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)