AMERICAN BYZANTINE CATHOLIC RESEARCH CENTER 1334 RAMONA DRIVE, MOUNT SHASTA CA 96067 #377 OCT 2014 CHURCH UNITY CHALLENGE … ORIENTAL CONGREGATION CONGREGATION FOR THE ORIENTAL CHURCHES The modern-day capabilities of conducting research is made more efficient by obtaining documents via the use of the computer without expending time in distant libraries and with the ability to obtain studies conducted by many other researchers worldwide. Many of us have read volumes of good Byzantine historians and when coupled with our own research we are quite confident of verifying the information through the use of the computer’s voluminous text. As a faithful member of an Eastern Catholic Church and filled with experiences from our USA growing days, we have “fixed” our past with troublesome decisions made by others. The “sad” story of my Apostolic Particular Church has always urged us forward to learn the truth through multiple sources. Suspicion on many early activities that have impacted our/my Byzantine Catholic Church in America during our youthful days was not Christian. How could hundreds of thousands of good and faithful Catholic members experience un-Catholic actions by our Roman Catholic Leaders? We multiplied through family expansion and still continued to decrease in statistical status, something was wrong. My parents lived through the Ea Semper and Cum data fuerit days of 1907 and 1929 and our strongly religious and obedient faithful decreased from 312,793 faithful in 1963 to 83,315 faithful in 2013 to provide the need for “cause” and “solution.” The causal history of American Roman bishops was readily available and documented in many books that I devoured. Unbelievable acts by our brother Roman Catholics in their thirst to protect their Roman Catholicism revealed that a conspiracy with Rome had to exist. Upon learning the facts, our/my initial re- action was to assist and correct the wrongs. Arduous study after study was a passion thereafter. Surely Rome cannot be organized or managed to allow for persecution amongst the One Church family. But it did and it continues so. When I first read Ea Semper and Cum data fuerit, I could not believe the position taken by Rome and I had to find out why. The many great American Rusyn historians presented the facts and the number of Rusyns who took the corrective action but were unable to scratch the surface for a solution found many of them, thousands, departing from our religious Byzantine Catholic Church to a welcoming Orthodox Church. Today, we suffer statistically and our Roman friends seek Church Unity with other religions especially the Orthodox. The walls are built high and the moat is deep, filled with martyrs. Yet, it is our Christian duty to expend every ounce of energy to unite and “go forth to make disciples of all” because that is Our Lord’s instructions. While the American Roman bishops accomplished many injurious acts, why did Rome not protect our Apostolic Particular Byzantine Catholic Church from those punishing Roman acts? My years of research have resulted in some conclusive analyses. The advising bodies in Rome to the Popes were predominantly Latin cardinals in high positions. They were the members of a dicastery designed to aid us but in fact they actually harmed us with their advice to the Pope that resulted in documents such as Ea Semper and Cum data fuerit. Let us review the Congregation for the Oriental Churches which advises the Pope on the East. The original Congregation began in 1862 and was organized to assist in our development by protecting our rights. Our problems instead of solutions commenced shortly thereafter. The ABCRC web site, www.abcrc.us details many of the solutions to our problems with the Romans. The one unique commonality was that the Congregation for the Oriental Churches was most often led by a Latin Cardinal and staffed primarily with Roman Catholics. One would believe that if the Pope needed advice concerning the East, he should be advised by Church Leaders of the East. Throughout the multiplicity of our problems with the American Roman Catholic cardinals and bishops, our potential solutions from the Congregation in Rome had to undergo assistance to the Pope from a perspective best to serve Romans. We had no chance of Catholic justice. Please do not read Ea Semper and Cum data fuerit, I want you to remain Catholic. The ten Postulators for the Pontifical Council for Church Unity with the Orthodox will first have to admit the Roman wrongs and then ask for forgiveness. One solution may be a Church Unity Agreement with no Roman Catholics on/in the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, as it should be. When any Pope needs the facts about the East he should be advised by Church Leaders of the East simply because it is their life. There are so many examples of wrong-doing that resulted because of poor advice to past Popes that volumes exist. Without interference from Roman cardinals and bishops, my Byzantine Catholic Church in America could have provided an example for the solution of the priest shortage. The greatest scandal in the world, ever, is our Catholic priest shortage. To deny the Roman faithful of the services of a Catholic priest is the opposite of Our Lord’s instructions. For the Romans to introduce a man made mandate for celibacy especially after the early centuries of their married priests and married Popes and to continue that celibacy decision as the priest shortage increases from 432,247 priests in 1963 to 413,418 in 2913 when we need 8,946,306 priests today is certainly proof positive that Pope Francis needs management assistance. Church Unity must allow the Orthodox Churches who have evidenced their following of Our Lord’s instructions to have no interference whatsoever from Rome. To avoid the ills of micro-management there is to be absolutely no administrative contact with Rome except from the Patriarchs directly to the Pope on matters of faith. The present-day advisors to the Pope on improving Church management must review the wrongs of the past and provide unbiased suggestions to have the best channels of Church Leadership in Unity. The ten Postulators for the Pontifical Council for Church Unity must review the correctness of Church Unity with the East to provide a successful route for Church Unity with other religions. GOD IS WITH US GO WITH GOD Joseph P. Bonchonsky
Joseph Bonchonsky,
Oct 16, 2014, 2:44 PM