George Alexander – OCP News Service – 7/10/16
On 12 September 2016, Catholic Herald published an article by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith titled ‘An Orthodox schism could be looming. But there might just be a Catholic solution’.
He speaks on the ongoing schisms and problem between various Orthodox Churches in Ukraine. He talks on the tug-of-war between Constantinople and Moscow Patriarchates over Ukraine’s Orthodox communities. Towards the end of his article, Fr Alexander Advises that Uniatism or Eastern Catholicism is an option for rival Orthodox Churches in Ukraine. As per him “There is another solution, and that is to seek union with Rome. It has been done before now and could be done again. I wonder if any of the rival Orthodox Churches in Ukraine are thinking of autocephaly sub and cum Petro as a solution to their problems?”
Let me share my thoughts on Fr Alexanders Article
- First of all, Uniatism or Eastern Catholicism is not a solution for anything. It is an imperial tool used by the Vatican to subjugate Orthodox Churches, which miserably failed.
- Neither Eastern Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox Churches accept nor recognize ‘UNIATISM’ as a solution or concept of union with Rome.
- After the Second Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic Church recognized that the unity with the Orthodox world should come through dialogue and not through conversion of people, communities from Orthodox to the Eastern Catholicism. This was clearly stated in the joint declaration between Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and Pope Francis of in Cuba. The Joint Declaration says that “It is today clear that the past method of ‘Uniatism,’ understood as the union of one community to the other, separating it from its Church, is not the way to re-establish unity.” But equally important to the Vatican and to Greek Catholics is the acknowledgment by the patriarch of the right of these churches “to exist and to undertake all that is necessary to meet the spiritual needs of their faithful.” (www.ncronline.org).
- If anyone wants to join the Roman Catholic Church, he or she is free to do the same, but using Uniatism as a tool to absorb Orthodox faithful to Roman Catholicism is an absolute violation of the existing understanding and practices.
- Why do Roman Catholic prelates promote the concept of Uniatism and propose it as a solution for Orthodox Churches in schism? Is it not trying to ‘Fish is in troubled Waters’ by the Vatican diplomats?
- Uniates are in an identity crisis. They are neither Orthodox nor Latin. In such a case, Rome should find a solution for them and not suggest them as a solution to Orthodox Churches
- Eastern Catholicism is one of the major obstacles that hinder unity and communion between the Vatican (The Old Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome) and the Orthodox Churches.
- The schism in Ukraine is an internal matter of Orthodox Churches. Roman Catholic Church has no role here.
- No Church is free from schism, neither Rome nor Anglicans or the Protestants.
- Orthodox Christian faithful and Prelates are well aware that they live in schism and they need to find a lasting solution for church disputes. The church leaders and faithful are capable enough to find a desirable solution. They do not need Uniatism as a solution to their problems. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, Moscow Patriarchate, UOC-MP, UOC-KP, and UAOC have more than enough resources to find a concrete solution for their problems.
- If you are suggesting Uniatism as a solution for Ukraine’s Orthodox problems, then why does the Vatican promote ecumenical dialogues with Orthodox Churches? Promoting ecumenism on one hand and Uniate imperial agenda, on the other hand, is simply double stand.
Let me also mention the below comments by the Chancellor of Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE
Rt. Rev Chor-bishop Dr. Kyriakose Thottupuram of Chicago on Vatican Agenda & Ecumenism
“In common declarations in Rome or elsewhere, Rome would preach non-uniatism, but Rome in her heart is totally imperialistic. These smaller groups of UNIATES (Eastern Catholics) are rewarded by Rome for their efforts and achievements in bringing more of the “separated brethren” (The Orthodox & Protestants) under the universal jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome. There are agencies indirectly or directly controlled by the Congregation of Oriental Churches (in Rome) that financially support such efforts. We Orthodox are so naïve to believe what the Pope says in his common declaration and communique; we really do not read Rome’s mind or do not know how to read her mind. If what the Bishop of Rome says is sincere and honest in his declarations why doesn’t he revoke the recognition of these oriental rites and demand them to go back to their original Church? If this is not done, never trust Rome. All the ecumenism and “oneness” that Rome preaches is hogwash, and is intrinsically hoggish!
The Church that Jesus founded was never intended to be governed by ONE central authority from somewhere, particularly from Rome; if it was meant to be otherwise he would have clearly taught it in His gospels or the apostles must have clearly written in their epistles. The thread of unity between local churches was maintained in the early church through one faith, one priesthood, and the Eucharistic communion. For Rome, the theory that the Church should be governed by ONE central authority is a matter of faith and is required for one’s salvation! For us Orthodox, it is an Anathema. Every church should be locally governed by a Synod of Bishops with its elected Patriarch/ Archbishop/ metropolitan as the head of the national Church who runs the day-to-day affairs of his national Church at large while the bishops take care of their local dioceses. Until the second coming of Christ, Rome will continue her imperialistic policy and mislead her faithful; Rome has enough resources for it and immense wealth to financially power her such activities.
All the good relationships, educational scholarships for Orthodox clergy in Rome and in their universities and all other good gestures are not totally with good intentions. Behind every so-called “good work”, Rome’s agenda is conversion to the Roman Church. If they can get one convert in a year they would celebrate it. In America EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) is actively engaged in promoting conversions and highlighting her converts (this TV channel has become available via the internet everywhere in the world). The sad fact is that the Orthodox Church does not realize this hidden agenda and is even willing to go to any extent to cooperate with the Roman Catholic programs without really understanding the dangers inherent in such activities.”
OCP News Service