Коли наші єпископи стануть в обороні нашої Церкви?

Таке запитання випливає з нижче надрукованих передруків з Українського Католицького Тижневика «Шлях», що містять рішучі слова у справі горезвісного листа Священної Конгрегації для Східніх Церков з 17 вересня 1984 р. і вияснення монсіньора Ріцці. Шкодуємо, що не маємо можливости тих листів, що були надруковані у «Шляху», подати в українській мові. Обидва листи д-ра Петра Павла Барзика і о. мітрата Івана Мовата висловлюють влучні думки широких кіл української громадсь­косте а зокрема вірних Української Католицької Церкви. І на такому тлі виринає нами поставлене питання, коли ми почуємо голос наших єпископів чи нашого Синоду в обороні нашої Церкви і привернення права для нашої Церкви висвячувати священиків у подружньому стані. Біда в тому, що ті, які говорять про «самосуспензу», забувають про свою незаконність. Тут належить висловити подяку о. Роналдові Попівчакові за його відвагу надрукувати ці листи. До цих справ ще повернемось.

Редакція

THE WAY — ШЛЯХ

JANUARY 20, 1985

Dear Father:

The recent Newsweek story entitled “The Wrong Rite in The Church of Rome” is another example of the dangers of secondhand reporting. This kind of mixture of fact and rumor causes only confusion. One cannot help but believe, however, that the fault here lies as much with the Vatican as with Newsweek. If there is an institution from the Congregation for Eastern Churches, why does it have to be secret? If there is no such instruction, why doesn’t Archbishop Marusyn simply say so? What is it they are hiding and from whom?

Our Bishops’ letter of reply to Newsweek is a masterful attempt at diplomacy. It should help the Vatican save face in a most embarrassing situation.

Nevertheless, both the Newsweek report and Bishops’ response dramatize one very im­portant issue. Why is it that our Church it still denied the ancient tight to ordain married men in North America today in 1984?

One finds it difficult enough to understand the rationale back in 1929. But this is 1984. The Roman clergy and laity are discussing the ordination not only of married men but even women. We find it difficult to believe that these same Roman brothers could be scandalized by our married priests.

The Roman Church has welcomed married Episcopal and Anglican priests into its ranks without any difficulty. We might point out that many of our people are scandalized by this blatant double standard on the part of the Vatican.

The time has come for our Bishops to stand with their people and demand that this unjust and arbitrary decree be rescinded. We should give our complete and unconditional support to those “Married Priests of Toronto” who apparently face possible suspension — only because they chose to follow an Eastern tradition.

The time has also come to discuss these issues openly and without secrecy. This is not a matter of Faith but of internal discipline. And we have a right to decide these matters among ourselves. The Church of Rome has nothing to fear from us. If there are any radicals in the Church, they happen to be Roman. Above all, let us eliminate this poisonous atmosphere of secrecy. Our people deserve better than a third hand report on their alleged demise from Newsweek.

Peter Paul Barzyk, MD

 

ШЛЯХ – THE WAY

JANUARY 27, J985

Dear Father:

According to the National Catholic News Service, the Sacred Congregation for Eastern Churches did indeed send an “instruction” to Bishop Borecky of the Toronto Eparchy directing him to provide a list of all “illicitly” ordained priests. As it turns out “illicit” means married priests who were ordained without “special permission.” According to Msgr. Rizzi of the Sacred Congregation, these priests had been automatically suspended at the time of their “illicit” ordination in some cases as long ago as 1970. The Sacred Congregation is now suddenly concerned that these priests may now be “provoking a grave scandal among the faithful.”

Msgr. Rizzi further informs us that some of these priests were “poorly prepared” by Latin standards and would have to undergo further preparation before they could be “regularized” — 10 to 14 years after their ordination! Msgr. Rizzi hastens to add that the Sacred Congregation is solely concerned about “regularizing” the situation with “the most mercy.”

Msg. Rizzi goes on to accuse our Church of “subterfuge” by ordaining married priests in Rome and Yugoslavia and then lending them to American Eparchies.

Msgr. Rizzi finally emphasizes that the Sacred Congregation has taken an attitude of “indulgence” and wishes “to remove the idea of a tyrannical Rome.”

While one is grateful that this situation has been at least partially clarified, one cannot help but be astounded by the hypocrisy of the above statements.

Why is it that it took the Sacred Congregation 14 years to discover these facts? Could it be that they thought it prudent not to act while Patriarch Josyf still lived?

Should not such a matter as this be handled through the Synod of Bishops and Archbishop Myroslav? Yet the majority of our Bishops denied any knowledge of these things.

Who are these “faithful” who are being “gravely scandalized” by these holy priests? Could it be the same “faithful” who were scandalized by Fr. Voliansky 100 years ago? The same “faithful” who persecuted Fr. Voliansky because he was married and finally forced him out of this country despite his demonstrated moral integrity, sanctity, and administrative ability?

And finally how is it that such an arbitrary and unjust decree as “Cum Data Fuerit” can still be tolerated in this country not only by our Ukrainian and Byzantine Churches but also by the local Latin Church?

The time has come for our Bishops and people to demand answers to these questions not only from the Vatican but also from our Latin brothers here in North America.

The Sacred Congregation for Eastern Churches has once again demonstrated its total lack of understanding of the Eastern Churches and should be abolished. The Eastern Churches are Sister Churches of Rome. As such they should be in loving communion with Rome. They do not need to be administered by Rome.

Peter Paul Barzyk, MD Erie, PA

THE WAY — ШЛЯХ

FEBRUARY 10, 1985

Dear Monsignor:

Without a doubt, THE WAY has become the best of our Eastern Catholic news media. However, I was disappointed by the January 20, 198S issue with its front page coverage entitled “Light Shed on Vatican Letter.” In the first place no light was shed and it remained merely an attempted “cover-up.” This same article appeared, word for word, three weeks ago in the Catholic Register. More than six weeks ago the National Catholic Reporter printed a whole essay on this matter and included a verbatim copy of the “Vatican Utter.”

The second page of this particular issue of THE WAY vindicated itself with the erudite letter of Dr. Peter Barzyk (thank God we have such concerned, knowledgeable laymen!) who addressed this affair as it mmd be.

A married clergy in all Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox, is a tradition from Apostolic times. No territorial limitations were ever made by legitimate Eastern hierarchs. Since this is an internal discipline of a Particular Church no outside ecclesiastical authority, of whatever rank, has a right to impose its own norms on another Church of different liturgical and canonical tradition. If done in 1929, it was illicit as well as illegal. Note well the schisms caused at this time and the loss of tens of thousands of souls to Catholic unity. Where was the pastoral concern for these souls? Or does it matter?

The Canadian clergy, at whom this recent attack is directed, have been ordained priest’s, not yesterday but already 8 years ago. Why this attack (and that is just what it is) now? Why hurt them and their families? In the name of what? For whom and for what purpose? Is this the mind of a loving, forgiving and reconciling Christ? Much better that the “authorities that be” direct their attention and concern in the direction of the numerous heretical-teaching theologians, the dissident priests and the pro-abortion nuns so prevalent and vocal in the western world.

This whole affair is ridiculous in the light of the presentso-called “Ecumenical Movement” and especially with the numerous Episcopalian and Anglican married clergy recently accepted into the Catholic Church and reordained as Catholic priests. Only a few weeks ago the Archbishop of Boston posed a question to his bishops and priests to receive and incardinate some of these ex-Episcopalian clergy in the Archdiocese of Boston. If married Eastern Catholic priests are a “scandal” to their own faithful, in their own Church, what will the Irish Catholics of Boston think of married ex-Episcopalian clergy working in Boston? Ambasa! MO naire thu! (Indeed! Shame on you!)

If the Church of Rome is so ecumenical minded as to admit ex-Episcopalian and Anglican married men to the Catholic priesthood why can’t it be as generous and open-minded in rescinding the decree of 1929 which caused so much turmoil in the Catholic Eastern churches of the USA and Canada? Surely this would be a positive action which might give a bit more confidence to the various Orthodox Eastern Churches now dialoguing with the Vatican. Actions always speak louder than words!

We are more than perplexed by this insult to our Church, its priests and to the Sacrament of Matrimony. We still have to ask why? It is a question, not just for Catholic Ukrainians but for all the various jurisdictions of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In view of some future reunion, will the Orthodox priests, the greater majority of whom are married men, be seen some day as a “scandal” to their faithful? God forbid! Our hierarchs would do well in defending the priests in of the Toronto Eparchy. Their positive action would enhance the field of ecumenism where, up till now, they have played little or no part because they are neither wanted nor welcomed by the Catholic West and the Orthodox East.

Rt. Rev. Mitrat John J. Mowatt
Woonsocket, RI

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