The quest for an Ukrainian Catholic Patriarchate

/by Victor J. Pospishil and Hryhor M. Luznycky Philadelphia 1971/

The author, V. J. Pospishil, in four articles of this brochure discusses the canonic aspects of the Major Archiepiscopate and the Patriarchate, and prof. H. M. Luznycky the historical aspects of the same subjects. The introduction to this brochure is written by Bishop Basil Losten, but the brochure is sponsored by an unfamiliar “Ukrainian Publications” of 820 N. Franklin St., and not the Metropolitan’s Office. Because of the absence of complete identification of the publisher, it is not clear whether the authors express only their own views or to what extent they reflect the position of the Metropolia. The brochure is significant in that it provides a direct answer to many unclairified aspects of the contemporary movement for the Patriarchate by placing these aspects in the light of Church canons and historical perspectives. The value of this brochure should be established with respect to internal matters and external relationship of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Concerning internal Ukrainian affairs, the movement for the Patriarchate clearly is given the platform of an ecclesiastical law. From Father Pospishil’s interpretation of these laws, there is obtained certain degree of assurance for independence of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. The attempt of the author to remain loyal to the ruling body in the Vatican and at the same time, to attain a maximum of rights for the Ukrainian Catholic Church, places the author in a self-initiated irreconcilability. However, the work of the author seems to present the Philadelphia Metropolia in a more favorable relationship to the movement of the Patriarchate i-n comparison to its undefined position concerning the Patriarchate two years ago.

Father Pospishil first criticizes the so-called territorial principle concerning the Patriarchate, exposes the expansion of latinism in the territories of the Eastern Churches, affirms that the decrees of the Second Vatican Council are ignored, and acknowledges the legality of the Ukrainian Catholic Church Synods. Advocating maximum extension of rights of the Major Archiepiscopate for the whole of the Ukrainian Rite regardless of territorial boundaries, the author intends to be content, because it appears that the right to give us a Patriarchate is held only by the Pope. Following this, the author presents some positive resolutions for the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He truthfully explains the national and political motivation of the movement for the Patriarchate, criticizes the lack of. recognition of the Synods by Cardinal Fuerstenberg, and negatively evaluates the representation of the Ukrainian Catholic Church by three metropolitans at the Papal Synod of Bishops, where there should have been only one representative – the head of our Ukrainian Catholic Church. It is evident that even these modest terms presented in the brochure will never have consent from the Vatican Curia.

Concerning the external political aspects of the Ukrainian Catholic Church Father Pospishil’s presentation and conclusions are unconvincing, minimal and weak in comparison to what has been published on this subject by prof. M. Chubatyj, prof. B. Markus, and Father G. Maloney. Self-contradictions decrease the value of this work in the eyes of critical non-Ukrainian readers (and this brochure is designed primarily for them) and because of this, the Patriarchal movement, which the author tries to defend, is harmed. When the author at one point establishes the legality of the Synod, later criticizes Cardinal Fuerstenberg for not recognizing the Synod and then asserts that the Synod has no right to nominate its own bishops, then the credibility of such a work is in doubt. An obvious loyalty to the sway of the Eastern Congragation, to the two challenged nominations of bishops, and personal criticism of, the Archbishop Major (this criticism has reached epidemic proportions now), all this constitutes a category highly debatable, arbitrary, and non-canonical in nature.

The following is a critique of Monsgr. Pospishil’s position written by Father G. Maloney with marginal notes by Eva Piddubcheshen.

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