A reply to the refusal of registrationPost date: 2009-09-03
Autor: Synod UO GCC
State Committee on Matters
of Nationalities and Religions
A reply to the refusal of registration
Head of State Committee of Ukraine on Matters of Nationalities and Religions Mr J. Reshetnikov justifies rejection of registration of the UOGCC by several mendacious arguments: “They grossly violate interior regulations (canon law of the UGCC) ... Therefore religious activity of the persons mentioned conforms neither to the current legislation of Ukraine nor to interior statutes of the Church.”
Response: Even if we had violated the canon law of the UGCC, it is not violation of the Ukrainian legislature. The canon law would then be – from the UGCC’s point of view – violated by all orthodox Churches and all non-Christian organizations only by the very fact that they exist. However, Ukraine guarantees religious freedom and not discrimination. The canon law inside the UGCC is grossly violated by Card. L. Husar and bishops united with him in his heresies.
He violated teachings of the Holy Scripture and Tradition by stating that hell is not eternal.
He violated teachings of the Church and Tradition by approving of homosexuality.
He violated teachings of the Church and Tradition by approving of divination and by his own practicing of divination by pendulum.
He violated teachings of the Church and Tradition by casting doubt upon the Divinity of Christ.
Card. Husar and bishops united with him in heresy have already been excommunicated from the Catholic Church in conformity with the teaching of the Holy Scripture, Tradition and God’s laws. In accordance with the theory of Mr Reshetnikov they should be excluded from the Church for violation of interior regulations of the UGCC even by the state and the state should abrogate their registration. Nevertheless, it still holds true that they have excluded themselves from the Church and our Synod just made it public. The Holy Father took this painful reality into account by his silence.
Reshetnikov explains that we cannot have the name of the UOGCC. He refers to the “Freedom of Worship and Religious Organizations Act” n. 3 art. 5: “The state takes account of and regards interior regulations /statutes of the religious organizations...”
Response: In Ukraine there are registered 5 Orthodox Churches, 4 Catholic Churches, several Protestant Churches; further there are 5 societies of Jews, 4 groups of Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhists, pagans etc. Ukraine tolerates individual Christian Churches but also non-Christian ones, and does not encroach on their interior regulations and traditions.
Reshetnikov does encroach on interior matters of the UGCC and falsely quotes can. 19 CCEO: “... no undertaking shall assume the name ‘Catholic’ unless the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority is given.”
Response: If an extraordinary situation comes when Catholic hierarchy apostatizes into heresy, it is not solved by can. 19 but by can. 1436 §1: “One who denies a truth which must be believed with divine and Catholic faith, or who calls it into doubt, or who totally repudiates the Christian faith, and does not retract it after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished as a heretic or an apostate with a major excommunication.”
Can. 19 CCEO applies to laymen and their apostolate; it does not apply to bishops and in no case does it deal with the question of registration of the Church or of its name. It only deals with the question of apostolic action inside a Catholic diocese. If the faithful establish in some diocese a charitable society or pious fellowship, they can give it the name of “Catholic” only with the permission of their bishop. This canon, however, by no means applies to the name of “Ukrainian orthodox Greek-Catholic Church”. UOGCC is an independent Church structure which is not part of the UGCC. Spiritual unity with the Pope, recognition of his primacy and infallibility is the matter of the faith (of conscience) and not of the state laws.
Moscow Patriarchate could – according to Mr Reshetnikov – demand that there must not exist any Church in Ukraine bearing the name “Orthodox” for here this Patriarchate has its canonical territory. However, the fact is that in Ukraine there are several Orthodox Churches and the state registered each one of them.
Reshetnikov writes: “This competent power on each canonical territory is represented by an eparchial bishop of the Catholic Church (a member of the college of bishops whose head is the Roman Pontiff) appointed or approved by the Roman Pontiff.” (commentary on can. 49 CCEO)
Response: In reality, can. 49 has nothing in common with artificial commentary by Mr Reshetnikov. The sense of can. 49 is: “The college of bishops, whose head is the Roman Pontiff and whose members are the bishops is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church.” Can 49 does not say anything about canonical territory or name “Catholic”.
Lifting an incoherent sentence from can. 49 and presenting of false interpretation of can. 19 does not justify anyone to claim that UGCC has to change its name.
To interpret the Code of Eastern Canon Law (CCEO) and, moreover, to manipulate it, does not appertain to the state authorities. It is encroaching on the interior affairs. To threaten somebody with the state punishments on the basis of false interpretation of the canon laws is a display of religious discrimination.
After his inexpert interpretation and manipulation of taken-out-of-context quotation from can. 19 and can. 49 CCEO Mr Reshetnikov draws a conclusion: “The Committee will not deal with submitted responses and requests of so-called orthodox Catholic Bishops’ Synod whose representatives grossly violate Ukrainian legislation and regulations of the Church.”
We ask: Who violates the laws of Ukraine? The Secretary of the Synod of the UGOCC who has applied for registration of new Church structure, or Mr Reshetnikov who distorts the canon law and, moreover, confuses it with the state laws, committing thus criminal manipulation.
Question: Why Mr Reshetnikov in the process of lawful registration has not acted in accordance with the Ukrainian laws and by means of distortion of the canon law has been creating an impression that the registration of the UOGCC was against Ukrainian legislature?
Response: In the background of this manipulation performed by the state committee there is apostatical hierarchy which knows that the registration of the UOGCC signifies for them existential failure.
How can Mr Reshetnikov apply canons of the CCEO to the UOGCC bishops, priests, religious and faithful if they fall neither within the jurisdiction of Husar nor of the UGCC bishops nor of the Apostolic Nuncio? This can be compared to a brand company which would start to produce defective goods instead of quality products. Some members of the managing staff of this concern would separate with an aim of producing quality goods. So they would establish a new company to which great number of the employees of the old one would be willing to transfer. New company would apply to the governmental authorities for registration. These authorities would, however, respond: we cannot register you for it runs counter to interior laws or rather to the interests of the old company, since producing quality goods at the moment is considered to be a crime.
Treacherous hierarchy has a different teaching and a different spirit from the teaching and Tradition of the UGCC. As this hierarchy is not willing to resign freely, a new structure of the UOGCC had to be established.
There is an essential question: Does L. Husar proclaim heresies or does not?
The response is unambiguous: Yes, he does; the testimony is his book “Discussions with Card. L. Husar: On Postconfessional Christianity”.
The second question: Are bishops united with the heresies of Card. Husar excluded from the Church?
The response is unambiguous: Yes, they are. This reality must be accepted even by Mr Reshetnikov if he appeals to canon law, Tradition and interior regulations of the religious organizations in accordance with the law of Ukraine n. 3 art. 5.
In conformity with the laws of Ukraine our UOGCC must be registered. Neither bishops nor priests of the UOGCC have committed any, the less so gross, violation of the state laws.
In accordance with the state laws, two different structures cannot have the same name. Words “Ukrainian” and “Greek-Catholic” we have in common but we differ by the word “orthodox” – O.
Bishops of the standing Synod of the UOGCC
+ Markian OSBM
+ Samuel OSBM
+ Eliáš OSBM
+ Metod?j OSBM
Lvov-Bryukhovychi, 3rd September 2009
- The Holy Father Benedict XVI
- President of Ukraine V. Yushchenko
- MPs of the Ukrainian parliament
- President of Russia V. Medvedev
- Governor of the Lvov Region M. Kmit
Address: Synod of the UOGCC, 3 Sosnova St., Lvov - Bryukhovychi, 79491, Ukraine
www.community.org.ua; pidhirci.community @ org.ua
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