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Famed sermon by Ukrainian Catholic prelate is 'extremist' literature, Russia rules

Catholic World News - November 25, 2013

A famous sermon delivered in 1900 by a leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church has been classified as “extremist” literature, the Forum 18 news service reports.

The sermon entitled “The True Faith,” by Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, was classified as “extremist” along with 15 other texts by Ukrainian nationalists. These texts are now banned in Russia.

In the sermon Metropolitan Sheptytsky argued that the Catholic Church is the true faith, and that the Church is essential for salvation. At the same time he argued against “purely national institutions,” saying that the Church is universal. Both in its concentration on matters of faith and in its rejection of nationalism, the sermon is radically different from the other 15 condemned texts, which are works of political nationalism.

Metropolitan Sheptytsky, who later became the leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church (the largest Eastern-rite Church in communion with Rome), is revered by his Catholic countrymen, and is a candidate for beatification. He is also a hero to Ukrainian Jews, who have honored him for his condemnations of the Nazi regime and his efforts to save Jews from the Holocaust.

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