Talk:Belarusian Greek Catholic Church

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Trolls and vandals[edit]

Can people please discuss issues prior to trolling on the article and reverting it. --Kuban Cossack 22:23, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Fine. Why have you changed the figures quoted by a referenced work by an order of magnitude without a reference? Why would you think the phrases "forced into full communion" and "centuries of Polish persecution" are compliant with the neutral point of view policy? How does a propaganda piece from a church that has centuries of history persecuting the group this article is about cary more weight than a scolarly work as a reference for this article? I'm eagarly awaiting your response. Gentgeen 23:23, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
First of all what makes an indendent piece of work with over a few hundred references and annotations a propaganda piece. Just because it is published in religious journal. Second of all, it was the Orthodox peoples that were persecuted by the uniate Church not the other way around, even Polish sources admit this fact. Furthermore all of the sources there are 100% genuine. One more revert without proper discussion and its a 3RR notice board.
Now I do agree that this is a topic that is rather controversial, but read Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, read Pochayiv Lavra, read History of Belarus articles and even the hard cored Polish POV-pushers there agree about the forceful conversion of Belarusians into Unia in the 17th and 18th centuries. Now I do agree some NPOVing should be carried out, but since both the Vatican and the Moscow Patriarchy have condemmed the unia, I believe phrases like occupation and forceful conversion as well as return to Orthodoxy are fully appropriate. BTW I did not mean for this to kick off on such a bad start, do apologise if I accidentaly insulted you in the process. --Kuban Cossack 00:08, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

In your opinion, the Eastern Rite Catholic church persecuted the Orthodox. In other's opinions, most Belarusians entered union with Rome to prevent the russification or polinization of Belarus, and were then persecuted when Belarus came under Russian domination. Both POVs should be presented in the article, but your edits make this article advocate your view, which violates Wikipedia is not a soapbox, an official policy of the project. The only source you cite for all the various changes you have made to the article is in Russian, which is cautioned against in Reliable sources, which also cautions against using partisan or religious websites as references on any topic except themselves.

The phrase "pure catholicism" to equate to "Latin Rite Catholicism" is not suppotrted by the teachings of the Roman Chruch on the nature of the church, and is offensive to me and other Catholics. By the way, the term "Unia" or "Uniate" is offensive to many Eastern Rite Catholics, and should not be used in an article about an existing Eastern Rite Church, except to define the term.

Finally, don't threaten me with the 3RR, as I helped implement the policy and have enforced it many times. I'm very well aware of the number of times I have touched this article. Gentgeen 09:37, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Sorry but uniatism was polonisation of Belarusians. When Grand Duchy of Lithuania became more and more absorbed by the Polish state more and more nobility converted to "latin rite catholicism" (have it your way). However for the Belarusian peasentry Orthodoxy on the contrary strengthened its position and right up until the end of the 16th century no Pole could get anyone into the unia. Sorry to call them that but that is the official name used by Belarusian government (read WP:Naming Conventions) In any case, a few bishops agreed on the union of Brest to create the unia. Immediately they were banished by the Orthodox Church and for the remaining 17th century only to the end of it were they getting any strong numbers in their ranks. Howver then came the Khmelnitskiy uprising which freed Ukraine from the Polish yoke and agreed in Pereyaslavl to reunite with Moscouvy under the pretext of guarding Orthodoxy. 18th century, Belarusians lose all noble roles in Rezcpospolita, those that remain are either 100% Polonised or slowly being forced into Unia, especially when for many it was a choice of either that or persecution (so in theory you are right but just ommitted several important facts). After that partitions, Russians come along to see Ruthenian peasents being ruled by Polish landlords. Cathrine II issues a decree of religious tolerance and any uniate christians that wish to return to Orthodoxy must do that under their own behalf. Of course some return immediately. However these are usually from the border areas and the south. Polish Catholics see the threat of uniats returning to Russian Orthodox Church and accelarate works to end the Chruch's position as interim solution of conversion of Orthodox christians to Catholicism. Many institutions including the University of Vilnius begin strained efforts to convert as many eastern rite to western rite. Most high clergy go, but some choose to remain and still see the links between the Orthodox brothers as to strong, these have majority of followers behind them. Then 1831 Poles uprise. Russians subdue them, Poles are stripped of any influencial role in Society. Uniate church is simply there to do...nothing. Also officially its synod supported the uprising. All the Pro-Latin Rite clergy is removed. Eight years synod of Polotsk agrees to reunite with the Church under leadership of Bishop Joseph Semashko. The numbers provided are genuine. Those that want to remain uniate are left on the streets as Russian state acts swift to confiscate all uniate property and hand it over to the Orthodox Church. However as the chronicles of Pochayiv Lavra show, within several years most ex-uniate clergy returned to their former places, adopted Orhodox traditions and until the 1910s lived happily ever after.

I am putting this article on WP:Russian portal notice board, having a constructive argument with you has failed. Now this is going to be a nasty revert war, but you asked for it. --Kuban Cossack 10:13, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

It is interesting to me that when I bring up policies and guidelines that I believe apply to this situation, your response is that the discussion is over, and it's time for uncivil behavior. By the way, I've reported your 5 reverts of this article in the last 25 or so hours to the Admin's notice board. Have a nice 24 hour break. Gentgeen 11:10, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

The edits by the user with the nickname Kuban kazak consisted mostly of introducing hatefull rhetoric into the article aimed at portraing the Byzantine rite Catholic Church as something foreign and alien to Belarus and claiming the benevolence of Russian authorities there. To back his claims, he used an article on a site of the Russian Orthodox Church claiming it to be "an independent source".

Whilst I would to like to assume he did so in good faith I'm afraid it is highly unlikely. The hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church has on numerous occasions openly declared its hate towards the Greek Catholic Church, much stronger then towards any one else including the latin rite part of the Catholic Church. This attitude comes from the fact that the Greek Catholic Church is something truly Ruthenian and as such seen by the Russians as a much greater threat to their domination over Ukrainians and Belarusian.

Russian authorities, be they Tsarist, Soviet, of Putinist, have always claimed the Unity with the see of Rome has been forced upon Russians living in modern Belarus and Ukraine by evil Europeans in order to destroy their cultural identity. In fact the Ruthenian Church has worked along with the Ecumencial Patriarchate of Constantinople towards restoring full communion broken in 1054. One of the main reasons it had to take matters in its own hands was fear that after the fall of Constantinople they will fall under Muscovite rule and the control of the "Patriarchate of Moscow" (as eventualy happend). The initiative for the Union of Brest originated from the Ruthenian Church from the bishop of Lviv Hedeon (Balaban) and was supported by other bishops such as Dionizy (Zborujsky) of Kholm, Leon (Pelchynsky) Pinsk, Cyril (Terlecky) of Lutsk and Hipatius (Potij) Volodymyr. The decision was not unanimous and some of the supporters (most importantly Balaban himself) changed their decision however the council and Metropolitan Michael (Rohoza) decided in full compliance with canon law to restore full communion with Rome. There has later been bitter strugle inside the Ruthenian Church between the supporters of the Union and its opponents (the disuniates) however it took place mostly on the territory of present day Ukraine.

After Belarus was occupied by the Russian Empire the Belarusians didn't voluntairly renounce their faith under the Russian authorities religious tolerance programme. The Polock "synod" was carefully staged by the Russians (not unlike the Lviv "synod" of 1946 which we just recently commemorated). The piece about the development of Belarusian national culture under Russian rule is also absolutely as Russians did exactly the opposite repressing the national culture, trying to outlaw the Belarusian language and russify the Belarusian nation. --Siarhiej 01:01, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Sorry but this is the exact POV pushing that is shown. Now to adress the points.
  1. Ancient History. Rome broke off in 1054 but in fact the rifts between the churches were already too deep. Here is a timeline of events of Catholicism in Ukraine and Ruthenia [1]
  2. The union of Brest was led to the following events:
  • 1569 Union of Lublin, Lithuania (now compleately dominated by Polish and Catholic magnates) unites with Poland into a single governemnt, which whilst keeping its autonomy loses its southern lands which Poland immediately begins to persecute.
  • 1583 Troubles rupture Ukraine after Catholics try to force the Orthodox to adopt a Grigorian calendar
  • 1592 King of Poland answers the letter by the southruthenian bishops that they ready to accept a unia with Rome on the condition that their traditions be preserved, the king answers that he agrees to this pact and pleges to level the Uniates with those of catholic clergy.
  • 1595 Uniates persuade Metropolitan of Kiev Mikhail Ragoza to join them, however the official creation of unia is kept secret from the Orthodox peoples. Finding out about the consiperacy, a noble Knyaz Konstantin of Ostrog openely tells the masses to resist the unia.
  • 1596 Union of Brest, simulteneously two synods take place a uniate and an Orthodox which openely asked both for unity and then bedammed each other. The "unconnected" Orthodox peole who did not join the unia became outside the code of laws. However immediately the Orthodox majority dismissed this and whole monastaries including the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra unanimously rejected any participation in this schism.
  • 1597 Exarch of Ecunimenical Patriarchate Nikofon who supproted the Orthodox synod in Brest is sentenced by the high court of Poland on accounts of espionage to prison and is tortured to death
  • 1598 Orthodox shlyakhta of the sejm demand that the Uniate hierarchy be excommunated, Attempts by the latter gain Kiev-Pechersk Lavra are fouled
  1. In other words this chain of events clearly show that a) Unia was done as a conspiracy between pro-Polish bishops, b) was rejected by Orthodox majority immediately c) its aftermath and attempts to force the Orthodox into the unia lead to the infamous Khmelnitskiy Uprising.
  2. Afterwards most of the Ruthenians simply are left with no choice but to adopt uniatism.
  3. No uniate person could however get any influencial position in the republic, only by conversion to pure Catholicism ie the Ruthenians still remained people of second sort
  4. Such was their fate for the whole 18th century.
  5. Russia did not occupy Belarus, it was done in the Partitions of Poland where the sejm legalised the lands joining Russia
  6. Immediately you have thousands of people from the south and eastern lands returning to Orthodoxy.
  7. The Polish nobles who still held all of the important roles in society began actively turning uniates into catholicism as they saw this as a threat to their influence and future reaquisition of these lands.
  8. Russians for over 30 years did not lay a finger on any uniate bishop or church. However it was the promise of the Polish king as a pretext of a unia which decreed that their traditions be kept if they accept Vatican's rule. Now seeing how the same Polish magnates began to take those sacred liturgies away from them, another Russophile branch was formed
  9. 1831 Poles uprise, Russians subdue the uprising. Officially Uniate high clergy supports it. Russians remove Polish magnates, remove pro-latin clergy. Finally free of their influence uniate church lasted for only eight more years and was self liquidated in 1839 by Bishop Joseph Semashko.
  10. From there on many reforms take place in the former uniate church, Semashko takes care to ensure that all traditions lost in durign the 200+ unia years are re-implemented in the liturgy.
  11. Slowly but steadily Belarusian peasentry begin to become more nationaly self-conscious.
  12. And by the end of the 19th cenntury a distinctive etnicity arises, not Polish, not Polinised Russians (as the Russian Empire assumed) but as Belarusians, a separate enitity. Which would go on to form the Belarusian nation in the 20th century.
  13. Synod of Lvov was not forced on, it simply brought the synod of Polotsk to its logical conclusion
  14. In fact during the Soviet times the dioceses of Lvov-Ternopol and Ivano-Frankovsk were the largest in the USSR (compared to cities which had all their religious property destroyed, only one church was closed in Lvov).
  15. Also during Soviet times Moscow Patriarchy relaxed all of its cannonical laws on ex-Uniate clergy including allowing them to shave beards and conduct liturgy in Ukrainian as opposed to slavonic
  16. There is nothing to pride on the "rebirth" of 1989 when more than a thousand church buildings were siezed in the most brutal way, how thousands of clergy were beaten.
  17. Please keep petty insults out of this. Terms like Putinism are irrlevant here.

--Kuban Cossack 01:51, 21 February 2006 (UTC)


As an additional suggested reading I recommend these chapters from Kostomarov's book (available online): Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski [2], Peter Mogila[3], Bohdan Khmelnytsky [4],

Not only Kostomarov is known for his views at times deviating from "official" line of thought in the RU Empire, he was exciled for them and, as such, cannot be dismissed as biased. I could find his book online only in Russian, sorry. --Irpen 02:18, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I think probably it would be best to say that the Union of Brest was imposed upon a large number of unwilling Orthodox, however, I think that over time there was a sizable number who identified with the Greek Catholic Church and its repression in Soviet times was also unwilling.

What's that?[edit]

Can someone explain the difference between Greek Catholic Church and Byzantine Catholic Church? (The latter even doesn't have an article.) mikka (t) 06:20, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Kuban kazak's request for discussion[edit]

In response to Kuban kazak's request, let's start with just one example of the changes that he has disingenuously declared to be only minor. He wants the text to read: "Some remained in communion with Rome. This was due to the fact that the majority of the land rule remained in Polish hands." So Kuban kazak has read the minds and hearts of people who lived more than two hundred years ago and can declare as an objective fact (not just a one-sided interpretation of what happened) that none of those who remained in communion with Rome did so for reasons of conscience and faith! Really?

More examples could be given. But it's best to start with just one.

Why does not Kuban kazak instead draw attention to anything non-neutral in the more neutral-point-of-view version of the article, so that the article can be improved, instead of trying to force his own partisan views on the article?

Lima 18:30, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I have removed the POV tag. If KK wants it kept, let him discuss the question. Lima 11:51, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I have a problem here[edit]

Is there a way of making the source for this available to other editors:

"The same year, a survey by Belarus State University found that 10,000 people in Minsk identified themselves as Greek Catholics.[11] Extrapolated to outside the capital, this was interpreted to mean that in the country as a whole, especially among the intellighentsia and the nationally-conscious youth, some 120,000 Belarusians were in favour of a rebirth of the Greek-Catholic Church. Because of the lack of priests and churches this interest did not lead to membership.[12]"

All this sounds suspiciously like Original Research to me. If the extrapolation is literally taken from the source, then WP:NOR is satisfied, but there are still problems with the way this is phrased:

a) it is well known that "nationally conscious youth" in Belarus tend to live in Minsk; outside the capital, people tend to think differently - so the extrapolation is a dubious statistic

b) as if the author of this piece realized the point under a) (s)he uses the phrase "in favour of a rebirth of the Greek-Catholic Church". Now that is a nice weasel construction. I am sure many atheist or convinced Roman Catholic nationalists or RC Poles favour this rebirth, but will never dream of entering such a church. And of course, if that is your "support base", you do not really need priests or churches. --Pan Gerwazy 12:04, 3 July 2007 (UTC)