Friday 8 November 2019

Conference on Father Josaphat Jean at Lviv University

In conjunction with Ivan Franko National University in Lviv, the Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat in Ukraine and the Basilian Fathers Museum of Mundare, Alberta, are sponsoring a conference on Father Josaphat François Joseph Victorien Jean. Coordinated by Father Artemiy Novitskyi of Zhovkva, the conference will take place at the University from 29–30 November 2019. Three Canadian-Ukrainians will be participating at the event. The conference is part of the centenary celebrations of the founding of the Western Ukrainian National Republic (ZUNR), in the Foreign Ministry of which the native French-Canadian served. The following is an English translation of the program:

29 November 2019

Yeronim Hrim, OSBM 
(Basilian Philosophical-Theological Institute, Briukhovychi)
The Life and Work of Father Jean, OSBM.

Pietro Shkrabiuk
(Krypiakevych Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Lviv) 
“From Krekhiv to Buchach (1913–1919)” – state-building inspiration of Father Jean.

Liliana Hentosh
(Ivan Franko National University, Lviv) 
Diplomatic Activity of Father Jean during the Years of Struggle for Ukrainian Statehood, 1918–1921.

Athanasius McVay
(Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton, Canada) 
“You have not changed at all” : the Relatioship of Father Josaphat Jean with Nuncio Achille Ratti – Pope Pius XI.

Presentation of two of Dr McVay’s books.

30 November 2019

Oleh Pavlyshyn
(Ivan Franko National University, Lviv) 
The Historical Context of the Pastoral and Diplomatic Activities of Father Jean.

Yustyn Boyko
(Studite monk, Lviv) 
Father Jean’s Studite Period (1923–1931).

Artemiy Novytsky, OSBM
Father Josaphat Jean’s Ministry in Canada (1931–1972).

Athanasius McVay
(Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton, Canada) 
“Metropolis of the Universe” : Father Jean as Dean of UGCC in Great Britain.

Karen Lemiski
(Basilian Fathers Museum, Mundare, Canada )
The Unexpected Collection of the Basilian Fathers Museum.

Friday 1 November 2019

Polish Government-in-Exile Mourns Metropolitan Sheptytsky

The following statement from Minister of Religion and Education, Monsignor Zygmunt Kaczyński, appeared on the front page of Dziennik Polski and L'Osservatore Romano, respectively the principal news organs of the Polish Government-in-Exile in London and of the Holy Apostolic See:

"The loss of Metropolitan Sheptytsky is grave as much for Poles as for the Ukrainian peoples of Poland. The deceased combined in his person the eminent qualities of pastor of souls and patriot. Throughout forty-years of intense activity, he efficaciously contributed to the development of the religious and cultural life of the entire [Polish] nation and, understanding the absolute necessity, he constantly strove to bring Ukrainians to Poles closer together, on the frontiers of the their common homeland. During the occupation, Metropolitan Sheptytsky maintained his constant line of conduct, concerned as always for so many suffering people. In his pastoral letters, he always encouraged the faithful and his fellow citizens to maintain cohesion, deploring their fratricidal conflicts. We unite, the minister concluded, with the Ruthenian [Ukrainian] Catholics of the district of Lwów, who have been left orphaned of their Shepherd, and we mourn the loss of such an eminent personality and pray ardently for the repose of this chosen soul."

— “Per la Morte di Mons. Szeptyckyj,” in Osservatore Romano (15 November 1944), p.1. cfr. "Minister ks. Kaczyński o śp. Metr. Szeptickim," in Dziennik Polski i Dziennik Zołniera (10 November 1944), p. 1.

Monsignor Kaczyński later returned to Poland, was arrested by the Communists in 1948 and 1951, and was executed in prison on 13 May 1953.

Monday 28 October 2019

Vatican "Secret" Archive changed to "Apostolic"

ASV consultation hall as it was in the 1990s, before modernization
The Holy See announced today (28 October), the the official name of the Archivium Secretum Vaticanum (Vatican Secret Archive) is changed to Archivium Apostolicum Vaticanum (Vatican Apostolic Archive). In a motu proprio letter dated 22 October, Pope Francis explained that he was ordering the change in nomenclature after consulting close advisers and the Archive's Prefect. The papal letter, which alludes to "a vigorous and firm hope for progress" (no doubt in historical sciences and accessibility to the archival collections) provides a cursory history of the institution, emphasising that, over time, it has undergone various changes in structure and name. During one period, it was indeed known as the Apostolic Archive. From about 1646 it has been called Secretum (or Privy)  to distinguish it from archives with more public and civic administrative functions. The Letter argues that, in recent years, the understanding of the Latin term secretum has been lost among the general public [but not by scholars ed.] and the name has given rise to various erroneous impressions and caricatures (contained in popular literature and films). In 1881, Pope Leo XIII opened the papal archive to international scholars. Thenceforth, each Pontiff extended the chronological limit of constable materials. In 1985, John Paul II released documentation to the end of the pontificate of Benedict XV(1922). Benedict XVI opened the materials of the pontificate of Pius XI (to February 1939). Earlier this year, Francis announced that the coveted papers of Pius XII's reign (to October 1958) would be released on 2 March, the anniversary of the latter pontificate. The Vatican Archive is a collection of several historical archives of princely families, Roman Curial departments, and papal nunciatures and delegations. Its superiors and staff are experts specialised in archival sciences and church history. The Archive also offers a course with a diploma in archival studies. The announcement took many by surprise, even within the institution. One wonders whether the well-known abbreviation for citations "ASV" exclusive to the Vatican Archive, will now be changed to "AAV", an abbreviation common to other collections.

Thursday 22 August 2019

Yosyf Botsian:
 Bishop of Lutsk and Dreamer of the Revival of Eastern Catholicism

Imagine the suffering to the heart of a bishop to see those faithful which God had entrusted to him, perishing without pastoral assistance, while he was bound hand and foot. — Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, November 1926

Yosyf Botsian (1879–1926) is one of the important figures in the twentieth-century revival of Eastern Catholicism in Ukraine. Following his formation in several intellectual centers of Austria-Hungary, Botsian was brought into the chosen circle of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky's disciples.  Appointed rector of the Lviv Theological Seminary, he helped reform the institution according to Jesuit models, emphasizing spiritual development over external discipline. He also continued scholarly work and encouraged the social engagement of both seminarians and clergy. During the First World War, Botsian was sent into exile in Russia; before they were separated, Sheptytsky secretly ordained him as bishop of Lutsk, thus closely associating Botsian with his own dream of the restoration of Eastern Catholicism throughout the historical lands of the Kyivan Metropolia. Unfortunately, Botsian was never able to occupy his see. While Lutsk was incorporated into the new Polish republic following the First World War, neither Sheptytsky and Botsian nor the Oriental Congregation could overcome the opposition of the Polish government and of some Polish Roman Catholic hierarchs to the renewal of the Byzantine rite in eastern Poland. Effectively deprived of his episcopal rank in the last years of his life, Botsian endured disappointment, persecution, illness, and an untimely death. Groomed as Sheptytsky’s successor, Botsian never fulfilled this role, and his dream of the spread of Eastern Catholicism beyond Galicia and its return to the rest of Ukraine would not be fulfilled until after his death. 

Friday 26 July 2019

British Pilgrimage to Rome 1969

by Engineer Vasyl Oleskiw (1924–2016)
[Василь Олеськів, “У поклоні Верховнону,” 
in Наша Церква, vol. 18, no. 1 [90] (January–March 1970), p. 7–9.]
 On Thursday, 2 October 1969, Ukrainian pilgrims from Great Britain, together with their Bishop Kyr Augustine Hornyak and three parish priests, arrived in Rome for the solemn consecration of the noble Sobor of Saint Sophia. On that day, they experienced perhaps the greatest and most moving moments of their visit to the Eternal City. On that day, at 3:30 in the afternoon, they were received in a private audience by His Beatitude Major-Archbishop Cardinal Yosyf, at the Ukrainian Catholic University of Pope Saint Clement. On that day they had the joy to personally meet with our Chief Hierarch, Confessor of the Faith and of the Ukrainian nation, to touch the same hand which, not long ago, had been tortured, to exchange a brief word, and to receive his blessing.
            Our group greeted the majestic figure of His Beatitude Kyr Yosyf with enthusiastic applause. With visible emotion, Kyr Augustine gave the following address: 
“Most Blessed Hierarch, here before you is the bishop, priests, representatives of Ukrainian organizations, and faithful which, together, constitute the People of God of the Apostolic Exarchate in Great Britain. It is our pleasure to render You filial homage, fidelity and love. We are all children of our Mother-the-Church which was cut down in our native land but whose roots have spread far and wide, even across the English Channel and which sprung up on the other side— a beautiful branch which is the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Great Britain. It remains part of the Universal Church and of the Ukrainian Nation.”
            “We came to take part in the solemn consecration of Saint Sophia and to observe the achievements which are the result of Your intense labours and of God’s grace upon His children. Wherefore it is a pleasure for us to greet you as our Dearest Hierarch and, on this occasion, to bring you the gift of these cloths for the high altar and side altars. The material from these cloths was made by the same firm that furnishes Buckingham Palace, and the embroidery upon it is the work the members of the Organization of Ukrainian Women in Great Britain (OUZ) from Coventry, Leicester, and Waltham Cross, and of our Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in London. We also brought a collection toward Saint Sophia, which has already surpassed two-thousand pounds sterling, and which is to continue and which we hope will surpass three-thousand pounds. For our country, this represents a very considerable gift, especially considering that were are still fundraising to pay the debt on our new Cathedral.”
            “On this occasion when we come before Your Beatitude, it is a pleasure for me to render homage and filial love, and to repeat and once again invite Your Beatitude to visit us in Great Britain. We hope that this will take place in the coming year, perhaps around the time of Green Holidays [Pentecost], so that, as with other eparchies around the world, we too might have the joy of welcoming you among us and that You would lift our spirits with Your presence. This [visit] would surely bright forth the choicest fruits for our Church. which grows and flourishes not only to support our life in the lands of emigration but also to support our suffering Church [in Ukraine]. Surely our growth, in a wider sense, represents the fruits of the [spiritual] merits of Your sufferings.” *
            “And here I would like to say that we, the bishop, clergy, and all the faithful, share your dreams and hopes which we have also taken upon ourselves that, God willing, our Particular Church (Pomisna Tserkva), our Ukrainian Catholic Church will soon be crowned with a Ukrainian Catholic Patriarchate.”

            A powerful chorus of Mnohaya lita [God grant him many years] concluded those sincere and heartfelt greetings, to which His Beatitude Kyr Yosyf responded with emotion:
            “Most Reverend Bishop, Dear Pilgrims! I am extraordinarily pleased that, particularly from Great Britain, you came here in such numbers. Our Ukrainian Church in Britain should raise its powerful voice. Never forget that you live in a country that, since the Middle Ages, had ruled the world. I hope that, living among that people, you would benefit from even a small portion of their practical wisdom, courage, and composure, for which the British are famous. Then, like it or not, living among that powerful nation spread across the globe, you will acquire their virtues and characteristics and bring a good portion of those positive qualities to the history of the Ukrainian Nation.”
            “I am especially grateful to you, Dear Bishop, for your donations and for these beautiful altar cloths. God grant that they be a visible testimony of the strength and consciousness of the unity of the Ukrainian nation across the entire globe. And may they serve as a powerful prayer to the Lord God for the many years of your labours. I am especially grateful, especially to You, Bishop, that you are the first in Europe to acquire a Cathedral church as a stronghold and enduring home. Do not fear because, having fled your homeland, you are living as if in a foreign country. Rather the opposite is true: for we should be represented everywhere and have our own homes and strong enclaves. By establishing such homes far and wide, today our emigration can do much more that all those 45 million in Ukraine! Reflect well on this, that your voice, your achievements, your deeds is a voice heard by the world and has tremendous significance. And it is precisely this that our opponents and our enemies fear the most! And if you, Most Reverend Bishop, will lead this people and direct it, you can be confident that the majority of the Ukrainians in Great Britain will be a powerful support, not only for you in Britain, but also for the entire Ukrainian nation throughout the world.”
            “God grant You many years! God grant You success! God grant that you form Your children to become well-educated wise people and leaders, and also that you may succeed and not have to live by begging for bread but from the labour of your own hands. And when you become prosperous and are able to support not only yourselves but also the Church and the whole nation, and raise your children to become honourable people, then you will have fulfilled your calling. May God grant you many years and His blessing.”

            After singing Боже великий, Творче всесильний (O Great God, Almighty Creator, look upon our native land), Kyr Augustine presented to His Beatitude Rev. Ivan Muzychka, Rev. Stefan Orach, Rev. Teodor Tysak, as well as representatives of Ukrainian organizations: Ivan Ravliuk (AUGB), Maria Sydor (OUZ), Bohdan Rohach (SUM), Roman Stryhanyn (Plast), Vasyl Oleksiv (UVC, UIC), Vasyl Bortesky (Obnova), Vasyl Dubil (OBV), V. Parubochy (church men), Onufriy Shtunder (Church elders), Ilya Yavorsky (cantors), I. Shkatuliak (church contacts).
            At the end of this moving encounter, each of the approximately 70 people greeted His Beatitude separately. In the middle of an historic Synod of Ukrainian Catholic Hierarchs, our Major Archbishop sacrificed a lot of time, attention, and love for us. It has made an impression on us which will remain as an enduring testimony not only for those who took part but also the entire Ukrainian community in Great Britain. 

* Slipyi accepted the invitation to visit Britain from 9 to 24 May 1970.  

Tuesday 14 May 2019

"Reverend Major" : the Story of Father Anton Hodys

London, December 1947
Solving a mystery is gratifying to everyone, not just historians. People are happy to discover the final piece of the puzzle or find the missing link. It brings a sense of completeness to our incomplete existence. Yesterday, I experienced such satisfaction. My colleagues Roman Skakun and Vasyl Harandza helped resolve a conundrum that had been bothering me for a year. Last December, I finished a draft of a history of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Great Britain without having discovered what became of one of its first priests.
Ukrainian Greek-Catholics had been settling in Britain since about 1900 but the Church formally set up a stable mission at he end of the Second World War. Most of the first missionary clergy had to flee their homeland or were serving as chaplains in various armies. Subsequently, almost all of the first priests to serve in UK moved on to other missions in USA, Canada, Australia, and the European continent. I was able to trace their life stories after the UK except for the first one to leave, the Reverend Major Anton Hodys. All sources draw a blank on him after May 1949 when, as Father Josaphat Jean was quoted in the minutes of the London parish chronicle, he “left the country permanently.” From that moment, it was as if Hodys vanished from the face of the earth, at least as far as the Ukrainian Catholic Church was concerned. Over the past year, my colleagues and I have collected the following biographical details, the early years of which were compiled by Skakun from Ukrainian sources:
Anton or Antin Hodys was born on 5 November 1901 in Stryi, Austrian Galicia (present day Ukraine). In 1905 his family moved to the nearby village of Bratkivtsi were he attended the first and second grade at the local elementary school. In 1909, he was sent back to Stryi to attend the more prestigious Kilinsky school and, from 1911, he attended the local gymnasium (grammar school). In 1915, he was conscripted into digging defensive ditches for the occupying Russian Army. At some point during the Russian occupation, he travelled to Kiev to ransom his father, who shared the fate of many nationally-conscious Ukrainians deported away from the front to central Ukraine, northern Russia, Siberia, and east Asia.
In the last days of its existence, Emperor Karl I attempted to turn Austria-Hungary into a federation of autonomous nations under the Habsburg Crown. But with the surrender of Austria imminent, Ukrainian leaders declared an independent Western Ukrainian State on 1 November 1918. Hodys participated in establishing Ukrainian rule in Stryi: From 1 to 20 January 1919 he was sent a reconnaissance and propaganda mission to Transcarpathia, where he established contact with the Brashchayko brothers, prominent local Ukrainophile activists. Subsequently, he trained at officers school in Kolomya and fought on the Nyzhniv-Koropets front in the Fourteenth section of the Zabolotivsky trainee division of the Third Galician Brigade. 
Polish forces drove the Western Ukrainian Army out of Galicia, beyond the Zbruch river. After taking a month’s rest in Vinnytsia, Hodys was sent to the front to repell Denikin’s Volunteer Army. After a second rest-leave he contracted typhoid fever and was sent for treatment. On the road from Zhmyrenka to Proskuriv he was captured by the Poles who sent him to a hospital in Kamianets Podilsk. 
In the meantime, Poland had struck a deal with the other Ukrainian State, the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR), which agreed to sacrifice Galicia (western Ukraine) to Poland, in exchange for military support against Russia. Generals Piłsudski and Petliura joined forces to drive the Bolshevik armies out of Ukraine. After recovering, Hodys joined the Third Iron Brigade of the UNR army and was sent to the front near Bar. The Bolsheviks pushed the brigade back across the Zbruch River into Galicia and destroyed it near Kopychyntsi. With both Ukrainian armies defeated and the cause for independence lost, Hodys returned home in July 1920 to resume his schooling.
Antin Hodys completed grades 6 through 8 at the Stryi Gymnasium and passed his graduating exam on 8 June 1922. Subsequently, he attempted to enrol at the Lviv Greek-Catholic Seminary but was turned away due to lack of available places. He worked for a year on the Oil Fields in Ripne and was finally accepted to the seminary on 25 October 1923. Following the completion of his theological studies on 25 June 1927, he received sacred ordination at the hands of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky: to the diaconate on 10 June and to the priesthood on 17 June 1928.
Like the majority of the diocesan clergy in the Eastern Churches, Hodys married before ordination, likely during the interim year between completing seminary and the diaconate. According to an online genealogy resource apparently managed by a relative, his wife’s name was Irena-Olga (1906–1972), daughter of Henryk and Zenovia Schprintz. In 1936, the couple had twins, Yuriy (+1984) and Zenovia (Schlegell) (+1995).
Antin Hodys was given his first assignment as a curate in Kamyanka Strumylova (today Kamyanka Buzko) on 1 July 1928. During this time, he continued to be actively engaged in Ukrainian cultural and civic affairs. He was a member of the local Prosvita educational association, a supporter of Ukrainian nursury schools, he set up chapters of the Apostleship of Prayer and Confraternity for a Holy Death. In 1931, he took on the additional job of professional religious instructor at the local gymnasium.
But something altered Hodys’ trajectory in a radical way. Europe was becoming more militarized and Poland was no exception. Marshall Piłsudski had imposed a virtual military dictatorship in 1926. By the end of his life, the regime began to abandon any restraint shown toward the ethnic minorities, which made up a third of the population. As Piłsudski lay dying, his colonels concocted a scheme to forcibly assimilate the Ukrainians and Belarusians by the early 1940s. 
Only Ukrainians considered very loyal could be accepted into the ranks of the Polish military. On 1 July 1934, Hodys was accepted as a military chaplain with the rank of captain, considering his previous service as an officer. His first assignment was Kraków and in 1938, he was sent to Bielsko in Upper Silesia, where he also acted as administrator of the Greek-Catholic military parish of Saint Basil. 
Hodys took part in the unsuccessful defence of Poland from the German invasion in September 1939. Driven south across the border, his corps was interned in Romania but, after nine months, they were released and, via Italy, regrouped in France with the Government-in-Exile. After the Germans invaded France, the Polish Government and Army corps fled to Great Britain. After witnessing the London Blitz he and his fellow soldiers were sent to Scotland. On 5 September 1940, he took part in a rally of Polish Military Chaplains in Glasgow, in the presence of President-in-Exile Raczkiewicz and other officials. Hodys was promoted to the rank of major and assigned to the First of three Polish Corps within the British Army. Unlike General Anders' Second Corps, the First Corps did not see active service in Europe but remained in Scotland for defensive purposes. In 1947, he was assigned to work as one of the secretaries of Bishop Józef Gawlina, head of Polish military chaplains. After demobilization, Polish soldiers were sent to resettlement camps. Hodys was assigned to minister to them as well as to Ukrainians in Canadian brigades. He served the Association of Ukrainian Soldiers in the Polish Army which became part of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain in 1946.
Hodys (centre) 
with UGCC priests, London, Spring 1947

With the formal establishment of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Britain, Hodys was numbered among the clergy under the jurisdiction of Apostolic Visitor, Bishop Ivan Buchko. He was among those who welcomed Buchko at Victoria Station during the latter’s second visit on 21 November 1947. In December, Buchko assigned him, together with Josaphat Jean and Petro Diachyshyn, to be responsible to serve southern England. Hodys attended meetings of the parish council of the first Ukrainian Greek-Catholic church in Britain, Saint Theodore of Canterbury, Saffron Hill in London. Buchko also named him one of his counsellors for the British mission and Hodys gave a presentation on canonical and civil marriage law in the United Kingdom at the Ukrainian clergy conference (soborchyk) held in January 1948.
Following the Second World War, Great Britain was left damaged and in an impoverished state. Most of the clergy assembled at the January conference, some elderly and ready for retirement, wanted to leave England for an better life. In addition, Rome had given instructions to send married clergy to Canada and USA, where they could serve under Ukrainian Catholic bishops and perhaps reunite with their families. Major Hodys was no exception. In the Summer of 1948, a chance meeting with an American bishop at a restaurant in Piccadilly Circus presented such an opportunity. Bishop Eugene McGuiness of Oklahoma City was looking for European missionaries to serve his frontier diocese. Following their conversation, he invited twelve Polish Army chaplains to Oklahoma. Before leaving for the United States sometime in April 1949, Hodys was listed in the Ukrainian Catholic directory as residing at Hillside Monastery in Potters Bar, Middlesex. By 18 May, as reported at the London parish council, he had left Britain for good.
As an army chaplain, Major Hodys functioned as a biritual priest, also serving in the Latin Rite. In order to take up McGuiness’s offer, did he have to hide the fact that he was married and of the Byzantine Rite? This could be the case as subsequent information contained in the diocesan necrology, and in an interview given in 1978, he concealed his Ukrainian ethnicity and Byzantine-Rite origins. Diocesan records list him, falsely, as having been ordained in Katowice. 
Mercy Hospital chaplain 1978
In America, he anglicised his name to “Anthony” and was briefly placed at Holy Angels Parish, Oklahoma City. The following year, 1950, he was named chaplain to Villa Therese Carmelite Convent and School, where he served for 19 years. Finally, in 1969, he was assigned as chaplain of Mercy Medical Centre of the Sisters of Mercy, where he served for 12 years. He passed to his eternal reward on 28 April 1981 and is buried in Resurrection Memorial Cemetery.
We are still waiting for more information promised by the kind archivist at the Oklahoma City diocesan archive. Perhaps it will clarify some missing points. For example, why did Hodys have to wait until 8 June 1974 to be incardinated into Oklahoma City? Did it have anything to do with the death of his wife two years previously? In the 1978 interview, he appears to have altered his life-history to conceal his Ukrainian past. Hodys said that he had been back to Poland twice and was in contact with his brother and sister. Where did his wife and children live (Poland or USSR?) and did he ever see them again? 

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Yosyf Slipyi enters the Second Vatican Council

"Greeted with an ovation by the Council Fathers, the Metropolitan of Lviv of the Greek Catholic Rite, Józef Slipyj, made a firm and authoritative intervention against atheism at the council session on 11 day of this month [November].

In his speech, the Metropolitan appealed to the Council to find the most appropriate and effective ways for our time to fight this widespread evil and danger throughout the entire world. This appeal to create specific norms for the apostolate of the struggle against atheism made a profound impression on those present. It was like an echo of the words of the Holy Father, spoken at the opening of the second session of the Council.

The first appeal to the struggle against atheism, at the Council, came from the lips of a bishop from behind the Iron Curtain.

The Metropolitan also requested that the Council raise the Metropolitan See of Kiev-Halych to the rank of a patriatchate: the Uniate bishop emphasized that those lands belonged to the sphere of Western Christianity, and of their connection with Catholic Rome and the See of St. Peter."

– Information Service of the Embassy of the Polish Republic to the Vatican, no. 31, Rome, 13 November 1963. 

Saturday 2 March 2019

On the 80th Anniversary of the Election of Pius XII

In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI opened the files of the Pontificate of Pius XI (1922–1939). Documents of the archives of the Apostolic See can be consulted up to 11 February 1939, with some exceptions. One such exception are the fascicles concerning the death of Pius XI and the election of Pius XII in the Archive of the Nunciature of Warsaw, in the Vatican Secret Archives. They contain updates from the Roman Curia to the Warsaw Nunciature and official messages of congratulation. Local church archives are invariably open beyond February 1939, and I have translated a message from the Oriental Congregation addressed to Bishop Ladyka, which was sent to all Eastern Catholic superiors. Historians eagerly await the opening of at least a portion of the Apostolic See's archives from of Pius XII's pontificate. Perhaps this eightieth anniversary will be the harbinger of that happy event. 

Update: On 4 March 2019, Pope Francis announced that he has consented to the opening of the fonds of the pontificate of Pius XII (1939–1958), on 2 March 2020.

From the Archive of the Nunciature of Warsaw:

Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini to Archbishop Filippo Cortesi, Nuncio

2/III 1939
Vatican City
[I have the] pleasure to announce [that] Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli [has been] elected Supreme Pontiff Pius XII [,] alleluja. Deign [to] make [the] announcement [to the Polish] Government.

Cardinal Eugène Tisserant to Archbishop Filippo Cortesi

Vatican City, 2 March 1939

Your Excellency will not have failed to notice the delicate allusion that the new Pontiff addressed, in His first message, not only to the Bishops, the Clergy and to all the children of the Catholic Church spread everywhere across the world, – especially those who are suffering in poverty and pain – but “also to those who dwell outside the bounds of the Catholic Church.” And undoubtedly among the first of these, the heart of the Supreme Pontiff included the separated brethren to which, moreover, the August hope that Pius XII made a point of expressing is addressedthat “they would willingly accept divine assistance from Us, at this most solemn hour which We have implored in prayer from Almighty God.”

From the Archive of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg:

Cardinal Eugène Tisserant to each Eastern Catholic hierarch

Vatican City, 2 March 1939

            Eastern Christianity has very particular reasons to share the joy of the Catholic world at the election of the Most Eminent Lord Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli as Supreme Pontiff with the name of Pius XII.
            He is not new to eastern religious questions as, in His multiple offices, He often dealt with them with vigilant attention and always with desirous hope of a priest and apostle. Now Pius XII assumes the Prefecture of the Sacred Congregation for the Eastern Church after already having offered, for many years, the wisdom of his counsel for its better administration, while fervidly and prudently collaborating with the codification of Eastern canon law.
            And if His office of Supreme Pontiff – which He seems to indicate in the very choice of name – will be inspired by the magnanimous paths traced by the genius and piety of Pius XI, then the East is certain to have, in Pius XII, a Shepherd like the Former, lovingly solicitous of its every need and hope. And if, from the motto borne on his coat of arms “Opus iustitiae pax,” it is reasonable to envision a program, then it can be said that, by Pius XII, the East will continue to be governed with that goodness and justice which are the only sources of peace.
            And wherefore, Most Reverend Excellency, may Your joy be great and that of all the clergy and people which constitutes your crown, and may their feelings of filial devotion and generous confidence reach the Most High, Who again has given the Church its Visible Head. A new era of greatness and glory is announced for Catholicism, and the Christian East shall have the richest part in this general rejoicing.
            United to Your Excellency and to His entire diocese in rendering praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, I again unite myself to Your prayer and to those of Your faithful, that the sweetest Mother of God will protect, comfort, and enlighten, the Holy Father Pius XII in the Pontificate which begins today. 

From the Archive of the Nunciature of Warsaw:

Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky to Archbishop Filippo Cortesi

In Pace.                       Léopol, 9 March 1939.

            I beg Your Excellency to deign to receive, in the name of His Holiness the Pope, the homage of obedience, of fidelity and of piety, which I present to Him on the day of His Holiness’s coronation in the name of my clergy, my faithful, and my own mediocrity.
            The magnificent conclave of 2 March was such a striking manifestation of the unity of the Church, that we felt a very great joy. Permit, Excellency, that I congratulate you – who takes the place of the Holy Father. This conclave, no less than the August Person of Pius XII, increases our supernatural hope that, under the reign of this pontiff, the poor eastern nations separated from the Church by the Eastern schism, will return, little by little, to the unity of the Catholic Church, or move toward this unity by evermore understanding that it is the word of the Almighty. 

Wednesday 6 February 2019

The Warsaw Nunciature and the Lateran Pacts

The following telegram was sent by Cardinal Pietro Gasparri to the apostolic nuncio in Warsaw, Archbishop Francesco Marmaggi:

rome, 6 february 1929, 8:30 pm

no222- tomorrow thursday [you] will communicate [to the] diplomatic corps the following:

two years ago [the] italian governent confidentially expressed [a desire to] settle [the] roman question.

[the] holy father  asked all [the] cardinals who said [he] should not refuse such desire in comformity [with the] noted response [of] leo xiii.

private conferences [took place] for express conditions [of] his holiness [which] led [to the] stipulation not only [of a] treaty but also [of a] concordat to settle [the] italian religious [question].

both convenetions [are] inseperable [and their] signing [is] imminent.

[the] treaty ensures [to the] holy see essentially [the] arrangement always desired [: the] right to complete liberty [and] independence really necessary [to] govern [the] universal church.

[the] concordat sufficiently accounts [for the] religious situation [in] italy.

y.[our] i.[llustrious] l.[ordship is to] remain [in] warsaw.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Canadian Greek-Catholic Statutes 1915

A facsimile of the 1915 Statutes (Norms) of the Ruthenian [Greek]-Catholic Church in Canada is now available online. The text of this document is reproduced in Ukrainian and English and analysed in Bishop David Motiuk's book Eastern Christians in the New World, and is also discussed in my historical biography of Blessed Nykyta Budka, God's Martyr, History's Witness (p. 85–88)The online scan of the original publication, intended for the use of the clergy only, provides a fascinating picture of the Greek-Catholic Church in Canada (which included Ukrainians, Rusyns, and Slovaks) in the setting of First World War Canadian society. Drafted by canonist. Rev Dr Amvroziy Redkevych (1880–1961), the norms were later approved by Bishop Budka with his clergy at the first diocesan synod in Yorkton, Saskatchewan in January 1915. This text interesting for its archaic Ukrainian orthography, which was in use among Galician Ukrainians until the end of the First World War.