Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Russian Orthodox should admit cooperation with Stalin, says Ukrainian Catholic leader

Catholic World News - March 22, 2012

Ecumenical relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Eastern-rite Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being stymied because the Moscow patriarchate will not admit its culpability for cooperating with Stalinist regime, says Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk.

The leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which suffered brutal persecution during the Stalin era, said that the Russian Orthodox should acknowledge their role in that historic era. (The Russian government forced Eastern-rite Catholics in Ukraine to join the Orthodox Church, confiscating church properties and killing or imprisoning Catholics who resisted assimilation.)

The Moscow patriarchate’s unwillingness to acknowledge moral responsibility for cooperating in the persecution is “a serious obstacle to the development of mutual relations,” the Catholic leader said. He added: “The ability to apologize shows a lively Christian conscience, which is a precondition for the so-called healing of memories.”

The Moscow patriarchate insists that tensions in the Ukraine are caused primarily by the activity of the Eastern-rite Catholic Church, which—according to Russian Orthodox leaders—is interfering in the “canonical territory” of the Moscow patriarchate.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($24,967 to go):
$150,000.00 $125,032.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Mar. 26, 2012 12:13 AM ET USA

    One would then hope amends be made by being kinder and gentler to the Ukrainian Church now. Yet, the Moscow Patriarchate still fights the Ukrainian Church tooth and nail. The fact that tiny Churches have patriarchs and the giant Ukrainian Church does not is due to Orthodox pressure. They screamed when Cardinal Husar moved to Kiev, the capital. They still blame Ukrainians whenever any agreement with Rome "falls through." They still refuse to return "stolen" churches. Atheists would be less mean!

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Mar. 22, 2012 8:32 PM ET USA

    True enough but there were also many Russian Orthodox within the Moscow Patriarchate that never had anything to do with these atrocities. Who but those alive at the time can know just how difficult it was to try to live as a good Christian in the midst of communist terror. Better men than i were broken by those circumstances I'm sure. An apology would be nice but who in the Patriarchate today was actually part of what happened back then?

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The cardinal who can't let go 3 hours ago
Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17