AMERICAN BYZANTINE CATHOLIC RESEARCH CENTER 1334 RAMONA DRIVE, MOUNT SHASTA CA 96067 #362 AUGUST 2014 CHURCH UNITY … PATRIARCHS CHURCH UNITY … PATRIARCHS The sui iuris management of each Apostolic Particular Church is the responsibility of a Patriarch or one of an equivalent nomenclature. In my case, the Slavic Apostles Cyril and Methodius founded my Byzantine Church, at that time they were part of the Christian (Catholic) Church. Today, Our Church Leader is titled as a Metropolitan and he is sui iuris. When Our Lord instructed the Twelve Apostles to “go forth,” the process of Apostolic Succession was to be instituted. Our founding Apostle was Saint Andrew, the first called, and then the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople who assigned Saints Cyril and Methodius to evangelize Our People. In our beginning (863), our management channel was very specific. No other Patriarch (second level) was to lead us in our growth. There are nine Apostolic Particular Byzantine Churches in our portion of the One Church. Unfortunately, in the Great Schism of 1054, we were separated without any action on our part. It was not until 1646, did 63 priests in our particular Church lead us back to Church Unity with the Pope in Rome. We lost our status as members of the Apostolic Orthodox Churches. And, in fact, we lost our relationship to an Eastern Patriarch. We were no longer under the protection of the East and we succumbed to the whims of Roman bishops who in too many activities imposed Roman dictates upon our Metropolitan bishops for centuries. From 1646 to this present day, we have been treated like second class citizens of the Roman Church. We were denied some of our customs and traditions and even our canons. While the European Byzantine Catholics became subjects of Rome directly, we Byzantine Catholics in the Diaspora became subjects to local Roman Catholic bishops who were disadvantaged without appropriate knowledge of our Apostolic Church canons, customs, and traditions. The ABCRC web site www.abcrc.us details many of the injustices. As a result of the Roman bishop practices, we have been persecuted, ignored, and divided. In 1963, the USA Apostolic Byzantine Rusyn Catholic Church had 312,793 faithful and in 2013, we number 83,315 faithful. While there are many causes, the primary cause is the loss of our married priest canon, denied to us by USA Roman Catholic bishops via Ea Semper (1907) and Cum data fuerit (1929). In the European portion of our Apostolic Church, the communists exterminated our Apostolic Church and within 20 years after 1989, we fully recovered with an oversupply of priests, mostly married. First of all, the USA Roman Catholic Church had no legal right to lead the fight and mandate celibacy upon our Sui iuris Church against a papal-approved canon which we honored from the days of Saint Andrew, our initial Patriarch. Each Catholic, worldwide, must have their own Patriarch in order to evangelize all. It is bad enough to have opponents from outside, Our One Church should not establish opponents from within. There should be no one between each Patriarch and the Pope as established by Jesus, Our Lord. The position of cardinal, bishop, and any other titled priest must be within their own obligations if we are to attain Church Unity. The Oriental Congregation, too often, has had Roman bishops in their offices and Cum data fuerit is typical of their mismanagement and we Byzantines have paid a high price for not having our own Patriarch. Each non-Roman Apostolic Particular Church must have their own Patriarch as instructed by the selection of Twelve Apostles by our Lord and the Apostolic Succession that has been established to provide Church Unity. The present Synod of Bishops planned Assembly must not duplicate the mistakes of the past. GOD IS WITH US GO WITH GOD Joseph P. Bonchonsky
Joseph Bonchonsky,
Aug 30, 2014, 10:22 AM