Latinized? | Ukrainian weekly

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History will likely remember 2020 as the year of the Coronavirus. It is also the 300th anniversary of a relatively forgotten but still influential Synod of the Church.

At that time, what is now Ukraine was divided between Russia and Poland-Lithuania. After defeating the last Kozak liberation attempt at Poltava in 1709, Peter I’s autocratic and expansionist Russian empire was in full swing. Sweden was in decline. The Polish-Lithuanian “noble republic”, with its Saxon king and parliamentary system, was weak and disorganized, gradually becoming a virtual Russian protectorate. The Moscow Patriarchate, having illegally annexed the Orthodox Metropolis of Kiev in 1685-1686, will be abolished in 1721 under the reforms of Tsar Peter, which made the Church practically an arm of the state. But in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth the Church’s union was growing, when the Eparchy Peremyshl joined it in the 1690s and, in the early 1700s, the Eparchies of Lviv and Lutsk, the brotherhood of the Dormition of Lviv and the Pochayiv Monastery. It was time to consolidate and organize the Uniate Ruthenian (Belarusian-Ukrainian) Metropolis. A provincial synod was planned in Lviv.

It was in fact an epidemic which caused its transfer to the exquisite Renaissance city of Zamość (Zamostya). Held in August-September 1720, the synod brought together Metropolitan Lev Kyshka, seven bishops, 129 priests and monks, and two lay people from the Lviv brotherhood, as well as the papal nuncio, Girolamo Grimaldi. Confirmed by the Holy See in 1724, its decrees still affect the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church today. (Yurii Fedoriv, ​​Istoriya Tserkvy v. Ukraini, Lviv, 2001, pp. 250-252.)

Ukrainian Orthodox historians took a dim view of the Zamostian Synod and its consequences. Volodymyr Antonovych wrote that after Zamość the union became “a kind of crusade” whose supporters were filled with “fanaticism” and “devoid of all religious and human morals” (“Narys Stanovyshcha Pravoslavnoyi Tserkvy na Ukraini vid Polovyny XVII do Kintsia XVII st. ”, in M. Hrushevsky, O. Levytsky,“ Rozvidky pro Tserkovni Vidnosyny na Ukraini-Rusy XVI-XVIII vv ”, Lviv 1900, reprint 1991, pp. 135-136).

Some of the synodal decisions, such as those confirming the primacy of the Pope and requiring his commemoration in liturgies, were fundamental and obvious. Others concerned practical matters such as diocesan administration, property, seminaries and clerical education, and the duties of priests. Confession and communion were regulated. The monasteries were reformed and reunited under the Basilians. Simony was banned, as were multiple mass intentions. Fasts and holidays have been defined. The teaching on relics, miracles and the worship of saints has been clarified. Only one service log was mandated. Only Basilians – the most educated of the clergy – were eligible to become bishops.

Controversially, however – and despite the will expressed by the bishops in 1595 – the synod added the filioque (“i syna” – “and of the Son”) to the Creed. Recently, this addition was canceled in the Ukrainian Catholic Church in North America, although it is still heard in Ukraine.

Although the Orthodox bishops who requested the reunion with the Roman Church in June 1595 insisted in their “articles” that their rite be preserved intact, and although the Holy See consented in December, the synod of Zamość codified a host of liturgical changes that brought the Uniates closer to the Roman rite. Among them were low (“read”) masses, the baptism of infants by sprinkling rather than by immersion, liturgies at side altars, and the ringing of small bells during service. The addition of hot water (zeon or teplota) to the chalice has been abolished, and a cloth has been substituted for the sponge. Chrismation was authorized; the communion of children was not. (Peter Galadza, “Liturgical Latinization and Ecumenism of Kiev: Losing the Koine of the Koinonia”, Logos, vol. 35 (1994), nos. 1-4, pp. 173-194, at 183-185; o. Iuliian Katrii , ChSVV, “Piznai Svii Obriad, 3rd ed., Lviv, 2004; Viktor Zaslavsky,” Skhidna Tserkva u Yevropeiskykh Shatakh: Zamoiskyi Synod 1720 Roku “, Patriarkhat, n ° 2, 2017, pp. 24-26.)

As Sophia Senyk points out, many of these “Latinizations” had already been introduced by the Uniates themselves, especially after the Khmelnytsky rebellion, when their Church lost its cultural confidence. Driven by feelings of inferiority, they approach the Latin rite. In the midst of advanced Western culture, this may have been inevitable. (Sofia Senyk, “Latynizatsiya v Ukrainskii Katolytskii Tserkvi”, Zbirnyk Prats Yuvileinoho Konhresu, Munich 1988/1989, pp. 269-286). Viktor Zaslavsky argues in the same way that surrounded by the flourishing European culture of Poland-Lithuania, Uniate clergy and devotees naturally absorbed Latin consciousness and aesthetics as well as such practices as statues and side altars, pews, bells, frequent confession and communion and Eucharistic processions. (Zaslavski 26).

The Greco-Catholic synods of Lviv of 1891 and 1992 confirmed the Zamostian liturgical precepts, and although an Instruction from the Congregation for the Oriental Churches effectively revoked most of them in 1996, several are still practiced today. . This is not trivial, because the faith and the liturgy are intimately linked.

Many Ukrainian Catholics denounce the Latinizing effects of Zamość. What is Latinization? Ms. Senyk argues that Latinization is not all borrowing from the West, but rather “the passive and uncritical acceptance of all that is foreign and the simultaneous neglect and forgetting of what is ours.” It is inappropriate when it introduces what is “foreign to the spirit of the Eastern Church”. But each age understands this differently (Senyk 280). Father Peter Galadza defines Latinization as “the importation or imposition on Byzantine rite worship of the spirit, practices and priorities of Latin liturgy and theology”. They are “inappropriate” if they are “inorganic to the Byzantine system”. They are “inorganic” if “the structural, theological or spiritual genius of the Byzantine tradition is violated” (Galadza 176).

Today, should we purify our Byzantine Kyivan Rite of all Latin accretions, or keep those that have been organically assimilated? Should it reflect Ukrainian Orthodox practice? Should we aim for uniformity across Ukraine and our diaspora, or allow varied development nurtured by surrounding cultures? Should the rite be exactly the same in Frackville and Frankivsk – in Peremyshl, Perth and Prudentopolis? There is a lot to ponder.

The author thanks Daniel Galadza for his help in this article.

Andrew Sorokowski can be contacted at [email protected]


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