Saturday 22 December 2012

Bishop Budka's Enthronement

"Bishop Budka Enthroned on Sunday Last"
(22 December 1912)

With Father Dydyk, Toronto 1913
Immense Concourse of Ruthenian Catholics Assemble for the Ceremony at St. Nicholas Church and Thousands Failed to Secure Admission
 In last week’s issue we announced the arrival on Thursday morning of His Lordship Bishop Budka, head of the Ruthenian Catholic Church in Canada, and we recited in a general way the joy experienced by the Ruthenian Catholics at his arrival. He was met at the station by a representative delegation of priests and laymen and escorted to St. Nicholas presbytery. On Friday His Lordship paid a visit to St. Boniface. Since then he has been exceptionally busy and has accomplished a great deal.

Bishop Enthroned
On Sunday [22 December] Bishop Budka was enthroned in his new episcopal seat at St. Nicholas Church on MacGregor St. Wearing the gorgeous robe of the Ruthenian episcopate and with a crown on his head His Lordship Bishop Budka proceeded from the residence of the Basilian Fathers to the Church where he was received by the representatives of the congregation and where he was presented with the keys to the church by Rev. Father Filipow, Superior of the Basilians, as a token of submission. The church was packed to its utmost capacity at the pontifical High Mass which was celebrated and fully two thousand Ruthenian Catholics were obliged to remain outside during the services. His Lordship Bishop Budka officiated, assisted by Rev. Fathers Dydyk, Delaere, Kryzhanovsky, and Hura, the two later being from Mundare, Alberta, respectively. Rev. Father Sembratovych acted a Master of ceremonies and was assisted by the Bishop’s secretary Rev. Father Bala.

Eloquent Sermon
After taking his nomination Bulla Bishop Budka addressed the congregation in an eloquent sermon in which he recited the past achievements of the Ruthenian people and their heroic struggles for the Catholic Faith. After the ceremony the Te Deum was chanted and the procession re-formed and processed to the residence of the Basilian Fathers. [...]

Basilian Fathers as Hosts
In the afternoon a dinner was given by the Basilian Fathers in honour of the new bishop. Among the guests were His Grace Archbishop Langevin. The Pope, King George, and Archbishop Langevin were toasted by His Lordship Bishop Budka.

— Exerpts from Northwest Review (28 December 1912)

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Blessed Nykyta and Saint Nicholas

St. Nicholas side altar in Budka's home parish,
Dobromirka, Zbarazh District, Ukraine
Providential Coincidences in the Life of Nykyta Budka

The life of Blessed Martyr Nykyta Budka is characterized by several interesting coincidences. Some of these have to do with coinciding dates of key events in his life.  Another coincidence is his connection with the person of Saint Nicholas, who is called the Wonderworker in the Byzantine tradition. 

Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycea, is a very popular saint in the Byzantine Churches.  Virtually every icon screen includes his image.  In Ukraine, many churches and monasteries have him as their patron and the Church celebrates him with two important feast days: December 6/19, known popularly as "winter Nicholas," and May 9/22, known as "summer Nicholas." The second commemoration was introduced by the Slavic Churches to commemorate the "transfer" of his relics by the Crusaders to Bari, Italy, where they are venerated until the present day.

Although he is known by the title of Myra in Lycea (Мир Ликійський), Saint Nicholas did not originate in Myra.  He was born in nearby Patara (Παταρευς), named after Apollo's son, Patarus, who was said to have founded the city. Patara is mentioned once in the Holy Scriptures, in the Acts of the Apostles, in a account of a sea journey to Tyre by Saint Paul the Apostle (Acts 21:1–3).

In August 1912 the Apostolic See of Rome designated the city of Patara as the titular (honourary) seat of Bishop Budka's bishopric.  The reason for this was that Budka had not been appointed bishop over a territory per se, since there were no Byzantine-Rite eparchies in Canada, only Latin dioceses. Budka was given personal jurisdiction over all Ruthenian Greek-Catholics in Canada and his diocese was called an "ordinariate" (later re-named apostolic exarchate in accord with Eastern Christian nomenclature).

Titular sees were bishoprics that had ceased to function as real dioceses.  Many of them were ancient Christian centres located in territories which had since fallen under Islamic Rule.  Often, as in the case of Patara in Anatolian Turkey inside the Ottoman Empire, there were no Christians living there at all.  Titular sees were given to curial bishops and auxiliary bishops who were not appointed to govern dioceses of their own, or to bishops such as Budka who held jurisdiction over certain faithful but not over a territory per se.

The possibility of creating a territorial diocese for Nykyta Budka had been discussed. This would have involved subtracting territory from an existing Roman-Rite diocese, perhaps where there was a large Ukrainian population, and giving it to Budka.  The reason why this option was rejected was that, in order to minister to Greek-Catholics outside that small territory, Budka would have still required additional, delegated jurisdiction from every Roman Catholic bishop in whose dioceses those faithful resided.  Instead, the Apostolic See of Rome, with its the universal jurisdiction, placed all Ruthenian Greek-Catholics in Canada under his spiritual care and assigned Budka a dormant titular see, designating the city of Winnipeg as his real seat.

Titular sees were a kind of legal fiction so, when composing the papal bull, the Apostolic Chancery used the following technical wording to have Pope Pius X nominate Budka: "because the church of Patara is numbered among the merely titular sees, We grant that you are in no way obligated to go to it nor personally reside there."
Saint Nicholas of Myra, the Wonderworker
St. Nicholas Church, Winnipeg

While not obligated to reside in Patara, Bishop Budka was indeed bound to take formal possession of his ordinariate at Winnipeg.  In doing so, three coincidences occurred:  The new bishop arrived in Canada on 6 December, the feast of Saint Nicholas according to the Gregorian Calendar.  He arrived in his de facto episcopal seat, Winnipeg, on 19 December, Saint Nicholas Day in the Julian Calendar.  Finally, Bishop Nykyta was enthroned in the parish church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker on 22 December 1912.  It is also interesting to note that, from 1922 to 1928 drawn-out negotiations were taking place that would likely have made Saint Nicholas, the first Ukrainian church in Winnipeg, Bishop Budka's cathedral church. 

Two other key dates in the bishop's life of service were 28 September and 14 October.  Budka was ordained a deacon on 28 December 1905.  We now know that this was also the date of his birthday into heaven, the date that his Soviet captors in Kazakhstan recorded on his death certificate in 1949.  Further Blessed Nykyta was ordained a priest on the feast day of the Protection (Patronage) of the Mother of God, 14 October (Julian Calendar). This was the same date that he had chosen to receive the episcopal consecration in 1912.  Kazakhstani records also indicate that he was admitted to a military hospital on this day in 1947, his thirty-fifth episcopal anniversary.  It is not clear whether he ever left this facility before his death two years later.

From an historical point of view, these dates are simply interesting coincidences, From a Christian perspective, which sees God's hand working the human history, we can rightly refer to these dates a signs of Divine Providence in the life of Blessed Martyr Nykyta of Patara in Lycea, bishop of the Ruthenian-Ukrainian Catholics of Canada.

Thursday 6 December 2012

The First Biography of Bishop Budka

Bishop Budka, Fathers Jean and Bala.
Sifton, January 1913

In such a situation the responsibility before God and history is great.
– Budka to Cardinal Sincero, 14 January 1928

One-hundred years ago, on Friday, 6 December 1912, Bishop Nykyta Budka arrived in Canada.  He and his two priest companions, Lev Sembratovych and Yosyf Bala, had boarded the Canadian Pacific ship Empress of Britain at Liverpool, England, on 29 November and after a rough Atlantic crossing the ship docked at the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, one week later.  

Only a few months before, in August, the Empress of Britain had been forced to return to port after colliding with a cargo vessel, and the Titanic had sunk off the coast of Newfoundland in April 1912.  Neither Budka nor Bala had ever travelled on an ocean liner and both became very sea-sick during the crossing. The experienced Sembratovych had been across the ocean several times, having served as a missionary in the United States and Canada since 1907.  He was the nephew of two Ukrainian Catholic metropolitans, Yosyf (1821–1900) and Sylvester (1836–1898), the latter having been made a cardinal in 1895.  Father Lev was acting as a guide and advisor to the new bishop whereas the recently-ordained Bala had accepted Budka's invitation to be his secretary.

Sembratovych and Budka,
Kolomya 1912
On Saturday, 7 December the Empress of Britain continued on to St. John, New Brunswick, where Budka and his companions disembarked.  They continued on to Montreal and celebrated their First Divine Liturgy on Canadian soil on Sunday, 8 December.  Bala went on to Winnipeg to prepare for the bishop's enthronement while Budka and Sembratovych visited Canadian church and civil dignitaries in Ottawa and Toronto.  They arrived in Winnipeg on 19 December, the feast of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker according to the Julian Calendar. Three days later, on Sunday, 22 December 1912, Bishop Budka was enthroned at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church.

After only three months in Canada, in March 1913, Budka sent Sembratovych back to Austrian Galicia (western Ukraine) to recruit priests to serve in Canada.  A year later, in January 1914, Bala asked to return to his homeland in order to enter the religious life as a Redemptorist.  Bishop Budka reluctantly gave Bala permission to do so on condition that he would return to Canada upon completion of his noviciate training.  However, when the First World War broke out in August 1914, neither Bala nor Sembratovych were in a position to leave Austria-Hungary, let alone come to Canada, a country with which this Empire was at war. Following the War Father Sembratovych returned to serve in the United States, and Father Bala kept his promise and, returned to Canada to served in the Eastern-Rite Redemptorist missions.

After Bishop Budka's return to Ukraine in 1929 he was somewhat forgotten in Canada. Father Yosyf Bala, however, had not forgotten him. As works began to appear describing the bishop in a negative light, Canadian Ukrainian Catholics decided to tell another side of the story of their first hierarch. And who better to tell it than the only living eyewitness to the beginning of that mission, Budka's first secretary. In 1952 Bala published the first biography of Nykyta Budka entitled Перший Український Єпископ Канади Кир Никита Будка: В сороклітній ювілей оснування українсько-католицької ієрерхії в Канаді (The First Ukrainian Bishop of Canada Kyr Nykyta Budka: on the Fourtieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Ukrainian-Catholic Hierarchy in Canada).  This book is now available online.  In his biography Bala described their sea crossing, their arrival in Canada, and the many challenges of their first year of missionary labour among the Ukrainian immigrants. 

Until  now Bala's work, a mixture of hagiography and history, had remained the only biography of Bishop  Budka. In 1991 the Bishop Budka Council of the Knights of Columbus in Regina, Saskatchewan, released Bala's work in English (with other articles) in a volume entitled Pioneer Bishop: The Story of Bishop Nicetas Budka’s fifteen years in Canada.

A comprehensive historical biography is soon to be released by the Eparchy of Edmonton and Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute.  It's title is God's Martyr, History's Witness: Blessed Nykyta Budka, the first Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Bishop of Canada.

Responsabilitas coram Deo et historia est in tali situatione magna.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Audience of the Saints and Blessed

One Hundred Years since Pius X received Nykyta Budka

Blessed Nykyta Budka often recalled his life-changing meeting with the reigning pontiff, Pope Pius X, on 7 November 1912. On his way from Austrian Galicia to Canada, Budka stopped in Vienna for an audience with his sovereign, Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria-Hungary, and in Rome with the Pope. Pius X was a rigorous man with a gentle heart. The Servant of God, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, also had life-changing meetings with this saintly Pope. The following is Blessed Budka's account of the papal audience written on the occasion of his Ad limina apostolorum visit to Rome in December 1922:

The words of the Holy Father Pius X of worthy memory, spoken to me in blessing my mission, are truly the following: “Your diocese is the largest in the whole world. But I rejoice in seeing you so young. You have a very wide territory so you can fly. You cannot do everything, so do what you can. You cannot lose your people because you have two treasures. I well know thus about the Ruthenian people: your people loves the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and the Most Blessed Sacrament [of the Eucharist]. With these treasures, you cannot lose your people. Go with confidence. 

Five years later, in an official report to the Apostolic See, Budka again recalled the holy pontiff's words:

The words said to me by the Holy Father Pius X, of most pious memory, [...] are always in my ears and were a stimulus to me, a help, and consolation, and often an admonition to go forward more and more.

This was the first and last time Budka would meet the Pope who appointed him.  Budka was not able to return to Rome for another ten years.  Meanwhile, broken-hearted by the news of the outbreak of the First World War, Pius X died on 20 August 1914.  He was beatified in 1951 and canonized in 1954. 

[An sorter version post was published in 2010]

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Blessed Budka Website

Natalia Radovetz, curator of the St. Volodymyr Museum of the Archepacrhy of Winnipeg, has launched the long-awaited Blessed Nykyta Budka website.  Am happy to have been a contributor.  Stay tuned for new content.

Friday 28 September 2012

Blessed Budka's Birthday into Heaven

Blessed Nykyta Budka was arrested in Lviv by the Soviets on 11 April 1945 and transported to Kyiv the following day.  For the next twelve months he was interrogated and tried for 'crimes' against the Soviet Union and the Communist Party.  A military tribunal sentenced him to five-years imprisonment on 29 May 1946.  After that he vanished and, for over ten years, no one knew his whereabouts or even if he was alive.  It was rumoured that Budka was being held in Siberia.  Instead, he was among the many innocent people who had been sent to prison camps near Karaganda, Kazahstan.  After Stalin's death, Soviet authorities began to release the survivors. These men and women were finally able to tell the stories about those who had lived and died in the gulag.  Among the survivors from Kazakhstan were Blessed Bishops Ivan Liatyshevsky and Aleksander Khira, and future-archbishop, Father Volodymyr Sterniuk. In 1958 Soviet authorities finally confirmed that Nykyta Budka had died close to 1 October 1949, but more precise dates and details are still lacking to this day.  

Budka and other Ukrainian Catholics who had been criminalized by a criminal regime were politically rehabilitated in September 1991.  This occurred less than a month after Ukrainian independence, with the Soviet 'Union' still officially in existence and the Communist Party having been declared illegal.  Yet no official follow-up to the case has ever occurred, even though Canadian Ukrainians had asked their government for a redress to the Budka case in 1989.

Kazahstani authorities have only recently confirmed that Budka served out his sentence at the Karadzhar prison camp near Karaganda, where he died of heart disease on 28 September 1949. Additional documentation, obtained unofficially in 1995, further specifies that Budka arrived at the camp on 5 July 1946 and was admitted to a nearby hospital on 14 October 1947, the feast-day of his patron, the Protection of the Mother of God according to the Julian calendar.  That day was also the forty-second anniversary of his priestly ordination and the thirty-fifth of his episcopal ordination.  Even the date of his death occurred on  the forty-second anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate.

In 1988 Archbishop Stereniuk recounted a story that he had heard in the camps about Budka dying at a hospital and his remains being left in the forest never to be found.  The documents we now possess are contradictory: one states that he died in the Dzhartas hospital and his body was transported back to the prison camp to be examined and buried at the prison cemetery on 2 October.  This version would explain the origin of some of the legends about the disappearance of his remains from the hospital.  Other documents state that he died at the prison camp itself, still classified perhaps as a hospital outpatient. 

Resolving the discrepancies in the existing data and verifying existing documentation requires better cooperation between Ukrainian Catholic representatives and government institutions in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia. The best way to obtain the truth would be for the  Government of Canada to request a full investigation into the details of the imprisonment and death of a Canadian citizen now honored as a blessed-martyr by 13 million Catholics throughout Canada and 1 billion Catholics throughout the world.

Sunday 15 July 2012

Redress and Investigate the Bishop Budka Case

“I am writing to draw the matter to your attention, and to formally request redress by the Canadian government. [...] According to the Canadian Red Cross, Bishop Budka is known to have died in exile in Karaganda, Kazakhstan Soviet Socialist Republic on October 1, 1949 [28 September]. [...] 

The Ukrainian Catholic Council of Canada, following consultation with Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk, Archbishop of Canada, is requesting your assistance in making an official inquiry of Soviet officials as to the specific circumstances surrounding Bishop Budka’s death, and the location of his burial place. Furthermore we are requesting that the Canadian government seek formal acknowledgement from Soviet authorities that the Soviet regime arrested and sentenced Bishop Budka to hard labor in Siberia fully aware that he was, at the material time, a Canadian citizen. 

Our request is being made at this time in preparation for the Centennial celebrations of Ukrainian immigration to Canada in 1991. The laity, in conjunction with our Church hierarchy, intend to pay special tribute to the late Bishop Budka, as the first Ukrainian Catholic bishop for Canada, and to recognize him for his many outstanding achievements as our spiritual leader.  Because many Ukrainian Canadians consider Bishop Budka as a martyr and confessor of the Faith it is essential to present to all Ukrainian Catholics in Canada and abroad a full accounting of his death.”

– Robert Herchak, President of the Ukrainian Catholic Council of Canada, to The Right Honorable Joe Clarke, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Victoria, 26 May 1989.

Note: Through his beatification by Blessed John Paul II in June 2001, Budka was formally recognized “as a martyr and confessor of the Faith,” venerated by 1 billion Catholics worldwide, including 13 million Canadians (being the largest religious denomination in Canada).

Budka was appointed by St. Pius X as Bishop for the Ruthenian-Ukrainian Catholics of the Byzantine Rite (Greek-Catholics) one hundred years ago today, on 15 July 1912.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Announcing the Blessed Bishop Budka Biography

"I am pleased to announce that Bishop Nykyta Budka's story will be told in greater detail and authority in a soon to be published biography researched and written by Rev. Dr. Athanasius McVay, a church historian and priest of our Eparchy of Edmonton." 

The upcoming biography of an historical record and analysis of the life and ministry of Nykyta (Nicetas) Budka, the first Ukrainian Greek-Catholic bishop of Canada. It is not a popular biography nor a hagiography (lives of the saints).

It is based largely on archival sources from the Vatican Secret Archives, The Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv; the Archives of the Ukrainian State Security in Kyiv; the Archives of New State Records in Warsaw; the Archives of: the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg; of the Eparchy of Edmonton and of the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, and the Archives of the Basilian Order of St. Josaphat in Rome.

What to look for in the Budka Biography:

Little known or forgotten details about the life and work of Nykyta Budka including: 
- Details about his early years in Austrian Galicia (Western Ukraine).
- Accounts from his seminary years in Lviv and graduate studies in Innsbruck and Vienna.
- A in-depth analysis of the selection process of Greek-Catholic bishops in 1912.
- details about other candidates for the Canadian mission.
- Budka's ordination, journey to Canada and first accomplishments in his new charge.
- Financial and administrative challenges, the newspaper and student residences.
- Franco-Canadian missionaries, Ukrainian Basilians, Redemptorists and secular clergy.
- Sisters, schools, seminary training, building new churches
- Challenges in maintaining the faith of his flock, religious proselytism.
- Religious conflict within the Ukrainian Canadian community.
- The Bishop's activities during the First World War and its immediate aftermath.
- English translations of Budka's official reports to the Apostolic See of Rome, & other correspondence.
- Details regarding the Bishop's heath and resignation. Candidates to succeed him. 
- Returning to the Archeparchy of Lviv to assist Metropolitan Sheptytsky.
- Details concerning Budka's Canadian citizenship status.
- Soviet persecution: surveillance, arrest, trail and sentencing. Prison camp and death.
- Nykyta Budka's burial site. His political rehabitilation and religious glorification.
- Historical evaluation of Bishop Budka's mission.
- A collection of photographs and samples of the bishop's handwritten reports.
-Quotations from the source documents in their original languages (Latin, French, Italian, Ukrainian, Polish, German, English).

Stay tuned for further details and dates

Sunday 10 June 2012

The Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine Reviews The Holy See and The Holodomor

His Excellency, Archbishop Thomas Gulickson, Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine, has posted the following review of our Holodomor book on his web blog:

Living and Dealing with Regimes: The Holy See and The Holodomor...

Through the kindness of Rev. Peter Galadza, PhD, Kule Family Professor of Eastern Christian Liturgy at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, I just received a copy of this important little tome. As all of the source material is translated into English, it is destined to a broad reading audience. With notes and all not reaching 100 pages, I would think that no history professor should hesitate to put it on the reading list of any serious course in 20th Century European History.

In preparation for my own mission as Apostolic Nuncio here in Ukraine, I had read another book actually describing the drama of this famine through the eyes of a young boy who survived: "Execution by Hunger, The Hidden Holocaust, by Miron Dolot, W.W. Norton Company, New York, 1987" (Kindle Edition). For this reason, the samples of anonymous letters describing the Holodomor which reached Pope Pius XI sounded terribly familiar. More of our world needs to know and understand. I fear that without such lessons we may be all too inclined not to wish to face the reality that there are people "on top of the heap" who care little for human life or common decency and who seem to be able to surround themselves with a surplus of henchmen to carry out their diabolical designs. The expression "They will stop at nothing" takes on real content and terrible sense in the light of this act of genocide.

Why the Holodomor? In her Afterword to the book Laura Pettinaroli captures it well as being a part of Stalin's plan to obtain hard currency from the sale of grain for the industrialization of his empire. In a year of abundant harvest, all was taken for sale abroad. Nothing was left for the mouths of the peasants who had produced the bounty and so they died of starvation by the millions. That year's was not a poor harvest.

The analysis offered by the editors in their introduction to the documentation is a marvelous piece of scholarship which provides perspective on the possibilities for exercising its moral authority open to the Holy See through diplomacy. (source)

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Bishop Budka's Real Name

Nykyta, Mykyta or Victor?

On 15 July 1912, Pope Pius X appointed thirty-five year old priest, Nykyta Budka, as the first bishop for Ukrainian Greek-Catholics in the vast Dominion of Canada. Budka was born on 7 June 1877 in the village of Dobromirka, in the Zbarazh district of what is now the Ternopil province of Western Ukraine. At the time it was part of "Kingdom" of Galicia and Lodomiria which was part of Austria-Hungary. His parents Michael and Maria chose for his patron saint, the Greek martyr Nykyta (Nicetas).
As a child and later as a young man he excelled in his studies. In 1897 he graduated from the Ternopil gymnasium (high school) with honors after which he studied law for four years at the University of Lemberg (Lviv). He wanted to enter the seminary and begin theological studies but first he had to to perform his mandatory military service in Vienna.
1901 was a turbulent and eventful year in Austrian Galicia. In the capital city of Lemberg, Ukrainian students walked out of the University in protest against discrimination by the Polish administration. The newly-enthroned Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky supported them in their quest and withdrew his seminarians from the University, sending them instead of the prestigious Jesuit-run Canisianum college in Innsbruck. Nykyta Budka completed his military service the following year and, resuming his priestly formation, he too was sent by the metropolitan to the Canisianum. There he joined the ranks of fellow Ukrainian seminarians, some of whom were destined to play leading roles in the Ukrainian Church. Among their number we Yosyf Slipyj, future head of the Church, Kazimierz Sheptytsky, the future Father Klymenti, brother of Metropolitan and archimandrite of the Studite monks; Yosyf Botsian, the future bishop of Lutsk; Konstantyn Bohachevsky, future metropolitan of the United States; Ivan Latyshevsky and Andri Ischak, who were to share Budka's fate of arrest, imprisonment and the crown of martyrdom for the Catholic Faith.
In Innsbruck, Budka appeared to have changed his name, which seems strange since secular clergy do not take religious names. The college academic records list him not under his baptismal name of Nykyta but as Viktor, which is simply a Latin translation of Νικήτας (Nicetas), a victor. The name derives from νίκη (victory).  It was often the custom in Jesuit universities to take Latin names.  The founder of the order itself, Iñigo Loiolakoa, who took the name Ignatius de Loyola, after the ancient Church Father, when entering the university.  So too the namesake of the Canisianum, St. Peter Canisius, is probably a latinization (canis) of the Dutch de Hondt.

Upon arriving in Canada the anti-Catholic Ukrainian press began to make fun of the new bishop and to look for anything that would limit his authority among the Canadian Ukrainian population. In one issue of the notorious but short-lived Kropylo Budka, who was actually a very patriotic Ukrainian, was chided for his lack of Ukrainian identity. Among other things, Kropylo accused him of changing his name from the modern Ukrainian form Mykyta to the archaic ecclesiastical form Nykyta. Universally, at the time and even today, ecclesiastics often use or retain the archaic slavonic version of their names. Notably, Metropolitan Sheptytsky never adopted the modern-Ukrainian Andriy but always retained the older Andrey. The same is true for Konstantyn Bohachevsky, who never adopted Kostyantyn. If the journal had known about the Innsbruck documents, then there might have been even more controversy over Bishop Budka's name.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

UK launch of The Holy See and The Holodomor

Rev. Dr.Athanasius McVay co-editor of
The Holy See and the Holodomor
will present this publication
The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain's Head Office,
49 Linden Gardens, London W2,
on 21 February 2012, 18.30 hrs.

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Vatican Diplomacy vs. The Nuremburg Rallies

Many unhistorical works have been written about the Holy See's attitude to the Nazi regime and it's inhuman and anti-Christian ideology. The following communique was sent to Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Vasyl Ladyka (and to all the Canadian Catholic Bishops) by the Apostolic Delegation of Canada on 28 September 1937:
I take the liberty to call Your attention upon the enclosed article, published by the “Osservatore Romano” No.215, entitled “After the Congress of Nuremberg", and dealing with the grevious conditions in which the Catholic Church actually stands in Germany. I respectfully beg from Your Excellency to invite the faithful to prayer in order that the merciful Lord might abbreviate the days of tribulation. In front of the campaign of disinformation and falsehood which certain agencies pursue, even in Canada, about the real objective of the religious persecution in Germany, I beg for Your Excellency to enlighten, by all possible means, the faithful of Your diocese, by exposing the gravity of the situation and showing how the rights of the Church have been disregarded.