I’ve had a rough couple of days. I hope to reflect on them more at a later date when they are not so fresh in my memory.
This morning did bring a bit of good news. An appeal was made by the Orthodox Peace Fellowship. This appeal was for the Orthodox Church to recognize the pseudo-synod of Lviv in 1946 as a sham. This so-called synod forced the Ukrainian Catholic Church to unite with the Russian Orthodox Church. A terrible tragedy, which made the Ukranian Greek Catholic Church the world’s largest underground and persecuted Church until it was legalized in 1989.
Here is an excerpt from the appeal that gives a historical background:
On March 10, 1946, at Lviv, the Orthodox Church of Russia, under pressure from the Soviet government, forcefully integrated the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and claimed jurisdiction over it. When the participants in the synod on March 8 and 9, voted for the “reunification” of their Church with the Patriarchate of Moscow, all the Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishops were behind bars in prisons. The 216 priests and 19 laymen, assembled in the Cathedral of Saint George in Lviv by the NKVD, the ancestor of the KGB, were at the mercy of a “group of initiative” led by two Orthodox bishops, Antony Pelvetsky and Myhailo Melnyk, and an orthodox priest Gavril Kostelnyk. The archives reveal that it was Stalin himself who decided to eliminate the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in February 1945, twelve days after the Conference of Yalta with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
May this be the start of a rapprochement between Orthodox and Greek Catholics in the spirit of openness and reconciliation. Please read the rest of the appeal here.
To close, I’ll post the last line of the appeal.
We humbly ask their pardon for all the injustices they have suffered under the cover of the Orthodox Church and we bow down before the martyrs of this Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Through the prayer of the New Martyrs of the Orthodox and Catholic Church, Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us and save our souls. Amen.