Showing posts with label Ukraine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ukraine. Show all posts

Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Great Papal Interview: "Benedict XVI Was a Slave"

 Pope Francis gave an in-depth interview to AP's Nicole Winfield on current issues.

(Rome) Interviews by popes are only given very rarely. Under Pope Francis, this has changed. He uses the interview as a main means of communication. Recently, he granted one to the Associated Press (AP), one of the Big Three international press agencies. The interview published yesterday was conducted by the AP Vatican scholar Nicole Winfield in Spanish with a potpourri of topics from Benedict XVI. to Cardinal George Pell to papal critics and the wealth of Africa, from the Ukraine conflict to the arms trade to the trivialized People's Republic of China and a ridiculed Cardinal Zen, from homosexuality and the sexual abuse scandal, from the women's diaconate to the Amazon Synod and synodality to the only "so-called synodal way" of the German bishops and from his own resignation, the Rupnik case to a visit to Argentina  with some interesting statements.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Pope Francis on Ukraine, China, Islam, Democracy: The West Has "Lost"

On the flight back from Nur-Sultan, Francis doubted that arms deliveries to Ukraine were moral, flattered communist rulers and declared to the West that it had "lost."

(Rome) At the flying press conference last night, on the flight back from Nur-Sultan to Rome, Pope Francis commented on a wide range of topics. There was also an innovation. These flying press conferences during the Pope's trips abroad are particularly popular with the media. The more various the topics addressed were, the more different is the quality of the answers. Francis made it clear that arms deliveries to Ukraine are probably immoral, flattered socialist rulers gave his blessing to the totalitarian regime in the People's Republic of China, and declared to the West that it had "lost." He found clear words about euthanasia and said that the killing should be left to the "beasts".

Francis' communication with and for the world is not so much through the official pronouncements of the Holy See, but above all through his spontaneous statements. So far, the Vatican has left the majority of the reporting to the accompanying journalists. After numerous requests to the Vatican Press Office, the media work has now been changed on this point. The English edition of VaticanNews published a transcript of the press conference last night, albeit with the note that this is not an official translation of the Pope's words. This will continue to be submitted in various translations only at a time when the secular media have long since communicated and co-opted the Pope's statements in their own way. However, a first step in the right direction has been taken. Thus to the statements of Francis himself.

Nur-Sultan, the "forward-looking" city

The Pope attested to Kazakhstan and the planned capital Nur-Sultan that "they have developed well and intelligently". Its inhabitants are "very disciplined" and the country is "beautiful". The architecture of the city is "well balanced, well laid out". Nur-Sultan is a "modern city that I would describe as 'forward-looking'."

Francis described the congress of the leaders of the world's religions and traditional religions as "a very important thing". The fact that it took place for the seventh time shows:

"(...) that "it is a country with a vision of the future that brings into dialogue those who are normally marginalized. Because there is a progressive world view for which religious values must first be thrown overboard."

 Arms deliveries are immoral rather than moral

Afterward, correspondent Rüdiger Kronthaler celebrated the German cult of guilt, he asked Francis whether weapons should be delivered to Ukraine. Francis responded in a differentiated way. Arms deliveries are a "political decision", and this can be moral, but must meet "many conditions". The Pope indicated that it is more likely to be "immoral"

"(...) is done with the intention of provoking further wars or selling weapons or throwing away those that I no longer need."

Self-defense as an expression of patriotism

Motivation qualifies action. At the same time, Francis broke a lance for self-defense:

"Defending oneself is not only legitimate, but also an expression of love for the fatherland. Whoever does not defend himself, who does not defend something, does not love it, but he who defends it loves it."

 This touches on another aspect, Francis said. He had pointed out in his speeches that:

"(...) one should think more about the concept of just war. Because peace is on everyone's lips today: for many years, for seventy years, the United Nations has been talking about peace, making many speeches about peace. But how many wars are there right now?"


In doing so, Francis also diverted his gaze away from Ukraine, which is currently concentrating all its attention on the West, in order to show that there are many armed conflicts in the world, but which would find little interest in the West. At the same time, he repeated his statement that "we are in a world war" without explaining in more detail how exactly he means by this drastic choice of words.

"Peace is greater than all wars"

Rather, he told a childhood memory:

"I remember something personal when I was a child, I was nine years old. I remember the alarm of the largest newspaper in Buenos Aires sounding: back then they rang it to celebrate or announce bad news – today it no longer rings – and it could be heard all over the city. My mother said, 'What's going on here?' We were at war, in 1945. A neighbor came to the house and said, 'The alarm has gone off...' and shouted, 'The war is over!'. And I still see my mother and neighbor crying with joy because the war was over, in a South American country, so far away! These women knew that peace is greater than all wars, and they wept with joy when peace was made. I can't forget that."


Peace was by no means concluded at the time, but Francis wanted to say something else with his story:

"I wonder: I don't know if we are well enough educated in our hearts today that we cry for joy when we see peace. Everything has changed. If you don't go to war, you're not useful! And then there's the arms business. This is a business of murderers. Someone who is familiar with statistics told me that all the hunger in the world would be solved if you stopped making weapons for a year... I don't know if that's true or not. But hunger, education... it doesn't help, it doesn't work because you have to make weapons."

And further:

"War itself is a mistake, it is a mistake! And we breathe this air at this moment: if there is no war, there seems to be no life. A bit confusing, but I have already said everything I wanted to say about the just war. The right to defend oneself, yes, but also to use it when necessary."

 "Without an outstretched hand, we close the only reasonable door to peace"

At the same time, Francis affirmed that dialogue must always be sought. The "annoying" sometimes and some, but is indispensable:

"We should give everyone a chance for dialogue, everyone! Because there is always the possibility that we can change things in dialogue and also offer a different point of view, a different point of view. I do not rule out dialogue with any power, whether it is at war or the aggressor... sometimes you have to have a dialogue, but you have to do it, it 'annoys', but you have to do it. Always one step forward, always an outstretched hand! Because otherwise we will close the only reasonable door to peace."


"The declining West has lost"

In this context, Francis spoke of the West:

"It is true that the West in general is not currently at the highest level of excellence. It's not an [innocent] First Communion child, not really. The West has taken the wrong paths."


As a concrete example, however, Francis only mentioned "social injustice". Although he addressed the "demographic winter" that prevails in the West, he only promotes mass immigration that the West "really needs" because of its birth deficit.

"On the other hand, in view of the demographic winter, the question arises: Where are we going, where are we going? The West is in decline, it is a little in decline, it has lost..."

 Where are the politicians who move society forward?"

At the same time, he denounced the political failure. Where are great figures such as Schuman, Adenauer, De Gasperi:

"Where are they today? There are great people, but they don't manage to move society forward."


Francis did not elaborate on what united the three statesmen mentioned, nor on the fact that this common cultural, historical, ethical, and religious basis of being German or German Catholic Central Europeans has been consistently smashed for a hundred years.

"Let's leave the killing to the beasts", hence no to euthanasia

Francis found a pleasing and unusually concise and clear statement when asked about euthanasia:

"Killing is inhumane, quite simply. If you kill with motivation, yes... then you will kill more and more in the end. Let's leave the killing to the beasts."

 "I don't think it's right to call China undemocratic"

Francis, on the other hand, was very cautious about the People's Republic of China:

"It takes a century to understand China, and we haven't lived a century."


An evasive romanticized statement in the face of a totalitarian communist regime that has only ruled China for 73 years, i.e. has not yet been in power for a hundred years.

"It's not easy to understand the Chinese mentality, but we have to respect it, I always respect it. And here in the Vatican there is a well-functioning dialogue commission chaired by Cardinal Parolin, who at the moment is the man who knows best about China and Chinese dialogue. It's progressing slowly, but there's always progress."

Francis, in his attempt to woo the red rulers in Beijing, falls into a fatal error with frightening ease by adopting a Marxist-Leninist diction:

"I don't think it's right to call China anti-democratic, because it's such a complex country."

"These women are good revolutionaries, but of the gospel"

He showed the same leniency towards the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua:

"As for Nicaragua, the news is clear. There is a dialogue. There have been talks with the government, there is a dialogue. This does not mean that I approve of everything the government does, or that I disapprove of everything. No. There is a dialogue and the problems need to be resolved. At the moment there are problems. At least I hope that the nuns of Mother Teresa will return. These women are good revolutionaries, but of the gospel! They don't wage war against anyone. On the contrary, we all need these women."

 "We are working intensively on coexistence with Muslims"

As far as the relationship to Islam is concerned, it is about "coexistence with Muslims":

"We are working intensively on this."


At the Congress of the Leaders of the World Religions, there was "no relativism whatsoever."

In this context, the striking praise for Kazakhstan and Nur-Sultan can also be seen. At the congress of religious leaders in Nur-Sultan there was "no relativism":

"No relativism at all. Everyone had their own opinion, each respected the other's point of view, but we talked like brothers. Because if there is no dialogue, there is either ignorance or war. It is better to live as brothers, because we have one thing in common: we are all human beings. Let's live like people who are well educated: what do you think, what do I think? Let's agree, let's talk, let's get to know each other. Often these misunderstood 'religious' wars are due to a lack of knowledge. And this is not relativism, I do not renounce my faith when I talk to someone who has another, on the contrary. I cherish my faith because someone else listens to him, and I listen to his."


"Whoever thinks only of money and the development of pastoral plans does not bring anything forward"

On the question of the decline in the number of attendees at Mass, specifically in Germany, Francis found surprisingly clear words. Is it a scolding for Cardinal Marx and the bishops Bätzing, Bode et al.?:

"If a Church, no matter in which country or in which area, thinks more of money, of development, of pastoral plans and not of pastoral work and takes this path, then she does not attract people. [...] Sometimes – I'm talking about everyone, in general, not only in Germany – people think about how to renew pastoral care, how to make it more modern: that's good, but it must always be in the hands of a pastor. When pastoral care is in the hands of pastoral 'scientists' who express their opinions here and say what to do... (you can't get any further, VaticanNews note). Jesus founded the Church with shepherds, not with political leaders."


Said the "politician on the chair of Peter". Francis himself said during his answers that he or what he said might be a bit "chaotic", "impenetrable", or "confused". But it is clear what he wants to say, according to the head of the Church.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: (Screenshot)

Trans: Tancred


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Bishop Williamson on Crisis in Ukraine

Edit: prepare for the end of the world, pray, and do not be deceived by the propaganda against Russia and in favor of the Ukraine.

Obviously, Rorate and other questionable sites are pro-Ukraine and Pro-Globohomo!


Friday, March 11, 2022

“True Freedom Demands Justice” — The Ukrainian Conflict and the Church

We continue to publish articles on the Ukraine conflict in order to give space to different opinions and to shed light on as many aspects as possible.  Today we publish a letter from the sociologist Pietro De Marco* to the Vaticanist Sandro Magister.

 Dear Magister,

I request your hospitality for some considerations prompted by the ongoing war in Ukraine.  The news horizon and the proliferation of chronicles and reflections on the pages of the media indicate duplicity, rather dystonia.  On the one hand there is the conflict with its facts: the acts of war and the political decisions about the present and future of the entire European area.  On the other hand, the demonstrations, prayers, moral and political declarations for peace.  Demonstrations and prayers that speak of war in its truth, without ever touching it or considering it as such;  eyes are on the suffering, on the migrants, on peace.

The duality would be an invariable complementarity if in the compassionate or peace-seeker there was also a rational engagement with the conflict, an instance of judgment of merit, and finally a non-dualistic positioning between good and evil.

To say: “There is war, long live peace” is, in my opinion, tantamount to moving in an exclusive “rationality by values” and ignoring the necessary “rationality by goals”.  Because of this indifference to outcomes that are not absolute (the peace that flourishes), everything can be heard in the squares, to the point of the absence of any judgment or the reverberating "Anything, as long as we stop fighting".  And there is also too much playfulness.  There are young people, but also adults, women and men, who seem to live more in the comedies of Aristophanes ("There are too many hormones in this matter," we heard exclaimed on TV, "If women were in power...  ’) than to meditate on Herodotus.

Today, in view of the history of peoples, the “peacemakers” can no longer hide behind the veil of their horror at hatred and bloodshed, nor under that of a love of neighbor that disregards everything.  In this order of reality which is the conflict that is taking place, the less gracious virtue of justice must dominate.  Less gracious, because justice in relations between peoples, if granted at all, must be justified: its judgment must have consequences.  And these will, and already do, coincide with the mechanics of war, since they concern it: weapons and means made available to the weaker party to fight, penalties for the aggressor to injure him on multiple levels and  certainly causing distress, as well as symmetrical threats to intimidate him.  In the end, one side will inevitably give way (or give up terrain with losses).

If the words of peace do not see this chain of necessary facts realistically aimed at ending the conflict, if they consider it abstractly to be an evil not worth examining iuxta propria principia, they condemn themselves of it. And these self-satisfied words are pecked away by the sparrows.

It is not war in general, but this or that war determines the place of decision.  Prayer, the most intense and theologically conscious, is necessary and undoubtedly pleasing to God, but it falls within the inscrutable realm of His will.  Or are we as a Church tempted to use prayer as an "excuse" not to take a stand and not work in and on this war?  We would not succumb to this temptation if we had retained the ability to think about events in terms of a theology of history.  Instead, the dominant theologies are antithetical to Paul, hostile to Augustine, they would mock Bossuet or de Maistre.  They flirt with the philosophies, but even Hegel's heretical, but very high theology of history is alien to them.  They think small or utopian, and utopia is the product of emotional ethics.

What am I getting at?  "War is therefore an act of violence to force the enemy to do our will," is one of Clausewitz's well-known definitions.  Turning away the Christian distinction of war as such, and saying no to evade the careful scrutiny of an event that will go far beyond the evils and sufferings of the moment, is not just a mistake.  It's running away from a responsibility.

Nothing relieves the Catholic Church of this responsibility.  The Holy See, a spiritual power but a power nonetheless, has so far moved tentatively, as if walking between prayer - with the Pope admirably acting, but acting as an individual rather than the human head of the Church - and passed over action, the actions of others.  I have followed with great interest the distant years of Giorgio La Pira's international political activity (Cuba Crisis, Vietnam), which may not have been very fruitful, but which was a bearer of reason, analysis and the ability to influence.

We know that the famous "Divisions of the Pope" are just the worldwide Catholic people.  But offering the Vatican as a place of encounter and negotiation does not mean turning the Ukraine conflict into a mystical place.  The Holy See will only mediate if it has the power and authority to do so;  if, for example, in the play of the moral, religious and political forces in the world it can say: The Catholic Church, whether in agreement with the Orthodox Churches or not, can neither accept nor endure the present showdown which consciously and according to a clear plan consciously deny  the  decisive freedoms, the large nations in new self-determination, which the world and all churches gained with the collapse of the USSR.  The collapse of the Soviet system was wanted by its own people, it is in a way a world historical fact that one would like to know is irreversible.

The Catholic Church, as Holy See, has the power, if it wishes, to oblige Catholics in conscience not to provide any alibi or scope (moral, ideological, political) to the project of a neo-imperial Russia, and thereby to put an end to the unwise pro-Putin New Constantine Catholic positions.  That means, having said that, to contribute with all your strength as an expert on humanity and as a sister of the Orthodox churches to ensure that peace negotiations can be carried out over a limited area (guarantees, possible border corrections) and not politically and religiously retrospectively (no return based on history of large European areas under the arbitrary rule of an autocrat).

There is no sign of this or any similar determination on the part of the Holy See.  It is to be hoped that the difficulties Rome has had to date in raising its declarations to the level of the Catholic Church's international standing are due to caution in seriously investigating the situation and the open questions, and not to recognizing that there meanwhile, it has disbanded its worldwide moral army and retired its special forces, those capable of realistic judgment.  Among them, the Society of Jesus once stood out.  History will do without them.

Pietro DeMarco

 *Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Florence and at the School of Religious Studies in Florence with a focus on sociology of religion and culture.  As a doctor of philosophy, he also deals with the European history of the ideas of the Renaissance and the early modern period as well as Jewish, early Christian and Islamic-medieval thought.  In 2015, on the occasion of the second synod on the family, he was one of the first to sign the international appeal to the Pope on the future of the family.

Two "little notes" from Sandro Magister

Two small remarks on the activity of the Church in this war.  The first concerns the ban on the word "war" in Russia, which has been replaced by "military operation".  At the Angelus on Sunday, March 6, Pope Francis responded explicitly: "This is not just a military operation, but a war that sows death, destruction and misery".  Andrea Tornielli, editor-in-chief of the Holy See's communications department, wrote on the front page of the Osservatore Romano that "Pope Francis has rejected the 'fake news' that seeks to present events with verbal subterfuges to cover up the gruesome reality of the facts."

But one only has to go back a few days to see that the Holy See itself, in its first official statement — issued on February 24 by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin — after the Russian aggression, or, as the document puts it, “after  resorting to these “verbal subterfuges” after the start of Russian military operations on Ukrainian territory”.

The second comment concerns the proposal of the Community of Sant'Egidio, and in particular its founder Andrea Riccardi, to make Kyiv an "open city".  The declared aim is to “avoid armed conflict, house-to-house and street-to-street fighting” because “Kyiv is the Jerusalem of Russian Orthodoxy and thus of Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian Orthodoxy.  It must not become Aleppo.”

Few know, however, that an "open city" is technically a city which, by express agreement of the conflicting parties, can be occupied by the enemy, in this case Russia, without resistance.

And some hints

So much for Magister's comments, to which a few notes should be added:


 Riccardi apparently recognizes the all-Russian commonality that has been expressed in the title by the head of the Church, originally sent by the Patriarch of Constantinople, since Christianization in the 10th century.  For the first 300 years, this had its seat in Kyiv, the capital of the still unified Rus, and was metropolitan, later patriarch of “all Rus”.

Relevant: The advance of the Central Powers (German Reich, Austria-Hungary etc. until March 1918 (dark green line)


The conquests of the Mongols led to a divergence in the late High Middle Ages, because the liberation struggle against the Mongols was carried out on the one hand by the self-liberating northern Rus, especially Moscow, and on the other hand by the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.  Two catholic powers.  This laid the foundation for today's linguistic, but above all cultural and religious division of the country.


When it comes to the question of who bears responsibility for a war, what matters is not only who fired the first shot, but above all what happened before the shot was fired.  Historical science will pursue this question one day, away from the general public.  In fact, the winner writes history.


Those who advocate a unitary state of Ukraine, which in its extent was a more accidental product of the turmoil of the end of World War I (see map above), run the risk, willfully or criminally, of misjudging Ukraine's complex reality.  Depending on your point of view, this consists of two parts (Ukrainian West, Russian East) or three parts (Russian East Ukraine, Orthodox West Ukraine, Catholic West Ukraine).  A statehood can be established and justified for each part.  One of the serious mistakes that led to the current war is that these facts have been ignored in recent years and the Kiev government has been encouraged in this by the West.  There are a number of possible and suitable instruments for a peaceful solution: partitioning the country, transforming it into a confederation of states, transforming it into a federal state with strong internal ethnic and religious guarantees, to name just three.  A fair division, as history teaches, would often have been the better solution and would have prevented millions of suffering, war, death and displacement.  However, most states, including Brussels, have declared border changes an idolatrous taboo.

What does that mean?  One example among many: If Austria and Prussia had recognized and guaranteed ethnic relations in 1848 based on the Swiss model, or had organized some crown lands and provinces according to ethnic criteria - even while maintaining the historical borders - the ethnic struggles that later broke out would have been defused from the outset and the the tragedies of exile and expulsion of the 20th century would probably have never materialized.

The maximalism of the strongest doesn’t merely entail tragedies to come, but also tragedies for them, because today's strongest can soon become the weaker.

 Translation/Notes: Giuseppe Nardi

 Image: Wikicommons

Trans: Tancred


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Ukrainian Grand Archbishop Says Married Clergy Won’t Solve Priest Shortage

ROME - Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, has urged those considering allowing priests in the Latin rite to marry in order to help solve a crippling shortage, to proceed with caution, saying marriage has not curbed shortages in his own rite.
With five blooming seminaries in Ukraine alone, “thanks be to God we do not lack vocations,” Shevchuk said, but noted that despite the fact that priests in his church - the largest of the 23 sui iuris eastern churches in full communion with Rome - have the ability to marry, the high numbers don’t appear for Greek Catholics in other countries.
“The same church with the same way of living the priestly vocation in other countries around the world does not enjoy this quantity of vocations,” he said, noting that numbers in the United States and Canada, among others, are few.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ukrainian Orthodox Patriarch of Kyiv Being Kicked Out of His Own Cathedral

At a recent press conference in Kyiv, Klyment, Archbishop of the Simferopol and Crimea Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate announced that the Russian Arbitration Court in Crimea had ruled that premises belonging to the Crimean Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate (KP) would be seized and confiscated.
The Archbishop explained that the ruling concerned the Cathedral of Saint Volodymyr and Olha in the centre of Simferopol.
 “We’ve been asked to pay half a million rubles to the Ministry of Property and Land Relations, vacate the premises within ten days and prepare for the fact that the building will be confiscated because all communications, water, light, power and heat supplies are located on these 112 square metres.”

Sunday, February 21, 2016

More than 100,000 Ukrainians Sign Position to Ban Abortion

Additionally, the signatories of the petition for passing a law defining marriage as a union between man and woman make strong.

 Kiev ( More than 100,000 Ukrainian Catholics call for a ban of abortion in a petition to President Petro Poroshenko.

As the press service Ukrainian RISU (Friday) reported they propose a constitutional amendment to protect the life of every human being "from conception to natural death." Additionally, the signatories are also for passing a law defining marriage as a union between man and woman.

The signatures were collected by Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic lay initiatives. In Ukraine about 150,000 abortions are registered annually. Abortions are still legal there until the 12th week without restriction and unpunished up to the 28th week for social and other reasons. Catholic (C) 2016 KNA news agency GmbH. All rights reserved.
Trans:  Tancred

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Union Between Both Ukrainian Orthodox Churches Separated From Moscow

Patriarch Filaret
(Kiev) The two non-canonically recognized Orthodox churches of Ukraine have agreed to merge. On September 14, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate will unite under the leadership of Patriarch Filaret and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, headed by Metropolitan Macarius in a Union. In Ukraine there are three Orthodox churches, each raise the claim to be legitimate representative of Orthodoxy. Only one of the three churches is canonically recognized, namely the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by the Moscow Patriarchate. The other two churches are considered in Orthodoxy to be schismatic. This refers to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, which broke away in 1991 in the wake of Ukraine's independence from Moscow. Similarly, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, originated in the 1920s during the anti-communist struggle for freedom in Ukraine. Both see themselves as autocephalous churches of Orthodoxy, but this was not previously recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the canonical Orthodoxy.

No Exact Figures on Membership of the Three Orthodox Churches of Ukraine

Precise details relating to religious and confessional affiliation are missing. All information is in agreement that the vast majority of Ukrainians consider themselves Christians, and among them, the Orthodox are most numerous. Less well known is which of the three Orthodox communities do Orthodox Ukrainians feel they belong. Even less is known about the displacements, which have occurred within the Orthodox community by the civil war in eastern Ukraine. Observers say that the war had strengthened the commitment to the Kyivan Patriarchate.

The Moscow Patriarchate and the Kiev Patriarchate should now represent in each case about 25 percent of Ukrainians. The Autocephalous Orthodox represent a share of 2-3 percent.

Treaty of Union Between the Two "schismatic" Ukrainian Churches

The Kiev Patriarchate and Autonomous Orthodox Church have now decided to unite. The ceremony will take place in Kiev Saint Sophia Cathedral on the 14th of September. The two Churches hope the merger will receive recognition from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. A representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch was present at the signing of the Treaty of Union, and certified the contract by signing. The Union shall be called Ukrainian Autocephalous Church of the Kiev Patriarchate. The merger will bring more clarity in the Ukraine, but also raises new questions. It is still unsettled who will head the Union. The Autocephalous Church has not yet agreed that the 80-year Kiev Patriarch Filaret is recognized as a leader. It could also require the election of a head. Between Kyiv and the Moscow Patriarchate in 2014 talks about a reunion had been decided, but which have not yet been implemented. The Moscow Patriarchate has not commented on the Union plans. The merger is without a signal to recognize the authority of Moscow, could burden the search for the unity of Orthodoxy at the pan-Orthodox Council of 2016.

15 percent of Catholics Centered in Western Ukraine

The share of Latin and Greek Catholics is 15 percent of the population. More than 12 percent of Ukrainians belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church united with Rome. Other two and a half percent to the Latin Church.

The evangelical and Pentecostal communities have grown since the independence of Ukraine. Some of the missionary activity is carried out directly from the United States. The Russian occupied or at least majority Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine (the east and the border with Moldova) have a significantly higher number of registered evangelical groups. Statistics, where the registered churches are located, however, do not reflect the actual number of believers again.The proportion of various Protestant communities in the total population is estimated at about fifteen percent. The lowest share they have is in western Ukraine in the areas where the majority Greek Catholic areas. Plus, there's around four per cent Muslims, mainly Tatars, 0.2 percent Jews and as many members of other religions.The rest are atheists and agnostics.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi Image: Orthodoxy Trans; Tancred

Link to Katholisches...


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Orthodox Churches Seek Closeness -- Synaxis Meets in Constantinople

(Constantinople) The Orthodox seek unity with one another. The assembly of Primates of the Orthodox Church has begun In George's Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.  The Patriarchate of Moscow thereby is also searching for the solidarity and support of Orthodoxy  in the Ukraine crisis and will probably get it.
In Constantinople, now Istanbul, today, the Synaxis of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches has opened. This is something  the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, has invited    - not without some rumblings of the Russian Orthodox - to discuss a meeting of the Holy and Grand Council, the whole Orthodox  Church that could begin, after 50 years of announcements and preparations, perhaps in 2015.

Will the Holy and Grand Council of the Orthodox Take Place?

The crisis in Ukraine, which is also an East-West conflict, are of particular importance to today's meeting to understand the direction in which the inner- Orthodox  relations between the autocephalous Churches could develop in the coming years, but also the ecumenisml between the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church.
A number of recent signals suggest that in the three-day meeting at the Phanar, at the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Orthodox Churches  will move closer together after years of bickering and divisiveness  and consolidate again its close internal unity.. It features a new dynamic of recovered unity with a Divine Liturgy celebrated on the 9th of March, Sunday, the day of the " Triumph of Orthodoxy ". This still refers to the first millennium triumph of the veneration of icons against the iconoclasts, but in a broader sense, the triumph of Orthodoxy over the heretics. It is the triumph of the "small, persecuted flock," a "triumph of the martyrs and confessors," as it committed to Orthodoxy.

Ukraine Crisis is Leading to  Inner-Orthodox Closeness

For a long time the participation of the most influential Orthodox Church leader, Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow was not certain. Yet the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia has finally traveled to Istanbul. For him, it comes to receiving the support of all the Orthodox Primates for the second part of his title. According to Moscow's understanding of the tripartite Russia (Great Russia, Little Russia, Belarus), his primacy extends not only to the state of Russia and ethnic Russians but also through Ukraine and Belarus. The question of the autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which during the crisis has come down on the side of the anti-Russian independence movement is, therefore, not to affect the assembly.

Patriarch Filaret was on the side of U.S. Secretary of State Kerry over Martyrs' Square in Kiev

As it stands, all canonically recognized Orthodox Churches will continue to repudiate a canonical recognition of a Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate independent of Moscow headed by Patriarch Filaret of Kiev. Filaret, has been Russian Orthodox Metropolitan since 1966, he became after 1990, after the death of Pimen I his successor as Metropolitan of Kiev and throughout Ukraine. When Ukraine gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Filaret called  for the autocephaly of the Orthodox church in the country, which  Moscow rejected. In 1995, he called arbitrarily for Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the Patriarch of Kyiv and all Ukraine .
This division of Orthodoxy in Ukraine has continued still, so that today  three feuding Orthodox Churches face each other. Only the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is officially recognized, to which appends still the majority of Orthodox believers. Filaret was excommunicated in 1997 by Moscow and returned to the lay state.  Despite various attempts by anti-Russian Ukrainian politicians speaking of  the recognition,  the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, has  not previously affirmed it. Although  Ukrainian he has had 20 years of independence, the Kiev Patriarchate  has not expanded its position, since the majority of Ukrainian parishes and monasteries belong almost entirely to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Filaret is Considered in Canonical Orthodoxy as Excommunicated Schismatics

Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv remains in the eyes of the recognized Primates as one excommunicated, who is also accused of giving titles and jurisdictions to schismatic groups and strange creations  imparting to secularized priests to self-appointed priests and vagrants, dealing moving in various countries outside the Church control. There is talk of a "schismatic International," calling into question the apostolic succession of the Orthodox Churches undermines in some parts of the world and place. An expression that reflects the mood within  canonical Orthodoxy on the subject.
When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry these days made his walk across the Martyrs' Square in Kiev, he was accompanied by various Ukrainian religious leaders. Right next to Kerry, more visible than any other, was Patriarch Filaret. On the Russian side, Patriarch Kirill I tried to restrain the conflict in Ukraine. All the more so, since Archimandrite Chaplain of Russian Military had designated the  intervention in the Crimea as a "peace mission".  Additionally, Kirill said: "Our nation is composed of people with different perspectives and political convictions, including those which are being  faced on  the barricades. The Church is located at the side of any party in the political struggle."  These words are a message to Metropolitan Onufry  they contain the current locum tenens of the Moscow Patriarchate in Kiev.

Moscow is Seeking Assistance and is Willing to Grant Such

Not only Moscow but also the Ecumenical Patriarch urges a closing of the Orthodox ranks. This not only has to do with the Ukraine crisis. At the same time, the unity will also strengthen the role of Bartholomew as primus inter pares, and thus guarantor and coordinator of Orthodox unity. Therefore, the "foreign minister" of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion found many words of praise and grateful appreciation for Bartholomew and also Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamon, the major theologians of the Ecumenical Patriarchate .

Hilarion: "We must identify the problems of the world today, not those of the 70s"

Hilarion expressed in the preparatory meetings currently in session  at the Synaxis the full readiness  to participate for the  first time in the preparation of the Holy and Grand Council, which has been considered by Moscow with little attention in the past: "New realities, new problems have emerged and we must, for our flock  and the world, identify the problems  that approach  us today and not those which concerned the Orthodox Churches in the 70s and 80s of the last Century. "

Impact on the Primacy Issue between Orthodoxy and Catholicism?

Whether the new unity of Orthodoxy will have an impact on the willingness of Moscow to talk with the Catholic Church on primacy remains to be seen. Recently,  Moscow has been deaf on this topic therefore, and for thus it did not recognize the leading role of the Ecumenical Patriarch in this question.  However, there seems to e a relaxation in progress between Moscow and Constantinople. 
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Vatican Insider
Trans: Tancred

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cardinal Husar's Views on Aberromarriage

Edit: the retired  Lubomyr Cardinal Husar was born in Lviv on February 26th 1933.  He resigned in 2011 due to ill health and is currently Archeparch Emeritus.   To the credit of the Holy See he was ordained a Bishop in 1977 by Major Archbishop Josyf Slipyj without papal permission.  There were no excommunications. 

He was made apostolic administrator of the Ukrainian Greek Major-Archeparchy of Lviv in December of 2000.  In January of 2001, the Ukrainian Greek synod elected him Major Archbishop.  On February 21st Pope John Paul II created and proclaimed Husar Cardinal-Priest of Santa Sofia a Via Boccea.    He participated in the papal conclave of 2005.

The Cardinal has been known for years as an Old Liberal with controversial positions on various issues and so we've decided to feature some of his writings in a series without a lot of comment.  We feel they speak for themselves. It's interesting that the current Patriarch has distanced himself somewhat from ++Husar's irenicism. The book is Conversations with Lubomyr Cardinal Husar: Towards a Post-confessional Christianity by Antoine Arjakovsky, Ukrainian Catholic University Press, 2007.

He might be surprised to learn he agrees with a certain depraved American pop star.

Much has been said about the recognition of homosexual

Homosexuality to my mind is nothing new. The only problem is
that it has become very vocal, out of proportion, to my mind. Nobody
is responsible for one’s homosexuality. They simply are born that way.
And they have to face this reality, unfortunately, as it is. I feel very
sorry for these people because they are unable to experience conjugal
love, which is love that is fruitful. God created men and women for
them to have children together. Homosexuals cannot accomplish that;
in this sense their love remains sterile. If they insist on living together,
fine. But they cannot pretend that this is marriage. I also have serious
doubts about their capacity to raise children, because then a child will
grow up with homosexual tendencies. But the problem has become
terribly noisy as if half of the world consisted of homosexuals. They
are a tiny minority in humanity. And we should recognize their suf-
fering, their rights, and that’s it.

Link to source...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pilgrimage: On Foot From Liechtenstein to the Far East

Chaplain Johannes Maria Schwarz will take a pilgrimage to Haran (Abraham) starting in May.

Linz ( He has already had experiences with long pilgrimages for a long time.  As a seminarian Johannes Maria Schwarz, co-founder of, went from Linz to Santiago de Composetela.  Now he is planning to take a sabbatical year as chaplain in May and would like to do, what apparently still no one has done before.

From May Johannes Maria will make a mega-pilgrimage all the way to Haran, the city of Abraham in southeast Turkey. The road there will also go through Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania, from there over Moldova, back to Ukraine and then to Russia. Georgia and Armenia are on the travel plan.

He understands the trip as a pilgrimage and is an investment “in every time of quiet and prayer”, explained Schwarz.

Chaplain Dr. Johannes Maria Schwarz is a priest of the Archdiocese of Vaduz. He is active as a guest professor at the International Theological Institute in Trumau (Grand Chancellor Christoph Cardinal Schönborn).

The will have blog updates every few days. will accompany the trip via Twitter and Facebook.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Many Catholic Youth in Europe Tend to Abstinence

Genf (kathnews/CF)  Youth from the ages of 15 in Israel are far less sexually active than those of the same age in Europe.  The Jewish State showed in a comparable study on this subject that included 35 countries, was among the last places, namely 32.  The international questionnaire was commissioned in connection with the World Health Organization.  From the study, which was led in Israel by Doctor Yossi Harel Fisch and Dr. Iron Buneil of Bar-Ilan University, it says that compared to the youth of 1998, today's youth have become more conservative:  Of the 874 Jewish boys and girls 18,5% said that they had had sexual intercourse.  14 years ago they were still 27%.  The highest early age to have sexual intercourse -- according to this international Report -- were the youth of Greenland:  there it showed that 59.8% had already experienced sexual intercourse at 15.  In addition the 2nd place and 3rd places were also northern European countries:  Denmark (37.7%, Sweden (31.6%), even including Austria (31.6%) -- with England in 5th place with 31 %.

The Highest Abstinence Rate in Years: in two Catholic Countries

After the lower "Sex-numbers" come after Israel, the Ukraine (18%), Poland (15.7%) and Slovakia (12.7%).   With that indicates two Catholic countries (Poland, Slovakia) have the highest abstinence levels among their boys and girls -- or to put it another way:  the lowest sex quotas.  -- Not to forget the religiously stamped Ukraine.  Already, in the past two years the results of this international report was similar:  even then Slovakia and Poland showed the highest levels of abstinence.  The youth in Germany belonged according to a report in 2010 among the most "abstinent" countries (it sits in the lowest area, respectively the 11th from the last place: directly after Portugal).

Back to Israel and the most recent study.   The director of the Department for the Prevention of Psychosocial Damage in the Education Ministry, Hilla Segal, explained to the site "Ynet":  "We have become attentive that parents and teachers in Israel are increasingly showing a more conservative mind."  The expert continued:  "Sex in early ages leaves emotional and psychic damage.  It is increasingly clear that youth in these ages are often under pressure to engage in sexual relationships and  this harms them later."


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI to Visit Ukraine?

Pope Benedict XVI may possibly visit the Greek-Catholic Archbishop of Kiev, Swjatoslaw Schwetschuk in the Ukraine.

Arcbishop Schwetschuk
Vatican City (  Pope Benedict XVI may possibly visit the Greek-Catholic Archbishop of Kiev, Swjatoslaw Schwetschuk in the Ukraine, according to him.  The possibility about such a visit was already discussed for this year, said Schwetschuk on Monday in informal talks during the Bishops' Synod.  With a view to the social importance it is being descried as a "delicate matter".

As to the question if the Pope might come to his country, Schwetschuk said: "I believe yes".  The Catholics in Ukraine are awaiting Benedict XVI., says the head of the Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine.  The possibility of a papal trip to the Ukraine has been speculated upon for quite some time; an invitation has been extended by the Catholics united with Rome.

Link to

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