The Uniates Honor Their Martyrs of Communism

Source: FSSPX News

Celebration of the Divine Liturgy at a clandestine chapel

For its 25th anniversary, the Greek Catholic Ukrainian Church’s Institute of History (IHE) has published a Black Book on the anti-Catholic persecution perpetrated by the Soviet power in the country during the 20th century.

In union with Rome since 1596, the Uniate Church was persecuted under Lenin and forbidden by Stalin, who forcefully integrated it into orthodoxy in 1946. Only a third of the clergy accepted to join the Patriarchate of Moscow that was in the hands of the Soviet power. Most resigned themselves to exile abroad. A minority of the clergy, about 10%, chose to go underground, with the risk of paying for it in the Gulags.

The sources for this Black Book on the anti-Catholic persecution are to be found in the IHE’s substantial collection: 9,000 photographs, 5,000 documents and 2,281 interviews, with 150,000 pages of transcribed testimonies. The work shows the ordinations in concentration camps, the preservation of the monastic life, the offices celebrated in the woods, the studies in underground seminaries, but also the surveillance and repression of the clergy, and the priests who died in deportation.

Although the fall of the Communist regime allowed the Greek Catholic Church of Ukraine to officially resurrect on December 1, 1989, there still remain other battles to be won, sometimes even within the Church, paradoxically enough, especially since Pope Francis, when he received a delegation from the Patriarchate of Moscow on May 30, 2018, firmly rejected Uniatism as a “path of unity today”. As if there could exist any other path to promote the unity of the Church besides that of extinguishing heresies and encouraging schismatic Christians to return to the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church founded by St. Peter (cf. Mt. 16:18).

Lidiya Houbytch and Svitlana Hourkina

Persécutés pour la Vérité : Les gréco-catholiques ukrainiens derrière le rideau de fer

éditions de l’Université Catholique d’Ukraine

192 pages, 40 €.