SSPX in the Ukraine?

Maybe someone can find out more about this. I am hearing that Ukrainian Catholic bishops in the Ukraine are upset that some priests of the SSPX are working there and having some successes. Any news about this?

I have been saying that the East, especially the Orthodox, must be watching us to see what we are doing about liturgy.

UPDATE

Here is a story in CWN:

Byzantine Catholics decry Lefebvrite inroads in Ukraine

Lviv, Dec. 1, 2006 (CWNews.com) – An archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church has denounced the ordination of 2 priests and 7 deacons for the schismatic Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), and the participation of a Ukrainian priest in the Warsaw ceremony.

Bishop Richard Williamson, one of the four bishops illicitly ordained by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebre in 1988, presided at the ordinations, with Father Vasyl Kovpak, the head of the SSPX in Ukraine, taking part. Most of the people attending the ordinations were Ukrainian traditionalists.

Archbishop Ihor Vozniak of Lviv said that the ordination of priests to serve in Ukraine was a "criminal" act, since Bishop Williamson ignored the authority of the Roman and Byzantine Catholic bishops of the region. Archbishop Vozniak, who heads the Byzantine Church in Lviv, stressed that none of the priests ordained by Williamson would have permission to serve Ukrainian Catholic parishes.

The Lviv archdiocese complained bitterly about the presence of Lefebvrite priests in the city, saying that the traditionalist clerics were causing confusion and division among the faithful. The archdiocese was particularly critical of Father Kovpak, saying that "he deceives the church by declaring that he is a Greek [Byzantine] Catholic priest," while supporting a group that uses the old Latin liturgy exclusively, eschewing the Byzantine tradition, and does not maintain allegiance to the Holy See. Officials of the Lviv archdiocese said that Father Kovpak could face excommunication from the Byzantine Catholic Church.

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31 Responses to SSPX in the Ukraine?

  1. RBrown says:

    Neither would not surprise me.

    But I did hear that JPII was extremely upset when he found out that the SSPX was in Poland.

  2. RBrown says:

    Neither would not surprise me.

    Should be: Neither would surprise me.

  3. Dan Hunter says:

    The SSPX MUST be brought back into full communion with Rome

  4. Aq says:

    http://galerie.piusx.org.pl/v/ordinations06/ – photos from the ceremony in Warsaw.

  5. Kurt says:

    Father Z,

    I realize this question is off topic, but since you are in Rome I thought I would ask. There have been rumors going on that the Masses in St. Peter’s (or at least the main Mass every day) are now in Latin (except for the readings and petitions) by order of Pope Benedict. Is there any truth to this?

  6. RC says:

    Apparently Fr. Vasyl (sometimes written as “Basil”) Kovpak has adopted a form of “traditionalism”, opposing the use of Ukrainian vernacular in the liturgy and desiring to preserve Latin Rite devotions that were adopted by the Greek Catholics.

    Photos on a traditionalist-Redemptorist site appear to show that he gathered lay supporters, refused to accept deposition from his pastorate in 2004 and established a “seminary” at the church.

  7. Matthew says:

    RBrown:
    A few of the issues of JPII’s pontificate had a certain aura of NIMBY about them – Not In My BackYard. It has been widely reported that he did not believe in the seriousness of the pedophilia scandal in the west because communists in Poland had used these charges to discredit priests in Poland. In the ’80′s there were substantial rumors that he was more lenient in granting dispensations to priests from Poland who left than priests who desired to lieave ministry from other countries. Given that Poland was often lauded as a model for the implementation of Vatican II in Europe it is easy to see why admitting that the SSPX had Polish sympathizers would be embarassing.
    Matthew

  8. There have been rumors going on that the Masses in St. Peter’s (or at least the main Mass every day) are now in Latin (except for the readings and petitions) by order of Pope Benedict.

    There certainly have been reports to this effect posted by visitors returning from Rome. But as for the “by order of Pope Benedict”, might it not simply reflect an increased enlightment on part of St. Peter’s liturgists and their desire to (at long last) carry out the true intent of Vatican II?

  9. William casey says:

    I was in Rome a couple of weeks ago for the CIEL colloquium and made a point of going into the Basilica to check the rumour. The evening mass at the altar of the Cathedra is in Latin (Novus Ordo), as it always was, as is the “International Mass” (also Novus Ordo) at 10.30 on Sundays. Alas, the two other masses which I witnessed were in eyetie.
    I have no doubt, however, that things will improve. It is certainly much easier to arrange for a Traditional Latin Mass to be said in the Basilica.

  10. B. says:

    Those priests belong to the “Society of St. Josaphat”, which was founded by Fr. Kovpak.
    Ironically one of their goals is “the conversion of the schismatic east” to submission to the papacy.

    It is understandable that they get support in the Ukraine, though. These are Catholics who were persecuted during the Soviet Time, and often with help from the Orthodox, and as soon as the Soviet Empire breaks down they get ordered by the Vatican to get rid of all Roman specialties (way of the cross, rosary, filioque) in order to play nice to the Orthodox.

  11. dcs says:

    Yes, the Society of St. Josaphat promotes Slavonic in the Liturgy (instead of the vernacular) and opposes the de-Latinization of the Ukrainian Church (i.e., they support of the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, and devotions to the Sacred Heart that Ukrainians have practiced for centuries).

  12. RBrown says:

    I was in Rome a couple of weeks ago for the CIEL colloquium and made a point of going into the Basilica to check the rumour. The evening mass at the altar of the Cathedra is in Latin (Novus Ordo), as it always was, as is the “International Mass” (also Novus Ordo) at 10.30 on Sundays. Alas, the two other masses which I witnessed were in eyetie.
    I have no doubt, however, that things will improve. It is certainly much easier to arrange for a Traditional Latin Mass to be said in the Basilica.

    Are you CPM?

  13. Kurt says:

    Thanks Henry and RBrown,

    What I am trying to check out is not so much if the Holy Father has ordered it, but how much of the Mass was actually in Latin. Someone told me that only some parts were in Latin but that, for example, the priest’s propers (Collect, Secret and PostCommunion) were in Italian. Others have said, “No, everything but the readings and petitions were in Latin.” Maybe you didn’t pay that close attention–and I hate to take up so much space on this issue–it is just that I have someone who is saying that “we shouldn’t do a full Latin Mass (1970 Missal) because they don’t even do it in St. Peter’s anymore.”

    Actually I am KRP, not CPM.

  14. “we shouldn’t do a full Latin Mass (1970 Missal) because they don’t even do it in St. Peter’s anymore.”

    I don’t have the St Peter’s liturgical timetable to hand, but at least some of the Masses are scheduled to be completely in Latin. I guess the question is whether the ones that used to be in Italian are now wholly or partially switching over to Latin.

  15. Paul Haley says:

    I really wish the Byzantine representative, Archbishop Ihor Vozniak of Lviv, would get his facts straight concerning the SSPX; Cardinal Castrillon, former Head of the Congregation of the Clergy, has said they are not schismatic. Which is it? Why is it that the Traditional Latin Rite is perceived as such a threat? We all know the supreme law of the church is the salvation of souls and no law can trump that law. Isn’t this what all Catholics should be concerned with? Why are we fighting among ourselves?

  16. Kenjiro Shoda says:

    The Society of St. Josaphat is a comunity of traditional Ukranian priests who wish to preserve their Rite in old Slavonic, rather than in the vernacular. They also keep the Western Church traditions that have always been part of the Uniate Ukranian Catholic Church (Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary etc.). Believe it or not, the established “Vatican II” Ukranian Church has tried to de-emphasize these devotions because they offend the Russian Orthodox. The answer of the Society of St. Josephat apprarently has been basically “shove it” to the official Church. The traditionalists in the Ukrain have garnered tremendous support among the faithful. So much so that Cardinal Husar has complained that His diocese is suffering from a slow bleed of faithful and vocations away from the established Church and to the traditionalist Ukrainian Rite priests faithful to the SSPX.
    The SSPX has also been helpful in re-establishing a community of monks in the Ukraine, and also a flourishing convent of traditional Ukrainian Rite Basilian Sisters.
    The great growth of the traditionalist movement in both Poland, and the Ukraine is a tremendous embarassment to the entire hierarchy in both countries.
    Some Catholics can condemn them all they like and shout that they are schismatic, disloyal, etc. But the point is…which group is growing and blessed with vocations, and which group is dying.
    What is the old saying “By their frutis you will know them”…or something like that.

  17. Kenjiro Shoda says:

    The end quote should be, of course “By their fruits you shall know them”. Sorry of the mispelling.

  18. It has been confirmed at the Vatican several times, most notably by Cdl Castrillon Hoyos but also by others, that the SSPX is not a schismatic group.

    I do not doubt that they are having success among the byzantines. They are having success in many places because of their seriousness and reverence.

    I say let them alone and stop carrying on over them. It’s not like we’re going to deliver the byzantines to Rome in union with us. The Byzantines glare at our awful practices even more than the SSPX does. If they are able to come back to Rome with the byzantines in tow, then hooray for them. We have not been able to do it in 1000 years.

  19. Jordan Potter says:

    “Some Catholics can condemn them all they like and shout that they are schismatic, disloyal, etc. But the point is…which group is growing and blessed with vocations, and which group is dying.
    What is the old saying ‘By their fruits you will know them’”…or something like that.”

    Ah yes, the very same argument that the proponents of the spurious Medjugorje apparitions use to “prove” that even though the Church does not approve of Medjugorje or see any evidence of heavenly apparitions, nevertheless the Church’s authority can be flouted in this matter.

    “It has been confirmed at the Vatican several times, most notably by Cdl Castrillon Hoyos but also by others, that the SSPX is not a schismatic group.”

    Yes, the good Cardinal has expressed that personal opinion. Even more, the Church prefers that we not refer to the Eastern Orthodox as “schismatic.” And yet it could hardly be that the Eastern Orthodox are in communion with the Catholic Church. So, say “impaired communion” if you will, or say “schism.” It all amounts to the same thing: they are not in communion with the Pope and therefore do not enjoy the grace of unity with the Church.

  20. Ben D. says:

    michigancatholic, I think the Byzantines under discussion in this thread are already in union with Rome. These are Ukrainian Catholics, not Ukrainian Orthodox. Forgive me if that’s already clear, but it sounded from your post like you weren’t distinguishing betweeen the two.

  21. RC says:

    The CWNews story needs a couple of clarifications.

    The ordination in Warsaw was of priests and deacons for the Society of St. Josephat, not the SSPX. Regardless of any statements by Cdl. Castillon about SSPX members, the Ukrainian bishops are perfectly within their rights to judge the SSJ schismatic.

    It’s puzzling that officials of the Lviv archdiocese would say that Fr. Kovpak is at risk of excommunication for his actions, since he was already excommunicated in 2004.

  22. charles R. Williams says:

    So the SSJ want to preserve Slavonic and they want to preserve the Latin innovations adopted by (forced on?) the Ukrainian Catholics after the Union of Brest.

    What “emergency” justifies their disobedience? The “modernist” Ukrainian hierarchy? Some defect in the Byzantine Rite? Have they installed rosary detectors their churches?

    It is possible that the Ukrainian Church has been insensitive to the customary forms of piety to which some of the laity are attached but what justifies the “I’ll have it my way or not at all” attitude of these people?

  23. Sorry, Ben. I thought we were referring to some Orthodox group outside unity with Rome and not the Byzantine & Ukranian rites, which are already in union.

    I also wasn’t quite sure why, if they are in union with Rome, Roman-style devotions should be denied them. This sort of thing can be a huge driver which some authorities in the Church seem to underestimate grossly.

  24. RBrown says:

    Thanks Henry and RBrown,

    What I am trying to check out is not so much if the Holy Father has ordered it, but how much of the Mass was actually in Latin. Someone told me that only some parts were in Latin but that, for example, the priest’s propers (Collect, Secret and PostCommunion) were in Italian. Others have said, “No, everything but the readings and petitions were in Latin.” Maybe you didn’t pay that close attention—and I hate to take up so much space on this issue—it is just that I have someone who is saying that “we shouldn’t do a full Latin Mass (1970 Missal) because they don’t even do it in St. Peter’s anymore.”

    Actually I am KRP, not CPM.

    Interesting, but my question was for William Casey not you. That is why I quoted his text.

  25. RBrown says:

    Let’s do this again:

    Thanks Henry and RBrown,

    What I am trying to check out is not so much if the Holy Father has ordered it, but how much of the Mass was actually in Latin. Someone told me that only some parts were in Latin but that, for example, the priest’s propers (Collect, Secret and PostCommunion) were in Italian. Others have said, “No, everything but the readings and petitions were in Latin.” Maybe you didn’t pay that close attention—and I hate to take up so much space on this issue—it is just that I have someone who is saying that “we shouldn’t do a full Latin Mass (1970 Missal) because they don’t even do it in St. Peter’s anymore.”

    Actually I am KRP, not CPM.

    Interesting, but my question was for William Casey not you. That is why I quoted his text.

  26. Brian says:

    The Ukrainian Greek Catholics suffered greatly under the Russian communists. The Orthodox were often complicit in the persecutions against the Ukrainian Catholics.

    As a result, many Ukrainian Catholics cling to Latin devotions as a way of maintaining their Ukrainian Catholic identity, and greatly resent the efforts by ecumenists to strip away these Latin pious practices to placate the Orthodox.

    There is much more to this whole picture than what is on the surface.

    That said, the SSPX has no business whatsoever invading the eastern rite, which has been maintained intact, in liturgy and sacraments, despite VII.

  27. Marcin says:

    michigancatholic:
    “I also wasn’t quite sure why, if they are in union with Rome, Roman-style devotions should be denied them. This sort of thing can be a huge driver which some authorities in the Church seem to underestimate grossly.”

    Of course! I am not sure either if they we are in union with Eastern Catholic Churches, Byzantine-style devotions should be denied to us. How about:
    1. communion line and mandatory reception under both Species
    2. no more both hands prayerfully joined together (just take a look at those SSJ neopresbyters, they seem just pretend they are byzantines, with their hand sticking out of phelonia)
    3. nor more “three-language ‘heresy’”
    4. no more kneeling on Sundays and during Paschaltide
    4. and last but not least: standing during Canon (OK, maybe some bowing for the words of Institution, but that won’t make up for kneeling, will it?)

    Or on a smaller and more internal scale – how about those boring old lady-lectors and EMHCs (_horribile dictu_) to be utilized at TLM?

    Mixing rites is a risky business, and it works both ways. After all, as Mr. Williams put it here in his comment, did Abp. Husar “installed rosary detectors their churches?”

    Does anyone smell “praestantia ritus latini” here?

  28. But the rosary is not part of the liturgy. It springs from the liturgy but it’s not part of it. It’s a prayer form.

  29. Alex says:

    Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat of Polotsk, Lviv, Ukraine.

    They maintain Church Slavonic, and think not all Latinizations should be purged, and that especially the Rosary must be maintained as a pious devotion and not rejected as “non-Byzantine”. This is quite correct. Kneeling should be tolerated too by Cardinal Husar, even if I can understand why the Byzantine character must be retained and reinforced (e.g. iconostasis, following the Slavonic Byzantine Rite faithfully, possibly removing “Latin” pews too).

    Major Archbishop Husar should not be condemning faithful attached to Greek Catholic
    practices like the Rosary (which is meant for all Rites and all Catholics!) or other
    private devotions, like the stations of the cross.

    And if they want to return to the pre-16th century Slavonic Byzantine Rite in its pure (“Russian”) form, then why implement modern Ukrainian instead of the Church Slavonic language?

    Why spoil this element of unity among all Slavic Christians, from Croatia to Wladiwostok?

    Because of Ukrainian nationalism? Because of Vatican II? I hope because of neither.

    I wish the newly ordained Ukrainian Rite priests of the Saint Josaphat society, God’s blessings upon their ministry among our Slavic Byzantine Catholic brethren!

  30. Victor says:

    Has anyone of you, who are pontificating so greatly about the Ukrainian Catholics, ever been in Ukraine? Well I have, and I can assure you that latin customs are still very alive within the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC). You can see rosaries, eucharistic devotion, way of the cross and all that stuff everywhere and in almost every Parish. It is just not encouraged to be practised by the bishops, and rightly so. Why should people pray the rosary, which is a substitute for the Liturgy of the Hours, when said Liturgy of the Hours is regularly prayed in many parishes? Why should the bishops of today disobey a request by the Holy Father (mind you, Pope Pius X) to retain or restore the original character of their liturgy? Marcin made some very good points up there: how would you feel if your priest forbade you to kneel on sundays and in eastertime (at all, not only during Canon)? What makes you think latin rite traditional forms of devotion are somehow worth more than their eastern equivalents?
    I wish those illegaly ordained priests that God open their eyes, that they recognize their grave sin and reconcile with their Church (which is, btw, not the Pope, but the Great Archbishop of Kiev).

  31. Sounds like just so many more bigshots trying to make laypeople bend to their wishes. Let the people alone. They’re praying and they’re not running off out of the church. What do you want?