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Joseph Bonchonsky  (jpbonchonsky@gmail.com)
AMERICAN BYZANTINE CATHOLIC RESEARCH CENTER 1334 RAMONA DRIVE, MOUNT SHASTA CA 96067 #393 NOV 2014 CURCH UNITY CHALLENGE ... SINS CHURCH UNITY CHALLENGE ... SINS We are all sinners as we attempt to live the good life. Many sin to a great height and the higher the religious position in the One Church, the sin magnifies. Fortunately, our sins, when properly confessed, are forgiven, THANK GOD. When Our Lord established our trial on earth, He knew that our trial on earth would be difficult and comprised of many tests and many may sin. As members of the faithful, we have high expectations of our Church Leaders and when their sins are made public, we are disappointed. For example, the sins by priests, in the pedophilia sin was/is a disastrous issue with many borderline Catholics, but when a bishop mishandled the forgiveness by not removing the guilty priest, the practicing faithful became alarmed. On top of that, when the same process of secrecy was that of many bishops, the faithful lost trust in our bishops’ management capabilities. Instead of cleaning house, the bishops were not only concerned for the individual priest but also the potential priest shortage, surely, the bishops were not working together, or where they? Can you picture the disgrace to the faithful committed by our combined bishops? Can you picture the lost billions of $ that could have schooled married vocations? The problem with the above example is that the sins of the bishops are not only complex but also plentiful over the centuries. The sins of concern do not include the “so-called” sins of questionable actions but those of known worldwide impact. The Great Schism of 1054 that separated the One Church into the Roman West and the Orthodox East is of major importance, worldwide. The actual causes for the separation are multiple but the inability by the bishops of the East and West to resolve their positions is a major sin of concern. Priests are the backbone of the One Church, and bishops are positioned as Church Leaders to fulfill the Instructions of Jesus, Our Savior. In every celebration of the Divine Liturgy, we pray for our bishops. Many individual bishops have unbelievable sainthood in their actions of fulfilling their duties and most go unnoticed. The questions of concern are those of multiple bishops participating in the same sin. The USA Roman Catholic bishops, of which there were many that denied my Apostolic Particular Rusyn Catholic Church of a papal-approved canon for a married clergy, persecuted my Apostolic Church. Why? It was not ignorance of the canon but ignorance of the Apostolic foundation of the One Church. If it was but one Roman bishop, forgiveness would be automatic. But as in the pedophile issue, a number of bishops obviously conspired to mishandle the status and in the married clergy issue, the papal-approved canon of Apostolic Churches. Why? In the history of the Apostolic Churches, the bishops’ sins are plentiful but the question of “Why?” continues. There are many answers and let us discuss one of them. The cause of the priest shortage is that our Roman Catholic bishops decided to “choose” the “preferred celibate” priest because at one time they exemplified the advantages in missions. This decision eventually limited the priests to a smaller number and missions suffered. The priest celibacy status was deemed more important than the saving of souls by an unlimited number of priests “called” by Our Lord. Why? Our Roman Catholic bishops ignored the fact that Our Lord called married men to be His Apostles and the early centuries of married Roman Catholic priests was also ignored. Why? The obvious answer was that the Roman Catholic bishops who initiated this requirement would have an uncontested unilateral understanding or sitting more closely to the side of Jesus. The obedience factor was initiated when the factually known solution was deemed “off the table.” To sin is human and our bishops are to be forgiven. However, to continue the sin of conducting a “priest shortage” is a continuous sin. The Orthodox East in following Our Lord’s example of “choosing” married men to be His Apostles have a married clergy (except for their hierarchy) and now the Roman West and Orthodox East are in search of Church Unity. This example of an easily recognized difference can be readily solved. The problem is that there are many differences and after 960 years (1054-2014) of dialogue to resolve the differences, the differences remain. Presently, there is no immediate solution because bishops will be bishops. The tactics by some bishops for the entirety of the second millennium do not indicate change. Will there be a change? There must be a change, back to the Twelve Apostles. We are prayerful, hopeful, but a miracle is required. Will there be a miracle? Only God knows. In the meantime, here at the ABCRC, and having lived through a lifetime of persecution by Roman Catholic bishops, we are obligated to fulfill our duties as members of our Rusyn faithful to the best of our abilities. We will attempt to avoid sins but like the Roman bishops we are also human. When our, my, Apostolic Particular Rusyn Catholic Church in the USA has been reduced from 297,822 faithful in 1963 to 83,315 faithful in 2013 and knowing that there were more than 1,000,000 Rusyns in the USA and the fact that Roman Catholic bishops created our priest shortage in 1883, 1907, 1929, and 1998 by sinful acts, one must be active in correcting the wrong and asking for forgiveness for the offending bishops. It is incumbent upon those of us who have faithfully followed our Church canons, papal-approved, to correct intentional wrongs and abuses thereof. Acknowledging that it is difficult to discuss the subject with Roman Catholic bishops, we have been opportuned with Pope Francis’ call for an action item by the Pontifical Council for Church Unity with our brother Apostolic Orthodox Churches. The requirements for Church Unity will surely include past actions by Roman Catholic bishops against my Apostolic Particular Rusyn Catholic Church in the USA. We feel obligated to take advantage of this opportunity where the Roman Catholics will have to correct the wrongs previously committed. As a result, here at the ABCRC, we will provide our articles to present the status. GOD IS WITH US GO WITH GOD Joseph P. Bonchonsky
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Displaying 393 NOV 2014 CHURCH UNITY CHALLENGE ... SINNERS.docx.
Joseph Bonchonsky,
Nov 24, 2014, 2:24 PM