Whither Ukraine?


Your’s Truly does not present himself as an expert on matters Ukrainian or Eastern European. Therefore much of what follows will be controversial but hopefully, written about in a dispassionate manner. Being an American of the Southron disposition and Greek by blood (I’ve done the Ancestry DNA thing), I am somewhat at a remove from the rhetorical bloodletting and the incessant finger-pointing.

After the euphoria of the Maidan Spring, there was some hope that the Ukraine would turn into a Western-style democracy. Now we know that the entire event was nothing less than a coup d’etat organized by that loathsome woman, Victorian Nuland and her claque of evil Neocons. Hence my use of the definite article to describe that benighted land.

One only has to take a look at the photograph which accompanies this blog post. Arseny Yatseniuk, the current prime minister of the Ukraine is a stooge at best and a buffoon at worst. If that isn’t a Nazi salute, then I don’t know what is. (The fact that three of his grandparents were Jewish makes me question his sanity.) With jokers like him at the helm, it’s no wonder that the Ukraine has spun out of control.

And spare me the vilification of President Putin. His hands are not clean but the post-Maidan actions of the Ukrainian state forced the hands of the Russian-speaking minority and thus, his own. It was simply impossible to think otherwise.

More importantly however is the fact that the Ukrainian nationality was nothing but a hybrid of different regionalisms that could never coalesce into a distinct ethnicity except perhaps over the intervention of several centuries. There simply hasn’t been enough time for that to happen. There was no Ukrainian literature, no common religion and no national story. At least not one that did not entail Russia proper. This is significant: Kiev is the mother city of Russia, not of the Ukraine as it is presently constituted. It is the originator of Kievan Rus’, not of the Borderland.

And now, as we can see with the recent joint encyclical by Their Holinesses, the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of Russia, we see that the other shoe has dropped: the ghost which animates the Ukrainian “nationality” –Byzantine Catholicism–has finally been thrown under the bus.

This cannot be stressed enough. Greek Catholicism –otherwise known as the Unia–has long been the spiritual force behind the Ukrainian concept. Unfortunately, a significant percentage (perhaps of majority) of those who style themselves as Ukrainians wanted nothing to do with the Unia. They, like the majority of Latin Catholics and Eastern Orthodox have long seen the Unia for what it is: a chimera which is neither fish nor fowl, all pleasantries and arguments to the contrary notwithstanding.

We can not forget that the Unia was a subterfuge, conceived in deceit and propagated by geopolitical exigencies which no longer exist. Gone are the Hapsburgs, the Romanovs and Metternich’s doctrine of Drang nach Osten. Europe is not plagued by nightmares of Soviet expansion but by Moslem extermination. The Pope sees this. The Patriarch of Russia sees this. A blind man can see this.

The Twilight of the West which Oswald Spengler foresaw in 1918, is clearly upon us. In the present circumstances, Ukrainian nostalgia is nothing but a diversion. As such, it is entirely possible to envision the rending of the Ukrainian polity into a Russian-absorbed East and a Polish-federated West. Maybe then there will be real peace.

Godspeed the day.


  1. Michael Warren says

    Partitioning the Ukraine, which is historically Russian territory, is a non starter. Putin’s frozen conflict model has been put in place because he does not intend for the Ukraine to cede any of its territory once the banderofascist regime collapses. Federalism and Russian as a language of equal dignity by his reckoning is enough to put Ukrainian nationalist quackery to bed and hold it all together for future reassessments of what ethnogenesis will mean for these lands.

    Now for the record and to be fair (it is clear I have neither love for Unia nor the quackery of Ukrainian nationalism), Greek Catholicism in Galicia and Carpatho Rus’ did not begin as Russophobic religious counterfeit. Unia was imposed on Carpatho Rus’ and Galicia after these regions rejected and condemned the Union of Brest in 1596. Unia was imposed on Ruthenian settlement areas in the Kingdom of Hungary through the Union of Uzhgorod, which was carried out from 1642-1646 as part of the Counter Reformation. It entailed everything from lying to Ruthenian Orthodox and saying that the pope had become Orthodox and that Greek Catholic was their identity from the outset to lynchings, imprisonments, brutality, pogroms against those who would not accept unia. The Unia was not universally accepted and Orthodox villages continued in these areas into the mid eighteenth century. In Galicia, the Russian Brotherhood of Lvov stridently opposed Unia. It occured in 1692 when some hierarchs buckled to the pressure of the Counter Reformation. Gradually, through deception, violence, disenfranchisement, pecuniary conversions of important people and after a guerilla war which lasted into 1712, the Unia was forced upon Galicia. Galicia had Orthodox villages aided by the Orthodox in Bukovina and succored by the Pochaev Lavra into the twentieth century.

    Unia in both Carpatho Ruthenia and in Galicia cemented itself at first by being a native organism. It sought to preserve the ethnic, linguistic, cultural and even religious patrimony of Rus’. After 1848 and the Russian intervention in the Hungarian Revolution, these populations came into contact with “free Russians” and a greater sense of ethnic awareness and national awakening transpired. The principles of the Russian awakening and of the Russophile Movement were firstly championed by Greek Catholic clergy, laity, organizations: Dukhnovich, Grabar, Dobryansky, Sembriatovich, the Kachkovsky Society, the Lvov Russian Brotherhood-all emerge as Russophile organisms under the patronage of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church. The thought then was that Greek Catholicism was a political expediency camouflaging an Orthodox folk reality. Ruthenians in Austria believed themselves to share a common Greek Catholic Faith with Russia, distinct and separate from Roman Catholicism, so much so that St. Alexis of Wilkes Barre’s emissaries when speaking to the Russian Bishop in San Francisco did not understand what he meant when he said they needed to convert to Orthodoxy so that he could send them Orthodox Priests because they believed Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism to be the same Faith.

    The Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church supported Ruthenian letters, popular education, depolonization and opposed the Ukrainian movement at its outset because it was understood as a quack, ahistorical, semiliterate machination of the Austro-Hungarian crown exploiting an illiterate and repressed Ruthenian peasantry to subvert the Ruthenian peoples from who they were to make of them loyal populations which would gradually be assimilated and lost to history. It was created to stop the Russian Awakening, subvert and coopt the Greek Catholic church to “uproot schism” and to estrange Ruthenians from their Russian compatriots across artificial borders. Until Sheptytsky, the Greek Catholic hierarchy and lower clergy was Russophile being papal only by political expediency, awaiting a Pan Russian unity, seeking liberation. Sheptytsky began retiring and removing Russophiles from their ranks and promoting Ukrainian identity. His “moves to end latinization” were nothing but him combatting “Russophile propaganda” and crypto-Orthodoxy. His embrace of Ukrainianism led to the Greek Catholic church’s complicity in politicizing the Galician famine of 1913, aiding and abetting the pogroms against Russophiles and the construction and filling of death camps for Russophiles like Talerhoff culminating in his active lobbying of Adolph Hitler for an SS Division, pastoral care of it while blessing its activities and propagation of a Ukrainian Aryan racial ideology which is a basis of today’s Ukrainian ethnogenesis. The Vatican wants to canonize this monster now. Sheptytsky did more to transform Galicia and Unia into banderofascist evil than Bandera could ever have even contemplated. Today’s Ukrainian hatred of all things Russky Mir is because of this Uniate hater. That being said, it wasn’t until the 1950s that Rome blessed the creation of a Ukrainian Greek Catholic organism as something distinct from the Ruthenian Greek Catholic church, and that was when these two organisms separated and began following different pathes.

    Ukrainian nationalism through the 1950s amongst even Galicians was not a majority russophobic phenomenon. Banderism was a radical movement rejected by most Galicians. Many saw Bandera and his patron Konovalets (a Galician) as radical socialists and illegitimate. They tended to reject Hrushevsky’s republic, Vynnichenko’s socialism and Petlura’s polonophile directorate. They were Ukrainian monarchists in the vast majority who supported the Hetmanate and the Skoropadsky family as the legitimate sovereigns of all the Ukrainian lands, having mixed feelings about his stated views on the necessity of federation with Russia to create and sustain a Ukrainian state. Radicalized masses amongst the post war Ukrainian immigration who had either accepted NAZI race theories or been programmed with anti Soviet propaganda propelled by disingenuous accounts of “holodomor” with a new generation of Ukrainian nationalist clergy broke with the Ruthenian history and identity of the Greek Catholic church and adopted radical banderofascist, Ukrainian Aryan ideas.

    The term Greek Catholic can imply Orthodox and that’s why it was used in the old title of the Metropolia. It is not the banderofascist boogeyman many Ukrainians make of it today. Greek Catholicism itself has a tragic history amongst Ruthenians, but one which tried to be faithful to Holy Rus’. As some Russophiles once wrote “Greek Catholicism is Russian Orthodoxy in papal bondage.” And it was in reality to a certain degree.

    Honestly, today when we speak of the end of Unia, we are not talking about forcing people into Orthodoxy and Great Russian identity while liquidating everyone else. We are speaking of people’s consciences being respected to either remain faithful to Rome as Roman Catholics or to return to Orthodoxy as Orthodox Christians by removing a religious counterfeit which was an violent and deceptive instrument of Jesuit Counter Reformation. We aren’t talking about Great Russian transformation of Ruthenians, but informed ethnogenesis where the Ruthenian past is accurately taught and people are given the choice between historical identity and banderofascist quackery, Ruthenian (not Great Russian) identity versus Ukrainian quackery.

    Indeed, the entire rupture between Russian East and Ruthenian West has been exploited by the Ukrainian nationalists. But Russia and All Russian unity in the Imperial period was also culpable for the crime of Ukrainian nationalism. More will be said about this.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      An interesting post, from which I learned something. Better than the repeated name-calling, mostly incomprehensible to the uninitiated nonirredentist.

    • Michael Warren says

      Understanding where the Ukraine is going means understanding how it came to be.

      After the Mongol conquest there were essentially two Western Russian states which vied to become the successor of old Kievan Rus’, Galicia-Volynia & the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Both of these nation states were Orthodox and had concurrent literatures in Old Russian and Old Ruthenian, both languages being essentially regional variants of the same language. At first, the Kingdom of Galicia Volynia was the strongest and most viable succesor: its monarch had received a papal crown meaning it was recognized as a legitimate state and couldn’t be the object of a papal crusade. The seat of the Kievan Metropolia had been transferred here. It had preserved an army, an infrastructure a nobility and a citizenry which was representative of Kievan Rus’, preserving its culture, law, letters, religion, and system of government. It brokered alliances with Poland and Hungary. It controlled most of southwestern Rus’ excepting what we today understand as Carpatho Ruthenia and RussoVlachia, which is today understood to be Moldavia. The early Galician Kingdom even challenged Poland militarily and retrieved lands which had been tributary to Kievan Rus’ such as Lublin and Chelm. Galicia Volynia was undone by its nobility, its precarious geographic location and its allegiance to Orthodoxy. Within a century after it’s rise to power its nobles had murdered its king, sold out its territorial integrity and partitioned this nation amongst Hungary, Poland and Lithuania. This was decisive for the further development of who could legitimately claim historical succession to the patrimony of Kievan Rus’ because at this time St. Peter of Volynia transfers canonically the Kievan see to what would become the Russian Tsardom of Muscovy, from there being primate of all Russian lands, Russian and Ruthenian.

      Volynia territorily for the most part became a constituent of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Lithuanian Grand Duchy united Western Russian principalities and acted to gradually reclaim Kievan territories which had been despoiled by the Mongols. It succored Russian Orthodox bishoprics, albeit its nobility was divided in religious affiliation between Orthodox and pagan, with Western pressure and intermarriage later becoming an impetus for conversion/apostasy to papal Christianity. The literary language of the Grand Duchy was at first Old Russian/Old Ruthenian supplemented with Church Slavonic developing into Middle Ruthenian. The Lithuanians had been Varangian vassals, lacked a literature of their own and essentially represented a non Slavic territory of the Old Kievan state which was developing as a Russian Orthodox cultural religious continuum. Lithuania vied with Muscovite Russia for the allegiance of Russian principalities and in time involved itself in petitioning a separate Metropolia from Constantinople to shore up its independent claims to Kievan succession. It obtained its own Metropolia after Moscow rejected the Union of Florence and sent Isidore packing. After the fall of Constantinople, the EP named the Muscovite Metropolia the “Great Russian,” or elder, direct successor from the old Kievan and the Lithuanian the “Little Russian,” or lesser, new Metropolia. This is where the terminologies of “Little Russian” and “Great Russian” originate. Moreover, it must be understood that Lithuania saw itself as a Russian state. Known often as Litovskaya Rus’ or Lithuanian Russia and its populations, non-Slavic and Slavic, were known by the ethnonym, Litvin. Indeed the Belorussian ethnonym did not come into existence until the nineteenth century. What we understand as Belorussians today called themselves “Litvins.”

      In the fifteenth century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania contracted in a political marriage between the Lithuanian Grand Prince and the Polish crown princess merging the two states. The Lithuanian Grand Duke adopted Roman Catholicism and this led to the mass conversion/apostasy of many Lithuanian nobles and their subjects to papism. This was sealed by the Union of Lublin which provided legal Protections for Poles and Lithuanians and Roman Catholics as well as the aristocracy but made Orthodox and Ruthenians second class citizens to structurally assimilate them in cultural and religious allegiances. Middle Ruthenian remained a court language into the eighteenth century in Lithuania but it was increasingly replaced with Latin and Polish and eventually by Lithuanian. During this time, nobles frequently defected from Muscovite Russia and a fierce rivalry ensued between it and the Polish Lithuanian state where the Russians living in Poland Lithuania became looked upon as traitors to the Faith and the patrimony of Kievan Rus’. This sentiment is where the dichotomy between Ruthenian West and Russian East begins.

      Also at this time, the first Cossacks begin to appear, having diverse backgrounds from being runaway serfs to being returned soldiers of the Mongol khan’s yarlyk retinue to being rangers and huntsmen (even bandits/privateers) in the depopulated territories of old Kievan Rus’, “the Ukraine” or more properly “ukraines.” The word Cossack first appears in the Ryazan Chronicle in the fifteenth century. Some scholars suggest it is derived from a Mongol Turkic word for “free man,”denoting Russian soldiers discharged from the Yarlyk retinue of the Mongol khan. That is quite plausible because these Cossacks, showed military prowess and organization, begin founding settlements, building forts and being pioneers in the frontier lands. Their settlements tended to be founded on waterways to provide for trade, mobility, opprtunity. Communities on the Don and the Dnieper rapids “Zaporozhe” came into being. These two principle Cossack formations become the nucleus for Russian Orthodox military republics outside of the successor states of Muscovite Rus’ and Lithuania.Their influence and raids go as far south as the Crimea, the Caspian, the Caucasus, as far West as Moldavia and as far East as the Urals within a century.

      Also during this time within the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth Russian Brotherhoods are formed by Ruthenian nobles, scholars and prominent subjects who take upon themselves the task of preserving the Russian patrimony of the region, codifying a Middle Ruthenian language, educating Ruthenians, preserving Orthodoxy, printing books, engaging in interreligious discussions, acting to improve the sorrowful conditions under which Ruthenians lived within the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. Their principle centers were in Kiev and in Ostrogh in Volynia, but there were Russian Brotherhoods throughout Poland Lithuania in places such as Lvov, Vilna, Chelm.

      One of the acts of the Ostrogh Brotherhood was to engage in religious dialogue between papists and Orthodox. It was hoped the mistake of Florence could be rectified with papal interlocutors who were more amenable to the conciliar polities advanced at Basel and Constance. The Ostrogh Brotherhood was trying to negotiate intercommunion between the Orthodox and papal churches on the basis of conciliarity and charitably negotiating with papists to reevaluate their stances on the filioque, papal primacy and supremacy as well as other issues such as azymes and autocephaly. Ostrogh’s purpose here was not Unia as at least one Jesuit disingenuously contends but attempting to restore Communion on the basis of Western return to Orthodoxy, which all Jesuits to this day oppose.

      The dialogue was unsuccessful but it did enable papists to contrive a framework for deception and Unia. It also acquainted papists with more pliable Ruthenian churchmen. This eventually led to Brest Council of 1596, which had been negotiated in Rome in 1595 by bishops apointed by the Polish king. Poland had been encouraged by the papacy to accomodate the Counter Reformation for decades and this was but one arm of it. At Brest, the white clergy was locked out and prevented from speaking by Polish troops. The Metropolitan of Lvov, +Gideon (Balaban) and his suffragan vociferously protested and left in defiance when a handful of Bishops proclaimed the Brest Unia. Galicia and its Western Ruthenian dependencies rejected the Brest unia and staunchly remained faithful to Orthodoxy. Orthodox churches and the infrastructure of the Church were handed over to the Uniates and the Jesuit Counter Reformers. Dissident Orthodox felt the jackboot of and suffered the atrocities of Unia. Those places which managed to be allowed Orthodox churches to worship within the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth lost right to their properties. In Polish Lithuanian colusion with the Uniates, Orthodox parishes were dispossesed, their deeds and the altar vessels ceded to Jewish landlords who received rent for their use. Landlords politically used as a wedge to humiliate and disenfrachise, divide Ruthenian populations with the point of making Orthodoxy the religion of the undesirable, ignorant, schismatic, disloyal pariah, the semi barbaric stooge of dark age, Asiatic Muscovy. This sentiment survives to this day among Uniates (constituent to banderofascist pseudo “histories”).

      The Brotherhoods rallied around the Orthodox Church. The Cossacks came out in its defense. Representatives of the Eastern Patriarchs or Patriarchs themselves travelled throughout Polish occupued Ruthenia, consecrating Priests, morally supporting the faithful, educating Ruthenians to the heresies of the Latins. The Patriarch of Jerusalem was imprisoned by the Poles and starved to death.

      The Kievan Brotherhood was succored by the Kiev Caves Lavra. It united around the principles of Orthodoxy, Russian letters and identity, All Russian unity and depolonization calling on the aid of Orthodox Muscovite Russia in ending papist and Uniate foreign oppression. The Kievan Brotherhood and the Kiev Caves Lavra had the support of the Zaporozhian Cossacks in varying degrees, contingent upon Polish concessions and irregular pay. It is here that the modern use of the term “Rossiya” is used for the first time in the sixteenth century, denoting an All Russian Orthodox and united state. The Brotherhood of the Kiev Caves Lavra promoted total accession of all Ruthenian lands and peoples to an All-Russian Orthodox state of Rossiya whose capitol was Moscow. The Kievan Russian Brotherhood was on board with it. The Zaporozhians took a few decades to convince.

      In the period of 1596 – 1613, some Zaporozhian Cossacks entered Russia fighting for the various false Dmitris promoting Polish pretenders to the Russian throne, pillaging Russian churches, villages and monasteries, disrespecting Orthodox clergy, even laying siege to the HOLY TRINITY – St. Sergius Lavra. Prince Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin led the Russian people to a total defeat of the Poles and the Zaporozhian minority which had brutally supported them, but this led to the perception amongst Russians that Ruthenians were murderous brutal scavengers who would do anything for money, where the Russians of this era referred to these Ruthenians as “thieves.” This coupled with the General view that Ruthenians in Lithuania were treasonous contributed to a disdain amongst Russians of Ruthenians. Even Don Cossacks of this era came to view Zaporozhians in a negative light and Ruthenians as an unfortunate but traitorous group.

      At this point, I will break this up to give readers time to digest the information.

      • I agree it is an interesting history, but at the end of the day one must ask, “what matters today?”.

        No doubt both Russians and self-identified Ukrainians have only foggy notions about all of this history at best. What you are left with is a West leaning western and central Ukraine and an East leaning eastern Ukraine – an MP UOC, a couple of other “uncanonical” UOC’s and the Uniates. It is also true that fascists have been at the spearhead of the current Ukrainian nationalist movement which overthrew Yanukovich.

        So, I suppose Russians are in the position of saying to Kiev, “This is your mess. But it is impacting us. Get your ducks in a row or you can look forward to a perpetual frozen conflict and partial occupation with periods of real battle until you get your act together.”

        Russians aren’t responsible for curing Ukrainians of multiple personality disorder, just for containing the damage.

        • Michael Warren says

          If I am allowed to finish without the sniping you will see where it all fits together and what questions are relevant. In order to appreciate the situation and what needs to be done we have to understand how we got here and what drives the animus.

      • Hi I’m new to the forum. I’ve been following the site for some time. Very interesting article George. And Warrens insight is tremendous. The more I read about East and West Christianity the more I find Union to be impossible. Do you think it will happen? The return of West to the East? I’m an eastern Christian myself with a recent spiritual awakening despite being raised in the background. Regards, John

        • Michael Warren says

          I think it can happen, but there has to be a Vatican III to put an infrastructure in place to make it so, an infrastructure which would include end of the Unia, removal of the filioque, ending the use of Azymes, restoring the Orthodox Paschalion, redefining papal primacy, restoring a married priesthood and resacralizing its liturgical witness to end eucharistic minister protestantism, restoring a more Apostolic mass, cultivating Orthodox understandings of conciliarity, local churches and autocephaly, opening a dialogue with Orthodox local churches to glean Western wheat from chaff to reincorporate the Western church. As Rome declines further, it is clear that the absolutist papal model of Vatican I or Vatican II can’t be sustained. Vatican II set a modernist inertia en route to Anglican post Christianity. What Vatican II did do positively was it declared Rome was willing to jettison the accretions of centuries. This type of template could allow it to rid itself of heretical baggage and restore Orthodoxy. A Vatican III predicated on Apostolic restoration, traditional piety and Patristic Faith ready to pange lingua back to Orthodox wholeness and stay there will save Rome from apostasy. But can it get there with its liberal, modernist episcopal cadres of today standing in the way of Catholic restoration? I am not optimistic.

          • Maybe over the course of two generations it could happen, but once the ball gets rolling it’s really difficult to push back to the top. I think ultimately Catholicism would alienate a lot of the feel good Christians it has accrued over time and they would find it too foreign maybe. As you said you need the right cadre..

            • Michael Warren says

              Francis’ recent doublespeak in support of Ukrainian Uniates and his pivot to Istanbul to in effect create an ecumenical Unia there where concelebration in Istanbul is planned in upcoming weeks and the pope will be commemorated in the Liturgy tells me that Rome has no other plan but an iteration of Unia. They don’t want reunion with Orthodoxy. Return to the Catholic Church (Orthodoxy) for them is seen as self liquidation: it undoes the heretical house of cards they have made of the papal church with its accrued power and wealth structures. Rome is trafficking in Unia by deception, corruption, corcion and, if need be, violence. In the case of the Ukraine, Rome has no qualms with expanding Unia by banderofascist ethnic cleansing, sanitizing Uniate politics of genocide by quietly endorsing a sanitized label for it: Ukrainian ethnogenesis. There is no good faith. Rome would prefer to go the route of post Christian Anglicanism rather than submitting to the Church and restoring Orthodoxy in the West. That’s why I believe any theological or ecclesiological agreements with Rome as things are now being negotiated by ecumenist deception are a suicide pact. Orthodox are challenged to create the possibility of using dialogue and political ecumenism to stave off the Vatican’s Uniate vision and thereby reunite fragments of an imploding papal unlawful assembly. Papalism from where we stand today can only be reunited to the Orthodox Catholic Faith in fragments. Rome’s liberal bishops and Uniate lackeys will eventually steer Rome into the ice berg of post Christian apostasy. As Orthodox it is our responsibility to take interfaith dialogue out of the hands of corrupt, liberal, Renovationist charlatans who have been appointed to supposedly represent us and put dialogue as witness in the hands of capable Orthodox churchmen to procure as many soft landings for Western Christians jumping off the ship of Western post Christianity as possible. Reunion of Rome to Orthodoxy can only occur with Orthodoxy gaining the upper hand and dialoguing from positions of strength by podvig, prayer and unswerving fidelity to CHRIST and HIS Church.

            • Gregory Manning says

              I think you’ve touched on a very, very important point namely the alienation (to put it mildly) of “the feel good Christians it has accrued over time”, but more importantly the feel good Christianity it has promulgated over the years. It is not for nothing that contemporary Roman Catholicism is viewed as being neo-Protestantism.

              My view is that the theologians can agree to whatever they want (see Michael Warren’s list above) but nobody seems to take into consideration how the average Catholic in the pew is going to take this. They have successfully been indoctrinated in (and hooked on) the “feel good” theology and praxis of modern Protestantism. It’s in their seminaries, their so-called “Catholic” universities, and their so-called “Catholic” high schools, their religious orders, the clergy and their parishioners. The spirit of rebelliousness , defiance, and cafeteria style belief is so pervasive that, were such a “union” to take place at the top, the defiant outrage throughout the Latin church would be deafening. Anyone here who has any experience(s) of the average Catholic church today should be able to see how difficult this idea is going to be to put into practice. Personally, I am convinced that the pursuit is a waste of time. The best they can accomplish is a union on paper. Any attempt to put that “union” and all that Orthodoxy would expect that to imply into practice will never succeed
              Negotiations (and that is what ecumenical dialogue is all about) imply concessions. I would ask those in Orthodoxy who are so keen on reunion with Rome what precisely they envision conceding to Rome. If the unequivocal answer is “Nothing” then it seems to me inescapable that the Latin church must, must become Orthodox. The ball is thoroughly in their court.
              In 2003, Moscow, in the person of Metropolitan Hilarion, notified the ECUSA that, in light of ECUSA’s decision to award the pointy hat to Miss Thing up in Connecticut, all contact was being terminated. +Hilarion correctly pointed out that ECUSA was, and was likely to continue to go further and further out into left field. Thus there was no point in keeping up unrealistic expectations that we would likely be able to agree on much of anything. The Latin church along with the other “churches” are moving further and further away. This is what happens when you break with the wise council available in the conciliarity the Orthodox Church has always benefited from.

              My answer to Rome and the rest of the world is: You know where we stand and what our terms are (and must be!). You’ve got our number. You want to talk? Give us a call. Otherwise, we’ve got plenty on our own plate to deal with. God forgive us all.

      • Michael Warren says

        Cossacks in the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth early on proved themselves to be either valuable military assets or destabilizing paramilitaries which could undermine regional stability and territorial integrity of the Polish Lithuanian state. The Poles witnessed their effective raids against Turkish possessions on the Danube and in the Balkans, their effective warfare against Nogai and Crimean Tartars as well as Cherkass people. They also noticed that they could make formidable highwaymen and disrupt trade, being unconcerned whether Jews, Muscovite merchants or Polish Lithuanian magnates were their targets. They took stock of the fact that some Cossacks had no qualms about robbing Orthodox monasteries and churches in places like Moldavia and in Muscovite Rus’. So the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth sought to harness the military potential of these bands while leaving its less capable and less pliant elements at the margins of its realm. The Poles had adopted the Bohemian military model of marshaling local irregular units as well as trained soldiers under a military commander with consular (and at times reminiscent of feudal Japan Shogun) powers reminiscent of Roman Republic. Such leaders were called “hetmans” in the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. Hetmans were not limited to Cossacks bands, but also led other types of infantry and cavalry units. A hetman was established for Cossacks loyal to the Polish Crown, who wore the Crown’s colors. He led d etachments of Cossacks who constituted the state’s legal Cossacks. These Cossacks were recruited on the basis of their military merit as well as their influence amongst their units. They were paid, equipped, trained and rewarded by the Polish Lithuanian state. Not a few of them became nobility and acquired lands and serfs. Their number was limited by a charter issued by the Polish Lithuanian state which was expanded and lessened depending on circumstances. They were known as Ukrainian Cossacks. The Polish Lithuanian state also contracted Zaporozhian Cossacks from time to time as mercenaries as military circumstances required.

        The role of the Russian Brotherhoods in educating Ruthenians, principally Cossacks, became decisive after the Brest Unia and the ensuing atrocities perpetrated by Jesuits in propagating it. The Ruthenian peoples witnessed how Orthodox Priests would often have their right hands cut off at the order of Uniate Jesuits so they could not bless the people or carry the Chalice. Some Orthodox Priests had their beards ripped out at the roots. Others were hanged by them. At times the Uniate Jesuits engaged in ritual trials by fire and drownings to “dispute” Orthodox doctrine. Sometimes they simply flogged Orthodox Christians to death. Other times they arbitrarily lynched them. They blinded lay readers and clerics so that they could not read the service books by publicly gouging out their eyes. There were even instances of Uniate Jesuits ordering the stomachs of Orthodox clerics slit open so that rabid rodents and/or felines could be sewed in “to quiet the hungry rage of Greek schismatics.” The Ruthenian Brotherhoods acted in defense educating Cossacks and others under such circumstances.

        A hetman loyal to the Polish Crown but an Orthodox Christian Lithuanian noble, Sapiega, documented atrocities like these in unreserved condemnation of the Unia, condemning a perpetrator of such atrocities. The Vatican has canonized this monster as a martyr and confessor, the Uniate Jesuit, Josaphat Kuntsevich. The Polish Lithuanian Crown ignored Sapiega. The Sapiega family apostatized to Roman Catholicism to maintain its wealth and holdings.

        Gradually, the Cossacks began to understand that Unia and Polish atrocities would go unabated until all Ruthenians were thoroughly polonized. Ruthenian schools and presses began to be repressed. Teaching the peasantry grammatical Middle Ruthenian language was increasingly criminalized. Ruthenian speech in Ruthenian cities occupied by Poles in areas frequented by Poles could merit Polish brutality. “All things Russian were being beaten away” to promote polonization. This is the origin of Ukrainian ethnogenesis. Eventually chartered Cossacks began to feel the jackboot of polonization. Their lands and serfs were easily defrauded them in the Polish courts. Their Orthodox observance often disrupted by Uniate confiscation of an Orthodox church or by structural repression and hampered advancement. One such chartered Cossack, educated by the school of the Kievan Russian Brotherhood (and also in Jesuit schools) was dispossessed and disgraced for no other reason than his property was more desireable to a Polish aristocrat and his Ruthenian ethnos and Orthodox religion made him a second class citizen, Bogdan Khmelnitsky.

        Khmelnisky fled dispossessed to the Sech located at the Zaporozhe Rapids of the Dnieper in the Left Bank Ukraine. Here he became a Zaporozhian Cossack. Shortly thereafter he was elected Hetman of the Zaporozhian Cossacks and began forming Cossack detachments to fight to liberate Ruthenian lands of Polish Lithuanian occupation. He set as his goal the Liberation of the Right and Left Bank Ukraine, Lithuania (Principally Belarus’ as is understood today), Volynia and Galicia while calling for the eradication of Unia coupled with the end of papal proselytization and activities on Ruthenian soils. Initially, he negotiated alliances with Crimean Tartars and the Hospodar of Moldavia, whose daughter had married Khmelnitsky’s son, Yuri, in a political marriage. Moscow had been petitioned for support by the Kievan Russian Brotherhood and the Kiev Caves Lavra, but was reticent to intercede in Polish affairs due to the fact Zaporozhians had disgraced themselves during the Time of Troubles and the fact that the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth could muster Swedish, German and Turkish allies potentially to stage another invasion of Russia. Khmelnitsky quickly garnered the support of the peasantry. Chartered Cossacks began defecting to Khmelnitsky. The Polish army proved itself to be inept at fighting the total war tactics of the Cossacks. Fearing Swedish, German and Russian invasion, the Polish Commonwealth could not commit the overwhelming forces necessary to defeat Khmelnitsky. Cossacks enraged by the oppression of Orthodox Christians proved very expensive to effectively buy off. Finally, the Polish Crown bought the Crimean Khan to turn on Khmelnitsky at the Battle of Berestechko. The ensuing rout of the Cossack forces by Tartars betraying their flank and the charge of Flying Hussars was the turning point of the uprising. It was here that Khmelnitsky was forced to fall back, regroup and approach a foreign sponsor, offering accession of Ruthenia as the prize to whomever would back the uprising. There was Swedish interest but that meant war with Orthodox Russia which the Ruthenian peoples opposed as fratricidal. There were Ottoman embassies promising a self governing Russian Orthodox millet, Turkish janissaries, canons and gold. The Brotherhoods and the Lavra persuaded Khmelnitsky to send a Cossack delegation to Moscow to explain the situation, the offers they were receiving and to offer the Tsar’ accession of all Ruthenian lands to Orthodox Russia. The Russian nobility had much to lose. War with Sweden or Germany could end up in a Northern push into Russia. However, Turkish expansion into Ruthenian territories suggested a greater long-term threat. Finally, the voices of All Russian Orthodox unity prevailed. Russia sent troops into Poland to assist Khmelnitsky and take pressure off his beleagured front. Morale increased amongst Ruthenian insurgents whose numbers once again swelled. Supplies and equipment and funds came from Russia. The Pereyaslavl Pact, predicted on “eternal Ruthenian fealty to the Orthodox Tsar of All the Russias” was signed.

        Ukrainian nationalists like to assert that the Cossacks were in need of translators at Pereyaslavl’ to understand the documents and communicate with the Russians. They don’t tend to indicate who the translators were or what the lingua franca was. The translators for the Cossacks were members of the Kievan Russian Brotherhood who employed Middle Ruthenian in parliance with the Middle Russian of the Muscovites as the two were mutually intelligible and differed mainly in regional and stylistic elements. The Cossacks had been polonized Ruthenian peasants who were intentionally prevented from studying Ruthenian letters, and the Surzhyk of many (but not all) reflected a polonized mova which prevented full understanding of the documents: they lacked knowledge of diplomatic jargon, grammatical syntax and acquaintance with proper Middle Ruthenian terms. Their exposure to both Middle Ruthenian and Middle Russian being akin to Demotic Greek exposure to Byzantine Katherevousa. They had been the thralls of a Polish structural program of derussification and gradual polonized assimilation by disenfranchisement, oppression, serfdom where their speech had undergone a pseudomorphosis and reflected various stages of a Polish-Ruthenian slave dialect, whose intensity was based in degrees upon the level of Polish oppression and lack of education, the Ukrainian “mova” being the result.

        In the early stages of the war, both Muscovy and the Zaporozhians had major successes. The Poles offered correspondingly significant concessions to Cossacks and Ruthenian nobles who would betray Khmelnitsky and Moscow. The Poles also sought diplomatic pressure as sanctions and coercion against Moscow. They also greased the palms of some influential nobles in Russia. The Poles offered to curtail unia, restructure the Commonwealth to secure Ruthenian rights, even cede lands back to Ruthenians and limit serfdom. These actions eventually worked to Poland’s favor.

        Khmelnitsky was in the process of liberating Galicia when he learned that the Muscovites were negotiating a peace with Poland without any Ruthenians being represented at the talks. He was both incensed and stricken with disappointment. In Galicia as he was liberating it, he had a stroke which eventually claimed his life. The Treaty negotiated by Russia had Russia receiving some Lithuanian principalities and the Left Bank Ukraine where Poland agreed to end Uniate persecution of Orthodox Christians and begin to enfranchise Ruthenians while acting to relieve international pressure on Russia. Khmelnitsky’s son Yuri was elected Hetman and agreed to this shameful peace which betrayed Ruthenian aspirations and the All Russian movement. From this point forward a popular disenchantment with Muscovy began to take root amongst Ruthenians. While Russia looked at long term strategic goals and gradual expansion, Ruthenians saw its actions as a cowardly betrayal of Orthodoxy and Rus’ paid for by their sufferings.

        Ivan Vygovsky, one of Khmelnitsky’s lieutenants began secret negotiations with the Polish Lithuanian Crown. He betrayed Yuri Khmelnitsky and rallied significant Zaporozhian and Ruthenian support to his side. He was committed to achieving justice for all Ruthenian Orthodox peoples. His negotiations culminated in the Treaty of Hadiach where the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is stipulated to become the Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth, where the Middle Ruthenian language, schools, presses, Russian Brotherhoods are legalized and Middle Ruthenian is to be standardized literary language, where Vygovsky is proclaimed the Prince of Russia and all Russians living in the Commonwealth and of all Russian lands within the Commonwealth (the word Russian being used to understand Ruthenian), where the Unia is outlawed within the Commonwealth and all Uniate property and faithful are to be returned to the Orthodox Church. Vygovsky then at the Battle of Konotop turned on Russian troops arriving to secure the Left Bank Ukraine and began an insurrection. He was later betrayed and murdered. The Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth reneged on the stipulations of the Treaty of Hadiach. Russia again was confronted with Ruthenians seen to be unreliable, treasonous oath breakers.

        At this point, I will offer the Minsk 1 and 2 agreements which are today in effect between the Ukraine and Novorossiya as a point of consideration as this material is allowed time to be digested. More is forthcoming.

        • Digested by whom? Who really gives a rats tail about the minutiae of Carpathorussian history besides scholars? The Ukrainians are letting themselves be used as pawns, again, against Great Russians. They have once again let their sometimes justly founded resentments get the best of them and lead them away from their natural ethnic and moral milieu. Tragic, but not complicated. Modernist/Western/Secular-humanist-envy – in a word.

          • Michael Warren says

            The fact Carpatho Rus’ wasn’t even mentioned leads me to simply say I am sorry for you.

          • Michael Warren says

            By people who want to understand why Ruthenians (“Ukrainians”) are at odds with Russians and where historical circumstances created the reality and perceptions we deal with today.

            I will get back to you when I adress Carpatho Rus’ and its specifics, but for right now I am addressing Russia and the Ukraine and the history of how our present has come into being. If you don’t care, that’s great but it doesn’t help in understanding the situation today.

  2. Thanks George!

  3. Solzhenitsyn advocated the notion that partition would be necessary at some point. Ukraine is not really a nation but a hodge podge of mutually hostile camps. “A house divided against itself . . .” However, the eastern part of the country will stay within the Russian sphere. Russia won’t accept anything less and the Russo-Ukrainians who live there will go along. Part of it has to do with culture and language, part of it has to do with the nature of the industry there. Lots of military industry that supports the Red Army that would all have to be retooled.

    Sad situation. Can’t be stressed enough that the US/EU led coup against a democratically elected president, spearheaded by board certified fascists, is what caused all this. The rest is actually fairly predictable and the only thing that surprised me at first was that the RF didn’t take more territory and leave a bigger boot print.

  4. A young lady whom my family loves lived with us for nearly ten years. She was from Eastern Ukraine. Being American with no ties to Eastern Europe, we had no real knowledge of Ukraine or any interest. That is, until Katie came into our lives. My wife and I consider her our Ukrainian daughter. I gave her away at her wedding. Her real father has also become family to us, and comes to see us and stay with us when he can. All this, to say how very much I appreciate what George, Michael, and Misha have said. It helps my heart to understand the history and nuances of what make my Katie the young lady she is. Thank you all very much for sharing your insight.

  5. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    1. Arseny Petrovich Yataenyuk is waving, not saluting, in the photo.
    2. Arseny Petrovich Yatsenyuk is neither a Jew nor a Nazi—let alone both!
    3. Arseny Petrovich Yatsenyuk is a Uniate (member of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church).
    Yatsenyuk has also been falsely accused by Putin’s disciples of being a scientologist. He’s actually an intelligent, respectable Ukrainian politician from Chernivtsi. He has a sister living in Santa Barbara, California.
    For anyone who does NOT confess to a closed mind about Ukraine(“It was simply impossible to THINKotherwise”) I suggest to quit reading such propagandistic websites as “pravoslavny mir” and delving into some real scholarship. Professor Serhii Plokhy’s THE GATES OF EUROPE:A History of Ukraine, Basic Books, New York. 2015. Professor Plokhy is Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard. He also wrote the prize-winning “The Last Empire”, which received the Lionel Gelber Prize and the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize. Of course if you’re looking for such nonsense as NAZI JEWS (!) you should stick to George’s scholarly parameters.

  6. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    After vilifying the excellent Arseny Petrovich Yatsenyuk, George warns against vilifying Vladimir Putin. Good. I hope that when the London case relative to the assassination of Litvinenko is published no one will get the vapors upon learning that Litvinenko was suspected by the FSB of being about to reveal grounds for accusing Vladimir Putin of pedophilia when only a KGB Lt.Col. serving in East Germany. This would have struck a mortal blow against the carefully crafted image of Mr Putin as some kind of masculine ideal—like Trump!

  7. It should be noted that Sheptytsky was a Roman Catholic Polish pani and not Ruthenian. He was ordered by his RC clerical handlers to change rite in order to eventually lead the Greek Catholics into the dead-end of Ukrainizaton. Many of the “Ukrainian Catholic” clergy in the US and Canada in the early 60s were active members of the Waffen SS Halichina during the war and were still boastful of their exploits. I had direct experience of this as a novice in the Basilian Order some 50+ years ago.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Rimlyanin’s wrong about Sheptytsky. He was the descendant of a RUTHENIAN noble family that had given the church a metropolitan back in the EIGHTEENTH century. However he was baptized RC in a family that had been polonized culturally. He considered himself to be a loyal subject of Austria-Hungary. He tried to protect his church from polonization. Metropolitan Evlogy of Paris recounts in his memoirs how both he and then Archbishop Antony (Khrapovitsky) found REFUGE from the Bolsheviks in the residence of Sheptytsky! Further, Sheptytsky got in trouble in February 1942 for sending a letter to Heinrich Himmler, protesting the use of Ukrainian policemen to round up Galician Jews. Those who delivered the letter to Himmler told Sheptytskythat if it were not for his age he would have been shot! He also issued a letter to be read in all Ukrainian Catholic churches, called “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, which was understood as his condemnation of the Holocaust. Some, but not many of the Ukrainian Catholic clergy and people, LIKE the Russians who made up General Vlasov’s Russian Army, fought on Hitler’s side against the Soviet Bolsheviks! They were early versions of the “Americans” who prefer Vladimir Putin to President Obama!

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        I forgot to point out that although Sheptytsky was a Bolshevikophobe, he was NOT a Russsophobe, as his friendship with the Hierarchs Antony Khrapovitsky, Evlogy Georgievsky and Protopresbyter Georgi Shavelsky, for example, demonstrates! There are some who confuse Bolshevikophobia with Russophobia–but that is puerile and often based on the feelings of Carpatho-Russian Ukrainians who wanted to impress the local Austrian village policeman with belonging to an empire as mighty as his! The USSR died a natural death, and it has been wiped off the maps of Europe, while Ukraine stays there on those maps. The largest religious grouping in the “Russian Federation” is, of course Islamic, while in Ukraine it is Christian. Both the Eastern Orthodox Ukrainians and the Greek Catholic Ukrainians call themselves “pravoslavny”. It was, of course, somewhat, but not entirely, confusing that as far as Ukrainians are concerned it’s simple: Russians closed their churches, but Germans opened them. Q.E.D. Otherwise both Nazi Germans and Bolshevik Russians were monsters, as it turned out–although Hitler never starved out millions of Ukrainians in any famines Facts.!

    • Michael Warren says

      Sheptytsky collaborated with Hitler, begged him for an SS division, got it, provided it and concentration camp guards with Uniate chaplains, blessed their activities, was a Ukrainian russophobic propagandist for the Reich. He repeatedly blessed Adolph Hitler in his work and called on all Ukrainians to aid Hitler “in his holy mission.”

      The Ukrainian nationalists then and now embraced the full genocidal program of Western russophobia.

      • Michael Warren says

        Sheptytsky organized Ukrainian nationalist units for the Austrian crown, the sichovy strilki (sech rifleman), the Sech being the Fortress of the Zaporozhian Cossacks. Some of my Kuban Cossack ancestors (the descendents of those who built the Sech) encountered these frauds on the Galician front and found them to be both combat ineffective and ideologically russophobic but pliable once they were taken prisoner. Sheptytsky also blessed the pogroms against, round up of Russophiles and their internment in death camps like Talerhoff. You could be arrested at this time for possessing a Cyrillic book printed in Russia or a prayer book printed at the Pochaev or Kiev Lavras. So the russophobia of this man and his cadres is without question.

        Sheptytsky was an unscrupulous political survivor who was not above capitulation and accomodation to stay relevent. He had been treated magnanimously by the Tsar’ when Galicia was liberated in 1915 and 1916. He blessed his clerics at this time to return to Orthodoxy and he himself was in negotiation of doing so both times he was held: he was pliable and hedging his bets on who might win. After the Brusilov Offensive of 1916, the Austro-Hungarian army was shattered forcing the Austrian crown to send emissaries to Petrograd to try and procure favorable terms for peace. Sheptytsky knew this. He also knew that after the February Revolution the Russian provisional government had sufficient Western backing to assert territorial gains at war’s end. Moreover, the German support of men such as Hetman Skoropadsky, who was faithful to the Russian Orthodox church, allowed Sheptytsky to understand that persecuting high level Russian Orthodox clerics was not in his best interests.

  8. Texan Orthodox says

    Very good, interesting post.

    “The term Greek Catholic can imply Orthodox and that’s why it was used in the old title of the Metropolia.”

    I thought Greek Catholic implied Orthodox style worship but under the Pope of Rome. It’s my understanding that the old title of the Metropolia/OCA, the “Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America,” was used to pay honor to the huge number of former Greek Catholics who became Orthodox and comprised much of the original Metropolia (many, many came back to Orthodoxy via St Alexis Toth).

    The Metropolia in the early/mid 1900s was not so much made of Russians as it was former Greek Catholics. Its leaders and visionaries (Frs Schmemann, Florovsky, Prof Verhovskoy, etc.) were mostly Russian, but mostly all the faithful were former Uniates. Most of the “Russian” faithful went to ROCOR during the many splits, reunifications, splits again, etc., between ROCOR and the Metropolia.

    I’d always heard that the Metropolia used “Greek Catholic” in its official title to honor most of its faithful who were former Greek Catholics. Even Fr Tom Hopko of blessed memory came from an former Greek Catholic family in another diocese made up entirely of former Greek Catholics (ACROD). ACROD and the Metropolia were made up of the same folk — one was ok with “Russianizing,” the other not, and thus ACROD sought refuge under the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

    • Michael Warren says

      Actually, in the period in question, Greek Catholic was sold on the premise that Orthodoxy was a means of living the Catholic Faith within the Catholic Church, using the word Greek to separate it from the Roman or Western part of the Church. It was predicated on the Patristic understanding of the Catholic Church and not on the papal arrogation of the title. The Holy Fathers affirmed our Faith as Catholic, our Church as the Catholic Church, our observance as Orthodox. Today people use lower case letters to make distinctions between institutional and descriptive understandings. But the way Greek Catholic was sold to Ruthenians was as historic identity which affirmed and lived Orthodoxy and that’s how the Jesuits pulled the wool of Unia over peoples’ eyes. Greek being used to say that the people were not converting to the Roman Catholic Faith or accepting its errors but continuing in the Greek Catholic Faith of their forefathers. It was a deception.

      In terms of the Metropolia using the term. “Greek Catholic” was preserved in the context of the Orthodox Church being the Catholic Church, Greek used to denote rite or observance in defiance of papal claims. Some people later felt use of the term was deceptive. I don’t have those issues with the label since even the Uniates abandoned it and only recently have resurrected it to engage in Neo Unia with the fall of Communism. We are the Catholic Church and our Faith was received by people who spoke Greek in what came to be understood as the Greek rite or confession.

      As far as ROCOR is concerned, it inserted itself in this country in the 1920s invading the canonical territory of the Metropolia which included ALL Russian and Ruthenian Orthodox. ROCOR began its work amongst some Russian monarchists and targeted former Uniates whose families were being ministered by ROCOR clerics in their homelands. The Metropolia from the outset served Russian America, expanded to serve all Orthodox Christians here, then received Ruthenian Greek Catholics but also continued receiving Russian Orthodox from the Russian Empire and emigres from Europe and Asia. The OCA Diocese of the West was predominantly Great Russian and made up of Russian emigres from China, for instance. Russian aristocrats attended and founded Metropolia parishes in New York and New England. After the war, ROCOR received ideological emigres who were anti Communist and who often encountered anti DP discrimination in some parts of the Metropolia. Among these ROCOR faithful were not a few “self aware” Ukrainians. ROCOR being the monarchist church morphing into the anti Communist church and being grounded on ideology, not on Russian vs. Ruthenian. The Metropolia was a moderate, Russo-Ruthenian organism. ROCOR was a right-wing Russo-Ruthenian organism. ROCOR separated from the Metropolia due to jurisdictional pretensions and ideology.

      As far as Greek Catholicism in the Ruthenian lands is concerned, official liturgics varied little from Orthodox observance across the border. Latinization did exist, but the more latinized stayed with Rome at first until ACROD was founded and mistakes were made not to accomodate their transition to Orthodoxy leading them to Istanbul.

    • Texan Orthodox,

      What you wrote is precisely the case. Fr. Toth was happy being a uniate until Archbishop John Ireland insulted him by not recognizing him as Catholic. Nor did the RC in this country have any intention of tolerating married priests. This was a widespread problem as testified to by many uniate clergy of the time and what actually led to the movement into Orthodoxy.

      If you look at a who’s who of the movers, shakers and powers that be of the Metropolia/OCA, you will often see Volhynian or Gallician heritage (originally from “so and so”, now part of Poland, etc.). This ethnic rivalry with Great Russians as well as the personal conflict between Met. Antoni (Khrapovitsky) and Met. Platon (Rozhdestvensky) served to split the Metropolia off from the Church Abroad twice. The last split was to unite with the Soviet Church which refused to give it autonomy. After that, it was out in the wilderness until it once again went hat in hand to the Soviet Church in the late 1960’s.

      The origins of ACROD are as you describe as well. They were hostile to “russification” they perceived in the Metropolia (yet all were quite happy at times to claim the label “Russian”) and thus preferred Constantinople. I suppose the point to bear in mind about this is that any number of these people were not convinced of the Orthodox faith but simply preferred to carry their own hybrid uniate faith with them into a more hospitable environment. And this dovetails with their current involvement with Constantinople.

      • Michael Warren says

        This is totally uninformed and ignorant of the reality of the Russophile movement in Austria. And representative of the historical revisionism of a strange mix of Uniate legitimizers and ROCOR schismatic crazy talk. This person has no idea what he is talking about.

        • MW,

          Please explain in detail and I will gladly document everything I have written as I have done in the past.

          • Michael Warren says

            In a few words.
            1). St. Alexis Toth in his writings is both an apologist for Orthodoxy and a Russophile. Moreover, he was a widower when he arrived in North America so a married clergy was not his issue. Rome established Uniate administrations with clerics from the old country in North America yet the drive to return to Orthodoxy continued, even in the face of lawsuits and limited support from the Russian Empire. As people were educated, they returned to Orthodoxy by conviction. It is a cheap Uniate lie to speak of “Tothism” as being a spat between a Greek Catholic Priest and a bigoted Roman rite prelate: principally because when Uniate prelates became available. Austrian Ruthenians continued returning to Orthodoxy.
            2). +Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) had been the Metropolitan of Volynia, an Orthodox Ruthenian province, and his Pochaev Lavra served as a place of pilgrimage for Western Ruthenians who were influenced by its spiritual witness and printing press. Not a few of the Austrian Ruthenians returned to Orthodoxy because of the work done there. Moreover, when ROCOR invaded the canonical territory of the Russian American mission, its principle outreach was to Austrian Ruthenians whom the Brotherhood of St. Job of Pochaev had spiritually mentored in the old country. Only a small segment of the Russian immigration was monarchist, and the aristocrats and Whites tended to be members of the Metropolia.
            3 ). +Metropolitan Evlogy was appointed the chief administrator of Russian parishes abroad by St. TIKHON, who had ordered +Metropolitan Antony to submit to his authority and to disband his ecclesiastical administration. This occured before ROCOR uncanonically invaded the territory of the Metropolia. ROCOR thus constituted an unlawful assembly. St. TIKHON also conveyed his approval of +Metropolitan Platon to be primate of the Metropolia through YMCA channels.
            4). Before his martyrdom St. TIKHON made it clear that the Russian Orthodox Church recognized the Soviet state and had as her responsibility pastorship of all Soviet Orthodox peoples, irregardless of their political convictions. Thus the Soviet Church or the Imperial Church are just expressions of one and the same Russian Orthodox church.
            5). The principle difference between OCA and ROCOR liturgics is that OCA liturgics are more Kievan and those of ROCOR more Northern, being reflective of Imperial Petrograd. ROCOR uses Kievan chant mostly. The OCA uses its simplified form, Obikhod mostly. Both Northern and Southern Russian practices were in place in the Imperial church. Thus the foil hat propaganda of Uniate influence in the OCA is overblown and unread. Many Midwestern and Eastern Metropolia parishes didn’t install pews until after WWII in the Metropolia, and that was under the influence of Americanizers, not Uniates. Some ROCOR clerics in Europe were clean shaven. Most OCA West parishes don’t have pews to this day and they tended to observe Northern Russian liturgics in the place of Kievan or Southern Russian.
            6). The issue of ACROD was precisely grounded on the Metropolia not having enough tolerance to transition latinized Ruthenian Greek Catholics into a viable Orthodox model: the Ruthenians had distinct chants and liturgics as well as overt latinizations the Metropolia showed little tolerance for (inappropriately) leading most of these people to an Istanbul willing to steal whatever sheep it can. In other words, the Metropolia had a history of rejecting Uniate practices.
            7). The Russian American mission pastored to all Orthodox in North America. As far as Russians and Ruthenians are concerned, there were Alaskan Natives and Creoles, Russian Socialists, Little Russians, Belorussians, Great Russian aristocrats, Cossacks, Great Russians, White Army officers, members of the Imperial government in her membership. There were also Galician, Lemko, Boyko, Hutzul, Bukovinan, Volynian, Polesian Ruthenians. At this time, there was a goodly amount of Ruthenian clergy throughout the Russian church, irrespective of ideology as the Ruthenian clergy had been a large segment of clerical families in the Russian Orthodox church from the seventeenth century onward: that includes ROCOR.

            • Michael,

              Look at the ROCOR and OCA page on Orthodoxwiki:
              It has a nice little rundown of the history. The Metropolia had no canonical territory. It was part of the Church of Russia before the Revolution but had been seriously influenced by a Uniate faction. ROCOR invaded nothing. ROCOR was the Free Russian Church of which the Metropolia was a part up until about 1926 and then again from 1934-1946. This is according to the repeated statements and actions of Metropolia clergy and their own publications. It is all a matter of written record. It was, however, inconvenient for the Metropolia to acknowledge these facts given its subsequent dive into mythology to create its own autocephalic identity.

              Of course, all of this is moot now. The OCA does not appear to be the focus of an emerging autocephalous American church – i.e., if the Russians, the Phanar and Damascus have any say in the matter (and they do). And ROCOR is reunited with a recently freed Russian Orthodox Church. You are free to indulge in whatever fantasies you choose, but judging by ROCOR’s continued existence in America, Russia is not buying it. And judging by GOARCH and AOCNA’s continued existence (as well as other jurisdictions), the rest of Orthodoxy is not buying.

              Have a nice day.

              • Michael Warren says

                Like I said foil hat schismatic nonsense. You just have no idea what you are talking about even when truth stares you in the face and says sober up. St. TIKHON disbanded ROCOR and ordered its clerics to submit to +Metropolitan Evlogy in Paris. The Russian American mission had jurisdiction over all of North America. The liturgics of the Metropolia were never Uniate, but Kievan!!!! You can’t handle the truth. It is pointless to write anything else. You are incapable of getting it.

                ROCOR was an unlawful assembly. In 1936, in Serbia,it acknowledged the self governing authority of the Metropolia on North American soil. No amount of Wikipedia articles written by ROCOR apologists changes anything. As if wikipedia is authoritative. There is plenty of foil hat nonsense on the net of ROCOR schism INC from Vladimir Moss to ROCiE to ROCOR-A to ROAC to RTOC, just a mish. mash of schismatics aping the same unread politicized poison.You all admitted to being in schism and to repent of it and your past. You never had any legitimate authority.

                • Fine MW,

                  Good luck at getting Moscow, Constantinople, Damascus, Belgrade, Bucharest, Sofia, etc., to recognize OCA “authority” in America. If it were going to happen, it would have already.

                  • Michael Warren says

                    Moscow did and does. It commemorates our Metropolitan as the primate of the North American local church in the diotyches. So do your hierarchs when they concelebrate with the Patriarch. I went over this. At this point, this is just the typical ROCOR rhetoric of schism and envy. Most people don’t care about what ROCOR has to say. You can only hand the suicidal a lifeline so long before you just have to let go before they pull you down with them. When you all become serious about not disappearing and witnessing Orthodoxy, then you might just get fully canonical and submit to the primate of the local church where you dropped yourselves. Until then you are the problem of the Mother Church salvaging the schismatic barge you all once named HMS Synodal Pope Peddling Russian Imperial Nostalgia Cheaply.

                    • If any of the above had respect for the OCA’s purported authority in America, they would have folded their jurisdictions into the OCA long ago. So, no, they do not, despite throwing the OCA a few bones given its troubled pedigree.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      I will leave you to it then. All the best.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Misha wrote:

                      Of course, all of this is moot now. The OCA does not appear to be the focus of an emerging autocephalous American church – i.e., if the Russians, the Phanar and Damascus have any say in the matter (and they do). And ROCOR is reunited with a recently freed Russian Orthodox Church.

                      The keyword here is moot, because after nearly 45-years of mind-numbing “debate” over the legitimacy/canonicity/existence of ROCOR and/or the OCA, the only result I can discern is the loss of one (if not two) generations of Orthodox Christians, abandoning the Church to secularism, having heard enough “sorrowful epistles” and reciprocal divisive “charges” to last a lifetime. Has anyone repented for decades of schism that, quite literally divided homes and families? Suddenly, still complaining under the breath about “major issues of unresolved contention” (e.g. the calendar, jurisdiction), it was over, and we have yet another Archbishop of NY, Metropolitan of this and that, without conceding that anyone was wrong.

                      The Russian Orthodox Church was completely absent from the formative years of the OCA – which was left without a defender or advocate before jurisdictional wolves – nor did the OCA possess a leader who could “enforce” autocephaly, let alone “fake it until you make it.” In fact, it was the case that the OCA (often in the persons of the VOA and similar services) – the “child” – acted as the defender and voice of the oppressed ROC – the “mother” – in the West; printing samizdat literature, forcing Western church leaders to acknowledge the suffering of the ROC and its faithful. But the irony of Mischa’s statement, “with a recently freed Russian Orthodox Church,” comes a fundamental lack of gratitude from the ROC, and a continued lack of intervention to support the autocephaly it acknowledged. And if, at face, the OCA’s own ability sustain itself was under question, it certainly was not helped – according to the Dean of ROC Patriarchal parishes in NYC – by the unilateral willingness of the the OCA’s former Metropolitan to cede autocephaly back to the ROC for an autonomous status, apparently if he could be Mtropolitan for ROC “interests” in the US, despite his lack of seniority, and ultimately qualification.

                      I continue to maintain that soon-to-be 45-years of existence is a ridiculously limited amount of time to judge the success or failure of an autocephalous church, particularly in comparison with local churches a thousand of years in the making. By isolating a period of 45-years in the history of any local church, at any given time in a millennium of history, one could conclude failure. “Failure” in this age of instant-communication is frequently driven as much by anonymous internet gossip and “agenda” as it is by truth. Indeed, the majority of issues are moot. And I agree with a laugh, “Who gives a rat’s tail,” save obscurists and trivialists, who live to beat the progeny of the dead horse, who, if of the last two generations are few and far between.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Dr S, an eloquent critique of the American episcopate. However you lost me when you returned to your anti-Jonah diatribe regarding his “reimagination of autocephaly” (my paraphrase). Like you, I was not happy when he uttered those words and viewed them as the second nail in the coffin of his primacy (the first being his signature on The Manhattan Declaration, whose predictions we now see are coming to pass).

                      Regardless, he was the first primate of the OCA to imagine such an event. Indeed, his words were far more tepid than Metropolitan Theodosius’ earlier –and full-throated–declaration that he himself would give up the white cowl and place it on then-Archbishop Iakovos’ head if that would make a truly united American Orthodox Church. To thunderous applause if I might add.

                      I say this again: your critique (minus the anti-Jonah insertion) is 100% correct. If we are to find a way out of this morass, let us build on those criticisms which are valid and go from there. Otherwise, we will continue to be divided and ruled by the prince of this world and his minions.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      I did not write an “anti-anyone” diatribe. What I said was, at face, if one were looking for quick prima facie evidence that even the OCA had come to believe the autocephaly was ill-conceived and unsustainable, you need go no further than the example I gave. What else could explain such “negotiations?” When a CEO attempts to rid his portfolio of what s/he knows will soon be worthless, or like Martin Shkreli, uses his company as his personal bank, they are indicted. Such is the real world of accountability.

                      I agree that I never should have mentioned the situation, but not for the reasons you mention.

                      Since you raised his name, I apparently am the only one to recall the one-hour notice we received at SVS that Archbishop Iakovos was to serve the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts. He arrived moments before the Liturgy began, said not one word to us after, and declined to come to the meal following. Someone said he lost a bet with Fr. Schmemann about something and this was the consequence. To my knowledge, he never served at SVS again. Abp. Iakovos boldly marched with Martin Luther King in support of long-sought civil rights, but he had no interest in a united American Orthodox Church. And honestly, why would he?

                    • Michael Warren says

                      Secularization in the OCA for two generations has been driven by people using disparate types of tricks and slight of hand to create a spotaneous American local church. In 1970 there was no native American Orthodoxy. There was an amalgam of local Orthodoxies undergoing Americanization in various generational stages with a Russo-Ruthenian template. Today 45+ years later, we have seen gimmickry and shame of heritage used to reinforce a secularized and assimilationist Russo-Ruthenian template where people have been alienated from the churches they and their ancestors built to engage in a ridiculous liberal social experiment. From the get go we were tasked with developing a local church. Instead we pushed away those who could help us to pursue dubious and secular models of americanization. The OCA is not today an American church reflecting the Anglo-American (Hispanic) religious life in Orthodoxy in witness to this continent. It is a Russo-Ruthenian organism run by people ashamed of who they are, where they came from, with no clear vision of where they are going floating toward Istanbul because that course will allow them to continue the nonsense without accountability.

                      As far as the Mother Church is concerned, it is a martyred church which is recovering its freedom, its strength and vitality, and it is a living witness of our Russo-Ruthenian Orthodox heritage. The Mother Church’s guidance and imparting of living transmission of that life and requested oversight can help get us back on course and out of the nets of Istanbul’s “have schism we can make you legit model.” Our Orthodox heritage is a living reality which creates a living Orthodoxy. The contention being confronting the minimalism and gimmickry which caused inactivity and apostasy within the last 3, 4 generations, i.e. secularization.

                      That does not mean rescinding the autocephaly but using its infrastructure to heal the wounds caused over the last 45+ years with the help of the world’s primary Orthodox Church to pursue renewed approaches toward developing native models of local church with the eventual reality of bonafide local Orthodoxy in a bonafide local church.

                      ROCOR is a temporary organism without a purpose. It has for decades duplicated (or tried) our efforts to assert an authority it never canonically had and now it realizes it never canonically will. The childish competition with this body and decisions made in the past “to not be like the Synod” or “to stick it to the Synod” were asinine. Those deleterious decisions include removing +Metropolitan Jonah and standing jn the way of consecration of episcopal candidates like Fathers Gerasim and Damascene. How we relate to ROCOR and the MP is more important than how we relate to Istanbul or even Antioch, because our primary focus must be to establish unity of our Russo-Ruthenian religious tradition in this country, to show that we can surmount political and ideological (and assimilationist) tendencies to create a local church model broad enough to accomodate everyone. The way liturgical renewal, liturgical language and things like the calendar reform were handled were ham handedly and crassly so to the point of alienating our core parishioners and giving fuel to charlatans and foil hats. American local Orthodoxy is not going to be founded on the quicksand of Renovationism and HCE (here comes everyone). When our primate emulates the Eastern Rite Protestant model Istanbul helped establish in Finland that says that there aren’t enough Orthodox gatekeepers to stop the madness and reaction to it (ROCOR).

                      Unity is the product of love trying to unite people. But calendar changes, americanizations of ethnic parishes, liturgical social experimentation and all manner of self loathing in between was designed to push people away. It did. Now we have more of the same prescribed. “Stay away from ROCOR and stay out of Moscow’s ungrateful clutches because we haven’t finished shaming people of their heritages and the local traditions THEY founded their churches to observe. We know better. We can lead them to utopia of Eastern Rite Episcopalian nominalism.” Then we wonder why Right-wing ROCOR grows at our expense and why our numbers plummet from 1000000 to 75000 in 45 years.

                      It wasn’t all about financial scandals. It was about a proud and unaccountable religious polity which refused oversight and fidelity to go its own way to in many instances pursue a liberal, religious experiment. Here we are surveying the wreckage. It is time to change course. That course necessarily entails unity and reintegration with Orthodox of our own heritage so that we can go further and provide ecclesiastical structures for Orthodox observing other local traditions. Then we can meld everything together in appreciation of Western Orthodoxy. It is only by the influence of the Mother Church that that eventual realization of autocephaly can happen. Istanbul will fight us on it. The Mother Church’s influence in uniting Antiochian, Serbian and Bulgarian administrations to our local church will prove to be invaluable. While the current model ends in old graves, empty churches and guitar liturgies and ecumenically friendly theology.

                      I am unashamedly Russian Orthodox in America and my heritage is a strength to me and my local church, the OCA. In that I validate a +Metropolitan Leonty 2.0 model to get our ship in order. That is the model of maturation which can provide us with the necessary unity to reinvigorate our development of our local church. Inasmuch as Crestwood and Syosset have brought us to the precipice, we have to retrace our steps, abandon these blind guides and start over.

                    • MS,

                      Jurisdictionally, the only major outlier at the moment is the OCA. The ROC and ROCOR are not doing anything that GOARCH, AOCNA, SOC, etc. aren’t already doing. The Church Abroad has reunited with the MP. It’s all just the ROC now. Yet there are not 15 but 14 autocephalous local churches represented at the upcoming shindig, no?

                      Now, I do not suggest that there is not a canonical anomaly present in America and other places where there are overlapping jurisdictions (including within the OCA, btw). However, the question is always, “what is to be done?”. Everyone besides OCA is lined up. And no one besides those who have already given OCA very half-hearted acknowledgement seems prepared to do so. Moreover, the OCA’s own internal problems (not the least of which was the painfully extended Jonah saga) militate against making it the centerpiece of the solution to the “American jurisdictional problem”.

                      I agree that the whole thing has been a cluster f. I would maintain that ROCOR has maintained a high degree of integrity during the whole mess. But in the end, the question, “What is to be done?” does not seem to involve Syosset becoming the center of a united, autocephalous American Orthodox Church. Does anyone foresee this happening – GOARCH, AOCNA, SOC, RomOC, BulOC, etc., all subsuming under OCA – within, say, your grandchildren’s lifetime?

                      Thus, the anomaly is OCA. But, I’m not suggesting any course of action. Orthodoxy has always been messy. Read Acts.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      George M. accuses Michael S. of returning to a “DIATRIBE” against ROCOR’s MetropolItan Jonah. If merely pointing to a verified statement by that Metropolitan is a DIATRIBE, do we have to call Mr Michalopolos’s objection to it an ENCOMIUM?

    • M. Stankovich says

      My grandmother told the story of how Archbishop Dositheus (Ivanchenko), the great church musician/liturgical composer and last Exarch of the Russian Orthodox Church before the autocephaly, told her and her immigrant friends that they were not “technically” Orthodox. Obviously, they moved comfortably between the ROC parish and the “Greek Catholic” parish for social & liturgical events; frequently an extended family could have members in both. And in all fairness, visually and experientally, this group of older widows could not tell the difference. The Unia walked & talked like a duck. These women told the Archbishop he was mistaken, they were “Orthodox.” Certainly “the Unia was a subterfuge” fully intended to deceive – I am not as convinced as Mr. Michalopulos that the “geopolitical exigencies no longer exist[s].” I do not believe it is correct to say that were “formerly Uniate,” or “formerly Greek Catholics,” but rather that they were Orthodox taken purposely taken hostage by their ignorance. Nevertheless, you cannot have this discussion without mentioning our great champion and glorified Saint of North America, Alexis of Wilkes-Barre; without the benefit of “mass communication,” from 1891 until his repose in 1909, he was responsible for returning more than 20,000 Orthodox faithful to the Church. Venerable Father Alexis of Wilkes-Barre, pray to God for us!

      • Question: before the official canonization by the OCA, was there actually any “cultus” (to use, perhaps appropriately, the Latin term) of Fr. Alexis? I remember talking to someone who lived for some time at St. Tikhon’s who said that he was unaware of a single pilgrimage to his relics, a single miracle talked about, icons being painted or requested, services being written or requested by anyone venerating him. I doubt he is the first “political” saint in the Orthodox Church, but the contrast with St. Herman or St. John couldn’t be starker.

        • Michael Warren says

          Archimandrite Luke (Murianka) of ROCOR was one of the first to make the case for the glorification of St. Alexis of Wilkes Barre in ROCOR’s Jordanville based publication, Orthodox Life. Accounts of incorruptibility, miracles and the writing of services did occur and it would be good to inquire at St. Tikhon’s before making uninformed statements. It would also be good to acquaint oneself with what Confessor Saints are in Orthodoxy.

          Lastly, the Akathist to St. Alexis and other liturgical texts were discouraged by then +Archbishop Herman of South Canaan and St. Alexis’ commemoration downplayed so as not to “incite religious discord with Byzantine Catholics.” In other words, ecumenical politics is the reason why St. Alexis has been kept low key by some in Syosset, where the approach “to tone down Orthodox witness and the podvig of confessing the Orthodox Faith” has been inserted by the ecumenical politicians of Syosset and Crestwood pedigree. Currying favor with Fr. Taft and his Jesuit redactions of history as well as the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia in Pittsburgh politically has gotten in the way of Orthodox witness to Uniates and Orthodox Saints who confessed the Truth to liberate souls languishing in soil destroying Uniate apostasy.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          You are spot on right, Edward. St Alexis was canonized for his ecclesiastical deeds and defensive nationalism. No one remembered his personal life as an example to follow. In fact, he was remembered for a very colorful and expressive vocabulary! I’ve always maintained that considerations of canonization in most cases would be wisely postponed until all possible bearers contraindicative witness have fallen asleep!
          I was not a bastion of good sense in the meetings of our holy synod, and I “went along” when i didn’t really have to. It never ocurred to me to say or even threaten “over my dead body” in the case of receiving a “retired hierarch”who was, according to my conviction, not a hierarch at all! I, therefor, have no right to criticize any hierarchs who stuck to their convictions, even if these convictions are mistaken.

          • Michael Warren says

            Renovationist, Crypto-Uniate nonsense from a convalescent who doesn’t know what he is talking about.

      • Texan Orthodox says

        I’ve heard it said that one of the fathers of “American Orthodoxy” is actually Archbishop John Ireland of Minnesota, the Roman Catholic bishop who did not like Eastern-rite Catholics and who told St Alexis (Toth) to take a hike.

        If Archbishop John Ireland had been receptive to Eastern-rite Catholics, thousands of faithful may never have returned to Orthodoxy, and the Orthodox footprint in America may have ended up being much smaller today than what it is. Interesting thought.

        • Michael Warren says

          That is Uniate propaganda, yes. Then there is the Russophile movement in Austria that I have indicated which squarely contradicts that disinformation. Ruthenian Greek Catholics still consciously broke with the spiritual counterfeit of unia when Rome began accomodating Greek Catholics in North America? Only in places like the Canadian prairies where Orthodox could not send Priests was Unia not significantly abandoned and there was still considerable return to Orthodoxy. Rome sent Eastern Rite bishops and money to organize Uniates in North America and to fight the return of Greek Catholics to Orthodoxy in the courts during this era. Latin Rite Slavs also encountered the same type of discrimination but remained faithful to papal heresy and then received their own old country priests by Rome’s order. Most importantly, in St. Alexis’ writings he is clear in 1). His recognition of Orthodoxy as the True Faith. 2). His Russophile convictions. The Old Catholics were at work then yet no Greek Catholic interest? St. Raphael wrote of the Episcopalians trying to absorb immigrants from Eastern Europe and the Mideast yet no Greek Catholic interest? Russian Orthodoxy being underfunded and understaffed would have been a least desireable choice of people fleeing Rome due to a papist insult. But it was the choice of Greek Catholics even when Greek Catholic administrations started becoming available? Then there are the accounts of how the Ruthenian Greek Catholics approached the Russian Orthodox Bishop asking for priests assuming they were of the same Faith and ethnos later to be confused when they were told they needed to become Orthodox. Instead of remaining papists they then consciously converted to Orthodoxy after Russophile Priests like St. Alexis began preaching it. Seems the Uniate propaganda doesn’t hold up and is just the same old string of lies.

  9. “Ukrainianism” is a senseless political invention imposed on the Little Russians of Galicia by the Austro-Polish-German politicians in cooperation with Archbishop Sheptitsky, the Metropolitan of the Uniate Church in Galicia. The German government of Galicia, seeing that the Galician Russians, in their national and cultural aspects, form one whole with the Russian people in Russia, took fright and began to have recourse to crafty “divide et impera” (divide and rule) and to violence, so that they might separate Galician Russians from Russian people in Russia, so that it might be easier to denationalise them. They forbade Galician Russians to call themselves Russians. Following Roman papist politicians, they imposed not only “Ruthenianism” upon them, but also “Ukrainianism”.

    During the Austrian national census, they counted the Russian population in official statistics as “Ruthenians” and “Ukrainians”, they arrested and threw into prison anyone protested this official chicanery. Furthermore, they forbade the Russian population to learn the formal Russian literary language. The authorities fostered “Ukrainianism” for two purposes:

    To detach Little Russians outside of Russia from Russians in Russia
    To create through them a “Republic of Ukraina” from Russian Little Russia, composed of southern and southwestern Russian provinces, thus, weakening the Great Russian Empire both politically and Nationally

    To make this “divide et impera” feasible amongst Galician Little Russians, Metropolitan Sheptitsky turned his ecclesiastical seminaries into political camps where he would Jesuitise all future clerics, to instruct them in the science of political propaganda, to spread “Ukrainianism” amongst Galician Little Russians. With particular cruelty, the Austrian rulers persecuted those Russians in Galicia who dedicated themselves totally to their nation and people, those who had exceptional respect, attention, and love from the ordinary people. The Austrians lodged many charges of treason against leading Galician Russians. For instance:

    The trial of Priest Ivan Naumovich and his colleagues in Lvov in 1882
    The trial of Kabalyuk and 94 peasants in Máramarossziget (Marmaroschsiget) in Carpatho-Russia in 1913
    The trial of the Gerovsky brothers (and here) in Czernowitz (Chernovtsy) in Bukovina in 1913
    The trial of Priests Sandovich and Gudima, along with the teachers Bendasyuk and Koldra in 1913

    These are only episodes in the unequal battle for freedom carried on by the Russian people of Carpatho-Russia against their oppressors.

    The Austrians subjected the Carpatho-Russian people to cruel persecutions, not only for their political aspirations, but also for their religious convictions. The Austrian authorities sentenced Carpatho-Russian peasants to many years of imprisonment (i.e. in Máramarossziget (Marmaroschsiget)), just because they didn’t want to be in Union with the Pope of Rome. In Galicia, the Austrian officials closed an Orthodox chapel, placing a placard on it forbidding anyone to enter. They claimed that it was because of contagious disease, which, of course, was untrue.

    If the condition of the Russian people in enslaved Galician Russia was unbearable in peacetime, how dreadful were they at the beginning of the last war {World War I: editor}? As soon as Austria-Hungary declared war on Russia, they arrested more than 30,000 Russian people in Galicia, Bukovina, and Hungary, Austrian police and soldiers massacred them and subjected them to indescribable torture, throwing them into prison camps in Talerhof, Terezín (Theresienstadt), Kufstein, Spielberg, Arad, Vienna, Linz, etc. in Talerhof alone, in the course of a few weeks, more than 1,500 Russians died from beatings, disease, and hunger. The Austrians placed the survivors on trial. Although all of them were innocent according to both man’s law and God’s Law, the Austrian courts found them guilty, just because they were of the Russian nationality. The Austrians shot many of them (the first being the Rev Maksim Sandovich), putting them to death. During the first nine months of the Great War, the Germans and Magyars shot and hanged 20,000 people in Galicia, Bukovina, and Carpatho-Russia.
    The author is the late Very Rev Peter Kohanik.

    • Michael Warren says

      So you would concur that Plokhiy’s blue and yellow manifesto is a statement of banderofascist revisionism and propaganda?

      How would you discuss Lemko Russophiles versus Galician Ukrainophiles? What do you make of Franko’s private statements that he was “born and Rusin and would always remain a Rusin”? How do you relate to Hrushevsky’s intention to title his work A History of Rus’ only to be forced to retitle it A History of the Ukraine by the Austro-Hungarian secret police? How do you view Kulish’s orthography and phonetic semiliterate spellings in view of earlier intentions to force Latinica on Ruthenians?

      Lastly, would you agree that the Ruthenian Greek Catholic church existed as a legal means of preserving folk, cryptic Orthodoxy, at least in part, where Ruthenians otherwise would have been forced to assimilate fully into the Latin rite and full blown papalism?

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Ever-Memorable Protopresbyter Peter Kohanik, it must be admitted, either deliberately or inadvertently completely left out the machinations of the Polish in Galicia and elsewhere in Ukraine.

    • Michael Warren says

      Galicia is not properly part of the Ukraine, but is Chervonaya Rus’, ie Red Ruthenia historically. The period in question of the late Austro-Hungarian empire saw only latent Polonizations influencing Ukrainizations and derussification where Ukrainianism had become the proxy for Polish manipulation of Ruthenians which ultimately acted to coopt the Greek Catholic church and purge its crypto-Orthodox character by Ukrainianized displacement of Russophile clergy, Ukrainization using Unia as a religious prop to propel its russophobia and quack, ahistorical identity.