Talk:Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

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I think this page is not NPOV.[edit]

I think this page is not NPOV. I can imagine quite a few Russian/Ukrainian Orthodox readers taking umbrage at the presentation. It seems to minimize Ukraine's relationship with Russia and with the Orthodox churches beyond what I think is reasonable. Ornil 22:40, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)


"This Ukrainian Church at Kyiv developed more fully into her particularity with the full separation of the Russian Orthodox Church, 989-1459 AD. The creation of Slavic outposts among the Finno-Ugric majority population of today's 'Russia' in the northeastern borderlands of Rus' led to the worship of the Christian God by non-Slavic Finno-Ugric tribes in the Old Church Slavonic language, fully differentiated into a Russian language by 1200 AD. This provided the linguistic basis for the start of the Muscovite/Russian nation. The political beginnings of the Russian Orthodox Church began with the first mention of a small city with the non-Slavic name of "Moskva" (Moscow) in 1147, under Mongolian political culture."

It seems that the author of this article might have been unaware that there were a number of Slavic tribes also living in Russia too. Look in the Wikipedia articles about the Vyatichs, Krivichs, Ilmen Slavs (a.k.a. Slovenes), Radimichs, Severyans, and maybe also Polochans. Thus, the population of Russia was probably not majority Finno-Ugric, at least not the portion that was part of Kievan Rus. The majority of the Finno-Ugric groups that existed during Kievan Rus still exist to the present day. Also, much of the Old Church Slavonic influence in the Russian language came considerably later, and was due to the influence of literarly figures, such as Pushkin who helped create the modern official Russian language. Yes, the word Moskva was indeed of non-Slavic origin, but by itself, that doesn't necessarily mean anything, because the preservation of toponyms only indicates continuous settlement, and not necessarily continuous settlement by the same people.

I think it is[edit]

Oh? What do you think to propose would be a more NPOV of Ukraine's relationship with Russia and the Orthodox Church? Genyo 02:30, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Why & How this article is not NPOV[edit]

All right, I am not a (professional) historian, but I've read a few things. Would you deny that this presentation is, for instance, more sympathetic toward UGCC than toward the Orthodox churches? If I didn't know any better, I'd think that the UGCC is the majority church in Ukraine, after reading this. And the fact is that UGCC has been a sort of a fringe church for most of Ukraine (except Lviv and the other western regions, where it is of course a major church) for several hundred years. Modern statistics are available here, for instance. Notice that for, say, Kyiv region, it is behind even Roman Catholics, and many protestant churches, let alone major Orthodox denominations. Ornil 15:36, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

So, let's get back to history. Here are some things that seem suspect to me. Not factually, but in presentation.

Pre-history[edit]

I think it is fair to emphasize the popes and so on in an article about UGCC, although if it were a general history of Christian church in Ukraine, I'd object. I do think it would be worthwhile from NPOV perspective to mention that basically Cyril and Methodius were converting Slavs into the Greek church, i.e. under the Patriarch of Constantinople. At the time it didn't really matter, I agree, since there was only one Church, but there had been occasional rivalry even then which later led to the schism. Ornil 15:36, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Old Ruthenian Period[edit]

About the name "Ruthenian": I don't think mainstream Ukrainian historians use it in relation to Kievan Rus. I'd be happy to stand corrected if you can prove otherwise. The term has clear Western-Ukrainian (and Polish) connotations.

The identity and further separate development of this Ukrainian Church was achieved by the election of Metropolitans, native and/or not confirmed by the Patriarch of Constantinople (Ilarion, 1051-1054; Klym Smolyatich 1147-1154; and, Hryhoriy Tsamblak (1415-1419).

What's the purpose of this? Every metropoly of a major church can probably claim the same. Native Metropolitans is completely normal anyway. Also, what does a 15th century figure doing here?

The Catholicity of the Ukrainian Church was confirmed by the resistance of the hierarchs of Rus' minora, or Rus' proper (today's Ukraine) to the requests of the Greek Church at Constantinople to break communion with Rome after the Great Schism of 1054.

I don't remember hearing about this, so I'd appreciate a reference. But I will trust you, if it's not available. But this is practically asking for the following sentence: Despite that, the Ukrainian church did in fact break communion with Rome, or something along this line. I know it may be unpleasant to contemplate, for a Catholic, but it is a fact, no? Otherwise you mislead the reader into thinking that there always was a Ukrainian Catholic church.

To be continued...[edit]

Pro-NPOV response tofirst set of questions/objections[edit]

OK, let me at least begin to answer your points one by one.


?this article more sympathetic to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) than to the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC)(ROC-MP, actually)?

This is an article about the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. It should be presented according to her self-understanding. Yet, any accuracies should be omitted. If there should be a section explaining in a sympathetic way the POV of the ROC-MP, than the complementary should hold true. There should be counter-explanations on the ROC-MP site and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church(es) sites. (This would require a lot more re-explanation in ROC-MP case!)

Well, ROC-MP is not strictly relevant. I assume you mean UOC-MP (and -KP, etc)?

!=! Would you be willing to reconsider that? Just for starters, remember, you already said that the article did not explain the relationship with Russia enough. How could the Muscovite ROC-MP a church, be LESS relevant than the corresponding country?

You may have a point, but consider the fact that the larger groups usually don't bother explaining the POV and differences with the smaller ones, merely as a pragmatic fact of life.

!=! Your point works pragmatically better if the article in question is quite short. The ultimate test of including the POV of smaller groups should be the truth of their claims. This is all the more true when the smallness of a group is achieved by the theology of a bayonet.

But, in principle, I agree. However, UOC's history section in Wikipedia is small and should be expanded anyway. When it is expanded, it is perfectly reasonable to discuss the differences with UGCC when dealing with the split period. Ornil 20:03, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Your point about the UOC is generally on target. Exactly where these different POV items should be discussed, though is a nuanced question. Perhaps they should go into both articles if the articles are big enough. Alternatively, they might be placed into an article about "Christianity in Ukraine," or "The Church in Ukraine."

?I'd think that the UGCC is the majority church in Ukraine, after reading this.?

Well, to conclude that, you'd have to ignore the figure quoted at the end of the article of 3-5 million faithful in Ukraine, or conclude that Ukraine has less than 10 million believers.

Again, not to dispute them, but where did you get the numbers?

!=!Newspaper articles tend to use the 5 mil figure; official polling tends to point to over 3 mil.

It should perhaps be added as an external link.

!-!I will try to add a link soon.

!!=!! The link: http://www.risu.org.ua/content.php?menu=1410&page_id=124&l=en


And it would be better, perhaps, if this information was in the beginning of an article, where it could also say that UGCC is the third largest church (after UOC-MP and -KP) and the third-largest faith (after orthodox and protestants).

!=! To be accuarate, there is no such thing as "the Protestant faith." There are however, Protestant faiths! How many depends on who you consult. (>3,000? >30,000?). There will probably be more of them by the time you read this as compared to the time I wrote it.

By the way, a sort of unrelated point is that I doubt there's more than 10 million people who regularly attend services in Ukraine. So it depends how you count. See for instance a good discussion here.

!=! And "how you count" depends upon counting accurately. Not going to church every Sunday does not exclude Catholics from their churches, according to the Catholics. They say that such pepole are either good or bad Catholics, but still Catholics. "Good" if they miss for works of mercy or economic necessity or reasons beyond their control; "bad" if for other reasons.


I would wonder instead if your problem isn't that you'd be unable to conclude that the UGCC is just a fringe church, which, some people having lived in a hateful miileu, might find to be unattractive.


?UGCC has been a sort of a fringe church for most of Ukraine. . .for several hundred years.? (except Lviv and the other western regions, where it is of course a major church)?

I guess I wasn't clear, I meant merely that it is a regional church, with being a fringe church everywhere else. The article leaves an impression that it is a national church, especially with aspirations of moving the seat of the archbishop to Kyiv.

!=! The article leaves the correct impression. The UGCC is a national church (hence the name): that is why it seks to return the seat of the archbishop major (he's not an archbishop) to Kyiv. Statistically, the Church is spread throughout Ukraine. It is the majority church only in a small region, but has hundreds of parishes outside this area.

I would point out that, in 1596, a Synod representing the entire Kyivan Church ("Ruthenian" or if you prefer, "Ukrainian/Belarusian" restored communion with Rome. For the Catholics this is the formal re-invigoration of full Catholicity. The synod did not create a new church. But the decision of communion, together with its negative aftermath, split the Ukrainian Church into two.

I don't dispute that.

This church remained a major church for large parts of Ukraine, becoming small through government suppression. Most of the major dates of these dismantlings/setbacks were listed in the article. Over time, the church did become a small presence or nonpresence over many regions. But the opposite is not stated in the article.

That's why I say that I don't dispute the facts, only the presentation. I could write an article implyng that Judaism is the largest monotheistic religion of Spain, by saying that it was so around 1AD, and forgetting to mention how that changed later.

!=! Seriously, let me know how the article might give the impression that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is the largest. I'd like to change that.

L'viv and the western regions became the last refuge for the full existence of things Ukrainian, because of the genocidal programme of Russian governance during Tsarist and commmisarist times. This was enabled by the rule of a non-Russian Empire, (Austria-Hungary). In some of these regions, the UGCC is not just "a major church," it is the majority!!! (Let's not forget that Halych and L'viv were once capitals of Ukraine).

Well, at least now we've began to tell the story of Ukraine and Russia!

Your statistic site is quite interesting. On the one hand, the govt. site places the UGCC around seventh on the list of many, many more. Shouldn't a fringe church be placed lower? But in terms of number of parishes, the UGCC is second. But in terms of number of faithful, the UGCC is third. What bias would move it down to seventh? That doesn't sound like a fringe group to me!

I think it lists the Orthodox churches first, then Catholic, then other christian, etc. Presumably they do it for consistency, but it is misleading, of course. It certainly isn't a fringe group on the national level, because of its huge presence in the west. But, again, if you ignore the 3-4 westernmost oblasts, you'll see that it probably commands no more than 1-2% of the faithful in the center-east-south.

!=! I think your qoutes outside the west of Ukraine are accurate

As for the Kyiv region, yes the presence is small but growing, a little over a decade after complete illegality over 45-250 years or so!

True. But then the same is true of quite a few protestants, new age groups, Mormons, Scientologists, etc. The definition of a fringe group means basically that it has few adherents at the moment. Christianity was a fringe group in the beginning too. Nothing wrong with that.

!=! I think that "fringe" entails more than you say. Perhaps marginal or minority is a better word.

I have so much more to tell, hope you find this a helpful, but very small start!

I am looking forward to that. Ornil 20:03, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

24.105.219.114 18:02, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

More to come soon! Genyo 02:06, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

More stuff (Sep 10)[edit]

I think we need to restructure this page, since it's becoming too confusing. But for the moment I am simply adding this section, where I will list some of the issues from the preceding section that we are actively discussing, and my new response to them. I'd like to point out that you haven't really responded to many things in my initial complaint. I would like you to do so, statement by statement, except for the parts we already discussed.

In fact, I think it would be best if we archived our current discussion, and I rewritten my list of complaints. I am not exactly sure how this is done, so please feel free to do the archiving part.

  • ROC-MP issue: UOC-MP is a part of ROC-MP, and Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been a part of Moscow Patriarchate for a very long time, historically. Now, this was of course a political thing, since Ukraine was a part of Russia.

+++Yes, this was a very political thing! First of all, the Ukrainian clergy opposed Khmel'nytsky's protection aggreement with the Muscovite tsar, as they perceived differences with the soon to be called "Russians" (most of them not favorable to Rus'-Ukraine!) The Ukrainian Orthodox historians notethat the transfer of the Metropolia of Kyiv from the ancient Patriarchate of Constantinople to the daughter "Patriarchate" of Moscow was uncanonical and based on bribery!

That's probably true (corruption was nearly universal in church politics in both East and West at the time). That's not particularly relevant, though.

Some of the issues that might be in dispute would concern the period when UOC (there was de facto only one most of the time, until very recently) split up/had conflicts/interacted with UGCC. You can either treat this as UGCC vs UOC, or (in the period when UOC itself was merely obeying Moscow) as UGCC vs. ROC(-MP). This is the context under which I meant my remarks. However, this is not very important. My complaint was that in fact there is a strong tradition/history of Ukrainian people identifying themselves with the Orthodox church headed by Moscow. Even now, after independence, UOC-MP is a huge church in Ukraine. I have a feeling that in a poll, most not-really-active Orthodox respondents who don't care/understand the -KP/-MP distinction anyway, would mostly say they are -KP, so your poll does not surprise me. (Let me know if you disagree with this assessment). However, despite that inherent bias, many people do say they belong to the -MP church. So I think this and in general the role of Moscow should be somehow better reflected in the article.

  • The numbers. According to your link, Calculating the results, we can assume that the number of believers who actually hold to church canons and live correspondingly is not higher hnan 15-20 percent of Ukraine's adult population today. And this means, by the way, probably about 10 million people, just as I randomly guessed. Notice also, that 8% claim to be in UGCC. Now, if you had that or similar "magnitude comparison" number in your article I'd have no complaint. Or even something like The majority of the population of Ukraine belongs to various Orthodox churches, the UGCC being the largest non-Orthodox church. You could also say that the majority of the population in the western Ukraine belong to UGCC. Although to be fair, you should also say that UGCC has only a very minor presence elsewhere.
  • Fringeness/regionality: I'll concede that fringe is not a good term. Henceforth, I'll call it a minor church, if you like, in those areas where it has little presence. Again, I don't claim it's really minor in the west, or even nationally (despite the 8% number above). Now, on regionality issue I can't concede. I don't have any statistics, so you can easily refute this, but I believe that for most of Ukraine there never has been a time, when UGCC was a majority church. It has no doubt had a larger presence (maybe even majority in some cities) under the Polish rule when it had more favorable government relations. But just the fact that during Chmelnitsky period there was an overwhelming anti-Catholic support amongst the peasants, who were a huge majority of the population, tells me that there can't have been many Catholics of either sort in central-eastern Ukraine in the 17th century. There probably had been more in the central-western part, when it went under the Russian rule in the 18th century. But again, probably not a majority. The westernmost part was, I think, considered by Russians to be a part of Poland even when Poland was a part of Russia.

The article leaves the correct impression. The UGCC is a national church (hence the name): that is why it seks to return the seat of the archbishop major (he's not an archbishop) to Kyiv. Statistically, the Church is spread throughout Ukraine. It is the majority church only in a small region, but has hundreds of parishes outside this area.

All right. The name means nothing. I can start a "Ukrainian Something-or-other Church" tomorrow. I am sorry about the title confusion, I didn't realize there was a difference. The archbishop major is welcome to move whereever he likes, although it would be as inconvenient to move there for historical reasons, as it would be for the Pope to take residence in Jerusalem, in either case a minority area for the faith in question. I have no doubt that UGCC aspires to be more than a regional church. However I don't think it is, now. I should also note that Roman Catholic archdiocese is in Lviv, even though there is probably less regionality in RCC parishioners than in UGCC.

L'viv and the western regions became the last refuge for the full existence of things Ukrainian, because of the genocidal programme of Russian governance during Tsarist and commmisarist times. This was enabled by the rule of a non-Russian Empire, (Austria-Hungary). In some of these regions, the UGCC is not just "a major church," it is the majority!!! (Let's not forget that Halych and L'viv were once capitals of Ukraine).

I disagree with this. First of all, most of Ukrainian literature comes (during both periods, really) from the center-east-south. Austria-Hungary had of course less interest in prohibiting Ukrainian self-expression for political reasons, no doubt. What is even more relevant, however, is that Poland, when it controlled most of Ukraine, had done even more damage to "all things Ukrainian", by your definition, since it persecuted the majority faith of the people. I don't disagree entirely, in that L'viv and the western Ukraine did preserve many things Ukrainian when they were threatened by Russian culture. But it suffers from the opposite problem: it absorbed quite a lot from Polish culture. (Also, let's not forget that Kharkiv was once capital of Ukraine too, and over a larger area, and what does this prove?)

How I would rewrite this[edit]

After thinking about this a bit, I decided to come up with a stub version of how I would rewrite the article (esp. historical section). It is necessarily very terse (I don't have the time) and skipping a lot of information that ought to be there. I also intend to bend over backwards so as to not to offend UGCC, but I will probably fail.

UGCC is one of the major churches in Ukraine, being the largest non-Orthodox church body, about 10% of Ukraine's believers. [more stuff here]

History: In 988 Prince Vladimir converted his state, known as Kievan Rus, to Christianity. That state was the predecesssor of modern Ukraine, as well as Russia and Belarus. Kievan Rus become a province of the Greek Church, under the Patriarch of Constantinople. At the time, the Church was both Orthodox and Catholic (in communion with both the Patriarch and the Pope). After the Great Schism it followed Constantinople, and broke the communion with Rome. For some hundreds of years Ukraine remained almost exclusively Orthodox, as were its rulers. However, it become first a part of pagan Lithuania, and then (after Lithuania union with Poland and its conversion to Catholicism) Catholic Poland-Lithuania (Rzechpospolita).

The Catholic authorities of Poland did not recognize the Orthodox religion, nobility, and clergy as equal to their Catholic counterparts. A few individuals (mostly nobles) converted to Roman Catholicism, but the overwhelming majority remained Orthodox. At some point Rome and the government of Poland had decided instead to restore communion between the Ukrainian and Roman churches. They have succeded in convincing some Ukrainian Orthodox bishops and metropolitans to support this idea, which resulted in the Union of Brest. The church was allowed to keep its liturgy, but had to abandon the points of doctrine which were in dispute with the Catholics, such as supremacy of the Pope, and filioque. Some bishops and nobles, and the vast majority of the commoners refused to recognize the Union. As a result the church was split into Greek-Catholic and Orthodox branches.

The continued persecution of the Orthodox as well as national aspirations of the Ukrainian people led to an uprising which ended in Eastern Ukraine's acceptance of Russian sovereignity, to a large extent because of the common faith they shared. The Orthodox see of Metropolitan of Kiev became subject to the Patriarchs of Moscow. Later, the rest of Ukraine followed. The Russian authorities did not recognize Greek Catholic faith as such, since they saw it as purely political way of convert the Orthodox to Catholicism. It treated Greek Catholics as traitors to their faith, and encouraged them to convert to the Orthodox faith. As a result, Greek Catholics (which were not very numerous in the Russian-dominated areas to begin with), had all but disappeared in the Russian-controlled territory. They had remained in the Polish Catholic areas (even those under the Russian rule), and in Austria-Hungary, also a Catholic country.

[20th century stuff to be written, the article is not too bad, although I think there was some cooperation with the Nazis, which ought to be mentioned. I am sorry, if I misremember]

+++

Ornil, I think some of what you state here is good, but in some cases you give oversimplifications. I've been busy lately, but will give details soon! Genyo 02:09, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I am waiting for them. Ornil 02:21, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)


OK, Ornil, thanks for your patience!

  1. 1: Your summary statement: UGCC is one of the major churches in Ukraine, being the largest non-Orthodox church body, about 10% of Ukraine's believers.

is quite reasonable!


Your history is staccato, oversimplified, and, at times, inaccurate.

That is likely to be the case, since this is based on my memory and not on any books or primary sources.

Technically, "Vladimir" who should be mentioned in his modern Ukrainian form (Volodymyr) in an article on a Ukrainain topic, baptized the citizens of Kyiv (Kiev) in 988--the coming of Christianity to future Russia to the north took a little longer. Besides that, what's the point in ignoring other Christian inroads earlier?

As far as "Volodymyr" is concerned I agree. It is probably fair to mention earlier Christian inroads casually. No doubt the majority was only converted after the official orders of the authority, and not by a few outisde missionaries. Indeed the majority remained somewhat pagan even until much later, so Prince Volodymyr's actions are by far the most important, as far as Ukraininan Christianity is concerned.

Why focus on the state? Why bother to mention two other countries it's related to (somewhat)? And most of all, why throw in a Soviet formula cliche about implying they're all equal? The ruler of Halych-Volynia, the successor state to Rus' at its heartland of Rus-propria was termed the "King of Rus'" And when the Lithuanian ruler took over Kyiv, he called himself, quite rightly, by European conventions, the Ruler of Rus'!

See above about the State. In the middle ages religion was part of the state. Cuius regio, eius religio and such. Poland is Catholic, because its Duke accepted religion from Rome, and Ukraine is (mostly) Orthodox, for a similar reason. You can probably throw out the other two states if they offend you, although it is worth mentioning, I think, because it is informative for someone who doesn't know much about early Eastern Slavic history. I also think that it is fair to use the expression I did. The states in question are in a certain way equal today. None of the three states is a direct descendant politically (because of the Soviet rule, prior to it Russia did have the best claim), and Kievan Rus occupied the territory now part of the three states in question. As far as Danylo of Halych is concerned, he ruled over basically one of a successor states after Rus fell apart, the Princes of Vladimir being the other major successors. So you had two (at least) powers claiming the land of "Rus". And one came to be called "Ruthenia", another "Russia". Novgorod is older than Kiev, you know, so you can hardly deny the Russians' claim to be successors as well.

Your assertion of who has successor status to Rus' is hardly more than distantly peripheral to an article on a native Catholic Church in Ukraine. You ignore that fact that Rus' propria was Central Ukraine, and nowhere else. Russians , when they journeyed out of Russia to Kyiv, used to say that they were going "to Rus'!" I don't deny that Russians claim to be successors to Rus'--I do deny that they are successors! By the time they decided to see themselves as successors, they had already become a different nationality from the people of Rus' propria, and the state they dreamed of had ceased to exist for two centuries. Russia is a successor state to Ruce only if Romania is a successor state to Rome. Rus' was merely one of several substantial influences upon Russia, which developed much later. Questions of state aside, since the political link never rises above tenuousness, the Rus' people were Slavic--their Empire included a northern borderland of subject Finno-Ugric tribes, whose Slavicization created a people later called, "Russia."

Genyo 12:36, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Generally speaking, I do not insist on including this topic in this article, since you find it controversial. As far as your Romania example, would you say that Byzantium is a successor to Rome? The parallel with Russia is very close, movement of the capital, influence by outsiders, etc. The parallel to Ukraine would be Italy, which of course thinks it's a successors to Rome, but the Byzantines in the 13th century had a pretty good claim too, probably better than their contemporary Italian states. As far as "going to Rus" is concerned, they certainly thought of themselves as "Rusichi" no matter where they lived. And if they called themselves Muscovites it was because Rus for them included all the Eastern Slavic lands, and wasn't specific enough to identify which ruler they were subject to.

-Yes, in some sense Byzantium was a successor to Rome--speaking of cities--and also, capitals of an Empire! But notice how the first city rapidly revived, and these two cities are today, by force of cultural development, capitals of two different cultures/peoples for most of their own history (Latin/Italian vs. Greek)! And yes there is reported a tendency among the Greeks to refer to their church as the Roman church! Thank goodness each side respects the others' otherness and distinctiveness! Romania, however, is a better analogy in one sense--that of name! Like Russia, they too, took their name from foreign ruling group which brought them religion and language! Rome was presitigous among the Dacians, and they changed it to Romania, just as Rus' was prestigious amoung the Finno-Ugric/Slavic mix of the north, and they eventully changed the prestigious term to Rossiya.


Next, yes, Kyivan Rus' was a province of the Greek church under Constantinople. But this was for about 250 years: Afterward, it was often 2 (or even 3)provinces! The Russian church proper started as a full church, with the acquisition of a Metropolitan in 1299!

Really? I found a reference that claims that the first Russian Metropolitan was a Greek named Mihail, since 988. And in 1051 the Metropolitan was a native. In what way is this not important? I also can't find any information about 1299, other than the fact the seat of the Metropolitan was moved to what is now Russia. The Metropolitan (for a while) still had authority over all former Kievan Rus.

+What you read was a gross exageration and categorical confusion. Before Russia obtained the Metropolitanate in 1299 (to Moscow within the next 30 years), the Metropolitan was in Ukraine--he was "Russian" only in the sense that his wider province of suffragan bishops included the developing heartland of the Russian people (the Suzdal area) as only part of his area--and not his capital see. Remember that the Church didn't move--the hierarch did! The non Finno-Ugrics to the south were then served by Metropolitans of Halych, starting four years later, and Novahrudek (in Slavic Belarus'.) Until 1458, the Metropolitans of Rus' were caught in a tug of war, often living in Moscow, sometimes in Kyiv, and sometimes disputed claimants for each city. The Russian Church was then fully formed and independent in 1458, and substantially developed in 1299 with the securing of a Metropolitan in 1299. Before that, Russia was just a small portion of the province of another church!

Genyo 23:05, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

After the Great Schism, the tendency of the Rus' province to follow Constatinople was present as you say, but not evenly! The tendency was more marked in the Russian north than in the Ruthenian south! The problem is, I know of no historian who cites an extant record of the Ruthenian-Ukrainian Church breaking relations with Rome in a formal juridical act! The hierarchs ruling over Ukraine (and sometimes, Russia too!) were very friendly to Rome on numerous occasions!--this is why it is such a problem to call them, "wholly Orthodox!"

No doubt, Ukrainian hierarchy was more friendly toward Catholics and Rome, with whom they had to interact, unlike the Russians. As far Church acts, tell me, were Catholics allowed to pray in Orthodox churches, and vice versa? I think not, and that proves there was no communion. Moreover, Rome encouraged conversion of the "schismatics", which means they certainly saw them as such.

+Well, yes, various portions of the Roman Church wanted the Greek Church to become Latin, not to make a deal like the Union of Brest, which arosein the East!!

Your description of the Unia as a Roman and Polish administrative initiative is not accurate. The hierarchs of the Rus' people, with the initial push of the highest Rus' noble in Poland (who later withdrew his support) initiated the Unia. The Polish imperialist preference was for the "Greeks" to become Polish Roman Catholic! One Polish Jesuit heaped this abuse on the Rusyns: You poor Rusyny, having neither the Greek nor Latin alphabet, you will never acquire learning!

I am no historian. However, whether or not it was the hierarchs or not, they were not supported by ordinary priests and common people. I seem to remember that there were some political issues at stake, such as (former) Orthodox bishops' membership in the Polish Senate. Am I wrong? Of course Poles would have liked to assimilate the Ukrainians completely, but the Pope and the Church were willing to settle for less, and they had incredible power in Poland, a very pious country.
You have to admit, that whatever one's beliefs in divine inspiration of the act of Union may be, there were plenty of politics, some of them dirty and having little to do with faith, involved in it.

+ I only admit that as part of the general fact that all religious decisions have political consequences for and against them!

As for the Greek Church of Rus' abandoning its doctrine, it's not as you say! There were 33 articles of union some assertive on doctrine, others open to being taught by the wider Church!

I admit I know very little about doctrine, but I think they had to abandon a few things, and they were allowed to keep others. Of course the Roman church didn't have to change anything. I said in my text "they had to abandon points of doctrine in dispute" and you can hardly disagree, otherwise it would imply either that the RCC had to abandon its points of doctrine, which is not true, I think, or that some points remained in dispute, which would prevent the establishment of the Communion.

Yes, you're correct, that records indicate the Unia was soon disfavored by a large amount of the population! But it was also not favored, as hoped for, by the Polish authorities, which makes the phrase "continuing persecution of the Orthodox" a difficult partial truth at best!

I don't imagine Polish to be overly happy. However, the Church was (and still is) the great power in Poland, and it certainly told its parishioners that members of UGCC were OK, but members of UOC were schismatics. I seem to remember some episodes when Orthodox (rebels) were hanged together with a dog, with a note saying that they are of the same faith. I don't mean to slander either Poles or Catholics, because of the actions of some bastards, but I doubt they would have done it to a Greek Catholic.

The political leaders of Rus' at Kyiv were attracted to a "Treaty"--Uhoda with Muscovy, as you correctly say, because of the common Orthodox faith they shared! This was not true of the Kyivan Rus' clergy, however!

I think that this is true for the hierarchy (because they would lose power and control over the church), but not for rank and file clergy. Indeed, it could be said that they benefited from this treaty, because now it was their turn to become the established religion's clergy.

The Orthodox See of Kyiv didn't just become subject to it's daughter church in Moscow--this transfer was done in 1685-6 under Turkish duress, via the ecclesiastical crime of bribery-simony according to my sources.

Well, you can't claim Moscow church to be a daughter church, since the Metropolitan (and later Patrirarch) of Moscow was in fact the metropolitan of Kiev until he moved his seat. But it's not important for this article, since this concerns UOC and not UGCC.

Let's be careful about Russian views of Greek Catholic Uniates! To say they, the Uniates were under political control seems a bit odd after the suppression of the Patriarchate and the proclamation of the Tsar as supreme religious ruler, and the deformation of the Church into the arm of the state. The problem with the Uniates would seem to have been that they were not political enough for the new Russian rulers! I trust my understatement helps to make my case!

As I've said before, during this period Churches were far too concerned in secular matters than was good for them. Certainly Volodymyr' baptism was a political event, and so was the Union.

The slur about Nazi-colloboration is a standard Soviet prejudice! But what facts are behind it?

I am not going to insist on it, as I've said.

The primate of the Ukr. Gr. Cath Church wrote reports to Rome cited as "eloquent," describing how the Nazis were worse than the Soviets, brutal like animals! He wrote a pastoral letter which was confiscated, and could have gotten him killed, called "Thou Shall not Kill," reminding the faithful of the immorality of turning over the Jews to the death squads. He also personallly saved dozens of Jews, often using his own residence. His highest suffragan Bishop had already stood out in Poland for writing the only episcopal Catholic pastoral letter in interwar Poland against the discrimination towards the Jews. A church leader did provide an inaugural blessing for the SS-Galicia unit, which the Ukrainians hoped would serve as kernal of an army for independent Ukraine. This unit was military, not police, and was not involved in any way in the rounding up of Jews, but was decimated in a battle near Brody! I don't know of any other facts that can be construed as Nazi-colloboration, but if you do, please bring them up!

Ornil, This is not about being offended! If I met you face to face and you spoke with malice about negative accusations, I would be hurt and saddened. But if you seek only to bring up things you've heard, go ahead and keep bringing them up for discussion! This is the place where we should get to the truth through dialogue!

I appreciate that.

I think a lot of the points you raise are far into the Russian and Orthodox point of view. Many of them are more suitable for articles on Russia and Orthodoxy!

I have no opposition to incorporating the accurate parts of these varied POV into this article where appropriate, provide this is done simultanelouly with the modifying of the articles on Ukrainian Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy! But I also agree with you that the article on Ukrainian Orthodoxy needs to be beefed up from the Orthodox POV, and would be happy to contribute to that!

Sure. Ornil 01:39, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Sorry for my tardiness, let me know what you think!

Genyo 21:26, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

General Article problems[edit]

I have read the above comments with interest, and I do agree with Ornil that there are some NPOV issues here, but my synthesis is that most of the POV issues are a result of the subject, rather than true POV issues. It needs to be remembered that this articles IS NOT and article on "the History of Christianity in Ukraine", which by definition would be a more neutral article.

More importantly than the debate you have engaged in here, are some obvious stylistic problems that depart from various conventions in English. It is clear that some of the contributions to his article are from non-native English speakers and thusly, there are some phrases and paragraphs that are just downright confusing and unclear. I feel that this lack of clarity makes the relatively subtle issues presented in this article even more difficult for the uninformed reader. I think that even seom POV issues could be cleared up if the article was written in stylistically proper English.

Another problem in the article is the use of so-called 'Modern' Ukrainian. This is an article in English not in Ukranian, the Wikipedia Naming conventions for Ukrainian are as follows:

  • Most personal names have a conventional English spelling, rendered phonetically. This is usually very close to transliteration by the BGN/PCGN system, which is quite intuitive for English speakers to pronounce. Some Ukrainian names have conventional spellings that come from other languages, like Polish, transliteration from Russian, transliteration into German, etc.
  • For geographic names in Ukraine, the Ukrainian National system is used. For historic reasons, many names are also presented in Russian, Polish, etc.

Naming in the article should conform to this convention, which I am fairly sure it does not - and in any case there are conflicting uses throughout the article in some places.

--Nicodemus75 20:07, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I know that topics of religion is a delicate subject but the spirit of encyclopedia requires a great deal of objectivity. So I hope anyone who takes this subject close to heart for personal reasons will still be able to consider my suggestions. First of all, the "history" chapter writes about an entire period of Ukrainian Christianity prior the Union of Brest as if this is all the history of UGCC. I think it is incorrect. The material in the current history chapters "Early pre-history", "Old Ruthenian period", and "Middle Ruthenian period" belongs to the History of Christianity in Ukraine article and not the History of UGCC. The Baptism of Kiev, with some earlier events that preceeded it, started the Christianity in Ukraine, not the UGCC, which was started by Union of Brest. This does not deny the fact, as the article correctly puts it, that the UGCC is one of the successor churches to the acceptance of Christianity by St. Vladimir. But the correct way to cover this, is to put all details of this and later events to the general Ukrainian Christianity article, rather than to this one.

Until recently, there was an article in Wikipedia entitle the "Ukrainian Orthodox Church". After some discussions at its talk page it was agreed that because, as of now, two church organizations claim both the name and the jurisdiction, the name of that article should be changed. It is impossible to write separate articles on UOC-KP and UOC-MP since their entire history is recent and mainly consists of their rivarly. So the "UOC" article was moved to a "History of Christianity in Ukraine". Please read the discussions at talk:History of Christianity in Ukraine page on that.

I started to work on the general History of Christianity in Ukraine article. After reading more on the topic, I realize that this is a huge project and I would very much like some assistance with it.

As for this UGCC article, I feel that making any significant edits is yet beyond the scope of my knowledge, so I only limited myself to the intro which is more general and should give a brief introduction to a person totally unfamiliar to the subject. Except noting that many parts of the "History" chapter, should go to a different article, I would like to explain my edits to the intro just briefly. First, on Vladimir/Volodymyr and Kiev/Kyiv terminology. If anyone feels, like reverting them, please read the relevant discussions at the following talk pages: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ukrainian subdivisions, Talk:National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Talk:History_of_Christianity_in_Ukraine#Another_Kyiv.2FKiev_discussion_on_yet_another_talk_pages. As for the rest of my changes to the intro, I believe they are rather small and agreeable in view of the spirit of making a general history of Christianity in UA a separate article and making the UGCC article a more narrow one.

Finally, I would like to request other editors, even those who fiercely disagree, to respond constructively. Please no flames. Irpen 06:20, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

Canada[edit]

It would be nice to include a section on the far reaching impact of the Ukrainian Catholic Church on Canada - especially on the Prairie Provinces. You would be surprised at the attendence at churches such as St. Stephens in Calgary and St. Micheals in Edmonton let alone the beauty of some of the churches near Vegerville such as Stoney Plain.

I myself am interested in how the strong orgainization in Canada interacts with the churches in the Ukraine.

I'm a member of Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral in Winnipeg, but I know next to nothing about church politics and history. We do have lots of beautiful churches in Manitoba, notably the Immaculate Conception Church in the little town of Cook's Creek [1]. Michael Z. 2005-03-28 17:48 Z

NPOV[edit]

This whole "The Old Ruthenian period" section needs major clean up. Statments like "Finno-Ugrorian tribes under Mongolian political culture developed into Muscovite/Russian nation" is little more than unscientific nationalist nonsense. (Fisenko 21:21, 2 September 2005 (UTC))

Actually, the whole history before the Union of Brest does not belong here. Whatever useful info the article has should go to History of Christianity in Ukraine after a thorough cleanup. If you look a couple of entries above to this talk page , I already raised this issue but never got to doing anything other then editing the lead paragraph. You can see what it was before that in the history. See this entry of mine [2] at talk. I just never actually got to working on this further, but I will try to help if anyone wants do anything with this. --Irpen 22:57, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
Since the UGCC has its roots in Orthodoxy, including a very brief history of the Orthodox Church before Brest would be appropriate, with a prominent link to History of Christianity in Ukraine. Michael Z. 2005-09-2 23:03 Z

I agree with you on this. I never meant complete removal. A summary would be in place of course. --Irpen 23:45, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

While I appreciate several corrections by Ghirlandajo, I think the general approach to improve this article should be different. Current form has several issues that need to be reformulated, at least. But let me repeat my call to write about pre-Brest history in a History of Christianity in Ukraine article with only a brief summary here (see my entries above). We don't need two articles that due to further editing would again get to disagreeing with each other. In view of this, all editing of pre-Union history is time better spent on a different article.
Please rest assured that all Ukrainian nationalist propaganda you sometimes see on WP was entered into it a while ago. For several months I haven't seen a single UA nationalistic or Russophobic edit generated by "Ukrainian side" so to speak. We haven't see any of those classical skirmishes between zealous RU and UA "patriots" for a while and by keeping it this way, we will make better articles. I wish there were more harmony on several other fronts. Anyway, please help making this and History articles better. I wish I had more time for all this, and I will try to find some, but if anyone has any other ideas, please state them here. Thanks! --Irpen 02:08, September 3, 2005 (UTC)

Approval from Rome?[edit]

(...) the hierarchs of the church have acclaimed their primate "Patriarch" and have requested Papal recognition and elevation. (...)

Are you sure this information is correct? It seemns to me that the UGCC doesn't need any os these from the Vatican.

Please see: http://ncronline.org/mainpage/specialdocuments/taft.htm - verblyud

  • This interview with Taft isn't some sort of commentary on canons. The fact is, that Rome has to approve the hierarchy of the UGCC or else it is not licit. In many of his liberal rantings, Taft is correct on the facts, but often wrong on analysis.--Nicodemus75 22:03, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Most parishes were violently seized?[edit]

I'm having a couple of problems with the fallowing assertion: "most of the parishes in Halychina and Volhynia were violently seized by the Uniates, leading to blooshed and to rupture of relations between the Patriarch of Moscow and the Pope"

1 - To start with I would state that the term "Uniate" can have a pejorative connotation though even this can be dabated. Sorry for having to quote Jeusit Robert Taft once again, but he conveys this as I personally see it:

http://www.utoronto.ca/stmikes/alum-dev/pdf/spring01.pdf

2 - What relations between the Patriarch of Moscow and the Pope were ruptured? i.m.h.o. there wasn't much of a relation to be ruptured. This statement isn't clear.
3 - Most importantly though, "most parishes were violently seized by the Uniates, leading to bloodshed" sounds much more emotional than factual. There were indeed some cases of violence - from "both" sides - but we all know that "most" isn't correct. "Violently seized" should be used with care and this demands a further explanation: at the very least "The catholics wanted back an equivalent for the loss incurred". It's a simple question of compromising, isn't it?

Verblyud 12:23, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

As for ROC vs RC relationship, whatever they are or were, currently the UGCC is the major issue often bitterly brought up by ROC. This was mentioned every time when the ROC objected to the Pope's visit to Russia (Pope J.P. II never managed to visit Russia because of that despite he made it clear many times how much he wanted to). I have no opinion on the term "Uniate" but if this is indeed offensive, we should not use it. As for "violently seized", I don't know how many of the transfers were made with violence. There was violence for sure in some cases. However, the positions of people on the both sides were understandable and it is the hierarch (of both churches) to blame for this mess. If you would like to modify the phrasing, please go ahead. Please, also see the earlier discussions at the talk. The article needs to be thoroughly reworked I think. --Irpen 08:31, 18 September 2005 (UTC)


Link relevance[edit]

An excellent account: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/arhiv/050513111111Kuban kazak 17:03, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

The account is of the history of the Unia and its gradual elimianation in early 19th century Belarusian (and Volynian) territories of Russia. -- Kuban kazak 15:04, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

UGCC size[edit]

However, since the Ukrainian Orthodox were split into at least three denominations around the onset of independence in the 1990s, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church denomination thereby accidentally became the second largest religious organization in Ukraine in terms of number of communities.

I don't see what was the impact of split on the relative position of UGCC on Ukraine. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if there was one Ukrainian Orthodox Church, UGCC would still be the second largest religious organization, wouldn't it? Hence my edit.agnus 01:22, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Transcarpathia[edit]

The article claims the Church is only dominanat in three regions (I suppose you have Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil in mind?), actually It is also dominant in Transcarpathia, although there it has diffrent roots steming from the union of Uzzhorod. Today it has a slightly diffrent status inside the Ukrainian church so maybe that's why it wasn't included here. Unfortunetly I'm not an expert on ecclesiastic history and my English is quite week so I'm unable to contribute to the article. --212.126.207.130 21:08, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk and Ternopol. And only excluding the northern part of the latter, then that territory is predominantely uniate. In transcarpathia, the most dominants church above all is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The unia there has different roots, and unlike in Galicia, it was mostly disestablished in the 1930s, ie before the war. I would like to continue the conversation, but I actively encourage you to register on wiki. --Kuban kazak 22:09, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Merge Request[edit]

Can the person who suggested this [3] please explain the logic, this article is about a specific religious group in Ukraine, whereas the article that you propose to merge it with is a full historical account of events that are linked with Christianity in Ukraine. You cannot be serious on merging them? In the meantime I am taking the template down...--Kuban Cossack Flag of the Russian Empire (black-yellow-white).svg 23:34, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Merging is indeed out of question. What needs done, though, is moving (not copying) whatever useful is in this article in sections Early pre-history, Old Ruthenian period and Middle Ruthenian period to the history article. THe UGCC started not from the Baptism of Kiev but from the Union of Brest. While some background info on the events that lead to the UoB may be helpful here, the fork of the entire christianity history in UA does not belong to every Ukrainian Chruch article. --Irpen 23:39, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Can I start doing that, or what? Kevlar67 02:40, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Whoever does this long since backlogged task would be a real hero. The bre-Brest historic info needs to be carefully integrated with the already existing material in the History of Christianity in Ukraine article and removed from here or, perhaps, relpaced with the brief summary and a somewhat more detailed account of what directly preceeded the Union of Brest. --Irpen 02:55, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I just figured that other editors might be afraid of being accused of bias. Since I'm neither Catholic nor Orthodox and I don't live in Ukraine, I'm not or less neutral on the topic. Kevlar67 04:55, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Commented out[edit]

The persecution led to the re-establishment of parishes eastward throughout Ukraine, and the further spread of the Church into Russia (especially Siberia and Kazakhstan).


Who wrote this? Unrefrenced and also geographically wrong as Kazakhstan is actually outside Russia... Please rephrase this--Kuban Cossack 10:56, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Father Basil Kovpak and the Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat[edit]

I am writing this to respond to those who have been repeatedly posting with regard to the "schismatic nature" of the Society of Saint Pius X. Keep in mind that this allegation remains a subject of very bitter debate among Catholics. Therefore, do not post only one side of the debate without also posting the points of view. Do not forget that I am not the only SSPX supporter who frequently references and contributes to this site. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kingstowngalway (talkcontribs) 04:12, 27 March 2007 (UTC).

I'm not a fierce enemy of the SSPX, but I'm a quite active Catholic and as far as all Austrian Priests and Bishops I know, the SSPX is thought of as a mild form of haeresis. There are no bitter debates, that's a consens + the SSPX is a minority too small to really care about it... Qubux 10:04, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
With respect, I put it this way - Patriarch Lubomir is the final arbiter of who is and who is not in communion with the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. I really don't care either way about the SSPX in relation to the Roman Church, but as far as the Greek-Catholic Churches are concerned, the SSPX is in schism in relation to them, as the SSPX has attempted to ordain for our Churches despite the opposition and clear condemnation from our hierarchs. Nevertheless, a neutral tone for an encyclopaedia article is something I am not opposed to. InfernoXV 05:07, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually the Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat is fairly tiny group with little direct significance in the context of this article. I think the information should be in that article and here there can be at most a passing mention. --212.76.33.121 22:19, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Territorial subdivision[edit]

The map Ukraine_eparchies.png shows the eparchy of Ternopil-Zboriv comprising the northern half of the Ternopil oblast and the whole Khmelnitsky oblast. I was under the impression that the Khmelnitsky oblast was included in the Kyiv archeparchy, and that the Ternopil-Zboriv eparchy only comprised the northern half of the Ternopil oblast. Maybe I was wrong, but please could you tell me what is the source for this feature of the map? 68.56.96.130 (talk) 18:35, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

It seems that Your information is outdated, some quick googling leads to information about the decision of the Synod from 2003 to join Khmelnytska Oblast to the Ternopil-Zboriv Eparchy ([4]). --212.76.33.87 (talk) 23:38, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Liturgy[edit]

This article would be greatly improved by adding information on the liturgy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. It contains virtually no information on the subject of the liturgy, leaving the reader to wonder about the degree of similarity to the Latin Rite, about any differences and similarity to orthodox liturgies, and about any differences or similarities to the liturgies of the other byzantine sui juris churches. Dgf32 (talk) 21:57, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Union of Brest[edit]

This entire section is without any sources and lacks a NPOV: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_Greek_Catholic_Church#Union_of_Brest It contains anti-Catholic and anti-Polonist statements. ```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.44.15.214 (talk) 12:21, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This article would be greatly improved by adding information on the liturgy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. It contains virtually no information on the subject of the liturgy, leaving the reader to wonder about the degree of similarity to the Latin Rite, about any differences and similarity to orthodox liturgies, and about any differences or similarities to the liturgies of the other byzantine sui juris churches. Dgf32 (talk) 21:58, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Last edited at 21:58, 11 March 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 09:28, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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Catholic Church naming conventions RfC[edit]

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