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Vatican Officially Condemns Activity of Self-Proclaimed Bishops of Pidhirtsi
29 March 2012, 13:17 | UGCC | 3 | | Code for Blog | |
On March 29, 2012, in the Vatican, the "Declaration of the Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith regarding the canonical status of 'the self-proclaimed Greek Catholic bishops of Pidhirtsi,' Illia Dohnal, OSBG, Markian V. Hitiuk, OSBG, Metodii. R. Spirzhyk, OSBG and Robert Oberhauser" was made public.
The document dated February 22 and signed by the Prefect and Secretary of the mentioned agency of the Roman Curia says that “the Apostolic capital anxiously watched the activity of the bishops, who are excluded from the Basilian Order of St. Josaphat and proclaimed themselves bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.”
According to the document, these persons continue to do moral and spiritual harm “not only to the Basilian Order of St. Josafat and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church but also to the Apostolic See and the whole Catholic Church,” which provokes division and confusion among the faithful.
The Congregation noted that “church representatives of various levels from the very beginning of this painful matter made vain attempts to persuade them to stop the behavior which, in addition to other things, can also deceive the faithful, which did happen to a certain number of them.”
“As it cared for the unity of the Christ’s flock, the Apostolic See hoped for the repentance and return of these churchmen to the full unity with the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, the recent events, such as the unsuccessful attempt at state registration of the 'Pidhirtsi Group' as “Ukrainian True-believing Greek Catholic Church” showed their stiffened condition.”
Therefore, considering the common good of the Church and having proved that the self-proclaimed bishops show no sign of repentance but continue to create confusion, particularly “to smear representatives of the Apostolic See and the local Church and to state that the supreme Church authorities hold documents confirming the validity of their bishops’ consecration,” in response to an application of the Church authorities of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and agencies of the Roman Curia, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “has decreed by this declaration to inform the faithful, especially in the countries of origin of the self-proclaimed bishops, about their actual canonical status.”
As it dissociates itself from the actions and false declarations of the self-proclaimed “bishops,” the Congregation stated that it “does not recognize the validity of their bishops’ consecration and consecrations which were or will be administered by them.” It also reminded that the canonical status of the four mentioned persons is excommunication, that is exclusion from the Church Eucharist communion.
In addition it was noted in the document that “the use of the name 'Catholic' by groups which are not recognized by the church authorities, according to Canon 19 of the Code of Canons of the eastern Churches, is illegal,” Radio Vatican reported.
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