By Religious News Service (6-29-76)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (RNS) — Some 250 Ukrainian Rite Catholics demonstrated outside the residence of Archbishop Jean Jadot, Apostolic Delegate in the U.S., to protest what they charged was Pope Paul’s refusal to allow Cardinal Joseph Slipyj to attend the forthcoming International Eucharist Congress in Philadelphia.
After a fruitless attempt to discuss the matter with Archbishop Jadot, the Ukrainian Catholic protesters demonstrated for several hours and at one point pelted the prelate’s front door with eggs. Although police were rushed in to keep order, there were no reports of arrests.
The demonstrators, according to a Ukrainian Catholic spokesman, represented some 15 communities from several eastern states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
In picketing the Apostolic Delegate’s residence, the Ukrainian Catholics said they were protesting «the diplomatic persecution of the Ukrainian Catholic Church by the Vatican» and said this is being manifested currently by making Cardinal Slipyj, the head of the Ukrainian Rite Catholic Church, «a Vatican prisoner.»
The demonstrators, in a statement released prior to the protest, said that on June 17, Pope Paul «forbade» Cardinal Slipyj to leave the Vatican, where he now resides, to attend the Eucharistic Congress in August.
The statement said the demonstration was held at the Apostolic Delegation because Archbishop Jadot, «in transmitting the directives given him by the Holy See for the Ukrainian bishops…is the instrument of the perverse efforts of Vatican-Moscow policymakers to impose a death verdict upon the Ukrainian Catholic Church as a particular church.»
Claiming a «credibility gap» between Vatican promises and actions, the statement warned churches to which Vatican policymakers are making «ecumenical advances» to take a «long and careful look at what is being done to the particular Ukrainian Catholic Church before taking seriously their promises of self-government and equality in unity.»
The statement said that Vatican «persecution» of the Ukrainian Church has manifested itself in the forbidding of Ukrainian Catholic bishops to meet in Synod and undertake any «legislative or elective» measures, in failing to allow the bishops to institute a «patriarchal system» that is traditional to all eastern churches, and by denying recognition of Cardinal Slipyj as patriarch.
The Ukrainian Catholics have challenged the Vatican — particularly the Congregation for Eastern Churches — on its denial of the right to a married clergy by issuing directives forbidding «parochial jurisdiction» to Ukrainian married clergy in areas where there is a predominance of Roman Catholics.