Mittwoch, 18. Februar 2015


Myroslav Marynovych

former prisoner in Brezhnev’s concentration camps
Ukrainian Catholics are talking quite a bit about His Holiness Pope Francis these days. We are grateful that a unique relic from the Vatican, the image of Christ on the veil, has been brought to Lviv. Many pilgrims are traveling to pray fervently before the icon, which the Pope has generously allowed to be brought to a country suffering a painful war.
At the same time, we are very disturbed by the words with which Pope Francis addressed Ukrainians during his general audience of February 4, equating our current conflict with Russia with “fratricidal fighting among Christians.”
A bold pastor and a man of clear words, Pope Francis, nevertheless, depends on his curia to understand the Russian-Ukrainian war. That’s the problem. For many Vatican diplomats, relations with the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church are the priority when there is a question about Eastern-rite Catholics in this part of the world.
I have two motivations for criticizing the Vatican’s position on the “Ukrainian question.” First of all, as Pope Francis has said, we should look on the Church’s sins and imperfections as on those of our own mother. So, the mistakes of my Mother, the Church, pain me and I must speak. So I will speak with respect for the Pope, who himself bravely speaks the truth to which he witnesses.
Secondly, in my own life I have paid for defending the truth, at the cost of ten years’ imprisonment in a Soviet concentration camp. So I know that faithfulness to the truth is a higher value than one’s own security or peaceful prosperity. I continue to live according to this principle.
Diplomacy is a legitimate part of church life. However, for diplomacy, centers of power have first place. It is not interested in spirituality and personal witnessing to the faith.
But it is difficult to imagine something more contradictory to Christ’s ministry than absolutizing centers of power. Can you picture Jesus flattering the power-holders of his time and not reacting to a simple person’s efforts to cleanse his religious devotion of corruption? Continue reading here

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