi-military structures appeared all the time in close cooperation with the UGCC. One of them was Plast, who was patronized by Sheptytsky and which eventually became a real forge of radicals.

Also it should be said that many OUN leaders came from the families of the UGCC priesthood. A militant religion engendered warlike nationalists. By 1941, Poland had been occupied. And again, as before, the UGCC met the authorities halfway, which at that time and in those territories was Nazi Germany. It is interesting that even before the war an honorary award in the form of swastika was introduced in the Plast, which was worn, among others, by Andrei Sheptytsky. People were accustomed to the "great ideals" of National Socialism.

It was from the Uniates that the Germans created Nachtigall and Roland battalions. In turn, it was the battalions that broke into Lviv in 1941, and together with the Germans committed Jewish pogroms. On the streets there were cries and groans of the people killed by ethnicity, while Sheptytsky wrote a message to the believers and the priesthood, in which he ordered to meet with joy the Nazi murderers.

Along with this, an attempt was made to create an alliance with Nazi Germany, the head of which was to become a native of the family of the Uniate priest Yaroslav Stetsko.

The Act of the Proclamation of Ukrainian Statehood states that the new state "will work closely with the National Socialist Great Germany under the leadership of its leader Adolf Hitler, who forms a new order in Europe and the world."

Additionally, in 1943, when the whole world was horrified at the atrocities of the Nazis, the priests of the UGCC supported the creation of the SS division "Galychyna".

Herewith the UGCC blended with the new foreign administration so much that chaplains of the newly created division not only used to have ranks of the German army but also wear Nazi uniform – together with the worship one.

After the defeat of Nazi Germany, the UGCC in the USSR was banned namely because it was aiding the Nazis. True, the Uniates themselves claim that they were forbidden by the godless government for preaching ... the Gospels. However, the fruits of their activities indicate something completely different.

For example, immediately after the collapse of the USSR and the legalization of the UGCC, the priests of this structure rushed to capture Orthodox churches rather than preach the Word of God. Naturally, radical forces were needed for such activities. And they did not have to search for them for a long time, because the same members of the OUN took part in the pogroms, followed by the newly created structure "Trident named after Stepan Bandera". This organization initially worked closely with the UGCC, gathered in the territory of church complexes (for example, in Zarvanitsa), and, if necessary, officially carried out protective functions during mass events.

By the beginning of the 2000s it began to seem that the situation had changed – the Pope would ask for forgiveness on behalf of all Catholics all those who were offended by the RCC, the Uniates pursue their "missionary" activities in Western Ukraine, the pogroms of the Orthodox stopped. But almost immediately the leading positions in the UGCC receive – no, not Ukrainians, but ... US citizens. US citizen Lubomir Husar took the post of head of the Church, and US citizen Boris Gudzyak is the head of the leading educational institution, the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU).

Yet the Uniates did not have special support throughout the territory of Ukraine. That’s why they decided to follow the already long-established scenario – fusion with the authorities. For that end during the first Maidan of 2004, almost the day after its inception, almost all the seminarians of Greek Catholic seminaries were sent to Kiev. By the way, the secretary of the then head of the UGCC Husar was ... Svyatoslav Shevchuk. Shevchuk himself already knew what the change of power was like by color revolutions, because a year earlier he, together with the US citizen, UCU head Boris Gudzyak, helped apostolic Nuncio Claudio Gugerotti to arrange the life of Catholics in Georgia.

In the aftermath of the Maidan, President Viktor Yushchenko began to generously reward the UCU figures and provide the UGCC with all-round assistance. However, in 2010 the authorities finally discredited themselves, and many realized that there were simply no real arguments against Viktor Yanukovich coming to power. The Uniates also understood this. For example, they even hurried to write an icon depicting Yanukovych and other political figures, and a representative of the UGCC reassured that now there will be a special covering of the Virgin Mary over Yanukovych. However, very soon the Uniates were disappointed: they realized that Yanukovych was not going to forgive them that the UGCC actively supported Yushchenko during the Maidan in 2004. There were no repressions, but no attention either.

This state of affairs could not satisfy the Greek Catholics. They needed power. Therefore, in March 2011, UCU pro-rector Miroslav Marinovich said that "some kind of victim is needed, which will be delivered to the whole country as a model for change, as a kind of national idea", and a little later in the department of the UCU in London, a researcher from the United States Taras Kuzio said that he sees one of the options for Ukraine's development through a violent democratic revolution. The fruits of such statements we can now observe.

The reason for the start of the revolution was Yanukovych's refusal to sign documents on Ukraine's European integration. But a month before the beginning of the Maidan, the chief chaplain of the "Trident of S. Bandera "(which was later transformed into" Right Sector "), speaking to the fighters, said in a direct text that it is necessary to obtain power with arms in hand ... After the Maidan, most seats in the new government, naturally, were taken by the Uniates. A new page of the persecution of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine began and an active expansion to the south and east of the country.

We all remember how Uniates Zoryan Shkiryak, Viktor Yelensky and others spoke about All-Ukrainian Cross Procession for Peace, how they demonized this prayer procession and how many "experts", often from the Uniate environment, told that in the crowd there are Pskov paratroopers and there is planned seizure of power in Kiev. The same Uniate Yelensky proposes to pass bills No.№ 4128 and 4511, thanks to which it is possible to legally seize Orthodox churches, and the Orthodox Church itself will be on the verge of an illegal stance. So far nothing works out with the adoption of these laws. Therefore, the Uniates decided not to wait, but simply to take over what they consider to be theirs.

On the Day of Pentecost Uniates and “Black Hundred” militants attempt to seize UOC church in Kolomyia at Trinity. To do this, they used their usual tools – force and deception. To date the situation in Kolomyia remains quite tense.

Along with this, I must say that not all Orthodox Christians in Ukraine are afraid of the possibility of persecution for their faith. For example, while radicals and aggressive Uniate priests were breaking into the Orthodox church in Kolomyia, one of the UOC representatives, namely Metropolitan Alexander (Drabinko) paid "homage" to the body of deceased Cardinal Lubomir Husar. What connects them we will most likely learn in the near future. But today it is possible to say with certainty that the Uniate Church of Ukraine will do everything to ensure that as many as possible of our fellow citizens abandon the faith of their fathers. And the government will surely help them in this direction. So will some Orthodox bishops. After all, history, as you know, always repeats itself.

If you notice an error, select the required text and press Ctrl+Enter or Submit an error to report it to the editors.
Read also