Aleksandr Voznesensky: How the US Uses the Vatican to Spread Catholicism in Orthodox Ukraine

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

08/11/2018 1/2

After precisely the Catholic church became one of the main driving forces during the coup of 2014 in Ukraine, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Svyatoslav Shevchuk stated that now in Ukraine the largest expansion of uniates in all the history of the country is taking place.

During his trip to the US, Shevchuk shared his joy and achievements: “Now the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church develops powerfully. Such prompt development of our Church that we have had over the past 5 years, we, perhaps, haven’t seen since the moment the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church exited the underground in the early 90’s. Now, perhaps, there is no large city in Ukraine where a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church isn’t being built,” stated the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

I.e., using the loyalty of the authorities that came to power after the coup of 2014, Ukrainian Greek-Catholics launched the most powerful campaign for the expansion on orthodox territories. You will probably ask: how is this so, after all, the Pope condemned uniatism during a meeting in Havana with patriarch Kirill and called orthodox believers brothers? But I will sadden you up to impossibility – the fact is that after all these statements the Pope personally sent money to the uniates for the construction of a cathedral in Kharkov, i.e., for more effective and quick expansion of uniates towards the East of Ukraine. That’s why the public statements of the Pope and real actions of the Catholic church are two very different things.

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For those who aren’t familiar with the topic of the role of Catholics in the coup in Ukraine, I will point out only a small part of the facts:

  • The Maidan in Lvov, which became the main platform for sending protesters to Kiev, was started by students of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) (a bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the American Boris Gudzyak – the old friend of H. Clinton, heads this educational institution, and it is financed by funds like USAID, NED USA, the Soros fund, and so forth);

  • The Maidan in Kiev was started by the journalist Mustafa Nayyem, who already in 2012 appeared on the official website of the Ukrainian Catholic University as “an expert of the Master’s program of journalism of UCU”. It is obvious that in the first evening of protests some more employees of UCU “completely incidentally” appeared on Maidan together with Nayyem;

  • On December 12th (after 10 days of protests) the bishop Boris Gudzyak on the air of TV stated that half of everyone who comes to Maidan in Kiev are parishioners of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (more than 90% of the parishes of this church are still contained in the boundaries of 4 western regions of Ukraine);

  • Almost all supporter of Maidan abroad were closely connected to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, priests were often the leaders of meetings, and sometimes these rallies started directly from the doors of temples.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Chicago

But most interesting is the fact that I managed to find receipts showing that the highest hierarches of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church were personally involved in transferring money to protesters in Kiev from supporters of Maidan in Europe.

On November 23rd, 2013 in Portugal uniates, like, in fact, in a number of other countries, carried out rallies in memory of the so-called Holodomor. Before the rally began the bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Iosif Milyan arrived in Lisbon. This person holds a very high position in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church – he heads the Pastoral Migration Department of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and in fact is responsible for the distribution and arrangement of the entire structure. The following day took a church service devoted to the Holodomor topic with the participation of the episcopate of the Roman Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and the Constantinople Patriarchate took place in a Catholic cathedral. After the church service believers and priests went to carry out a rally in support of Maidan.

Soon Bishop Iosif Milyan again arrived in Lisbon. At the same time, on the website of the Union of Ukrainians of Portugal we discover details: during the trip he was given money that was intended for protesters in Kiev, as is evidenced by the corresponding receipt posted on this website.

“Report about collected donations on 8.12.2013 in Lisbon for Euromaidan”

Moreover, a few days later the same website published a document that describes how the priest who accompanied Bishop Iosif Milyan, Igor Gakh, already transferred money to the priest of the Greek Catholic Church in Kiev, and the latter thanks him for supporting Maidan.

“Report about charity donations that were collected in Lisbon and handed over for the needs of Euromaidan in Kiev”

Against this background, hearing the statements of the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk – who both during Maidan and after it, declares the apolitical nature of his structure – is laughable.

And here is the head of UCU, the bishop Boris Gudzyak, during the first rally in support of the Ukrainian Maidan in Brussels.

Perhaps, it is possible to add to this picture the fact that the main radical force of Maidan – representatives of “Right Sector” who are in their majority members of the organisation “Trizub” of Stepan Bandera, which in turn has officially cooperated with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church for decades and carries out security functions during mass actions.

I.e., it is exactly thanks to the violent seizure of power, which the Catholic church played an enormous role in, that now there is talk about the largest in all of history expansion of Catholicism on the territory of orthodox Ukraine.

Lastly, here are some words concerning the “prompt development” in the early 90’s that Svyatoslav Shevchuk mentioned. The fact is that during that period representatives of uniatism violently seized thousands of temples on the territory of western Ukraine. These violent seizures were often accompanied by orthodox believers and priests being beaten up. Sometimes affairs ended in murders. Here is what Shevchuk meant, saying beautiful phrases about the “prompt development” of his church structure.

Actually, it is possible to draw one conclusion from the speech of the head of uniates: the radicalisation of society and violent methods are the foundations for the further development of this church.

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