Bishop Soter Stephen Ortynsky: Genesis of the Eastern Catholic Churches in America

Bishop Soter Stephen Ortynsky Genesis of the Eastern Catholic Churches in America From the author s preface This book traces the life of Bishop Sotor Stephen Ortynsky the first Eastern Catholic Bishop in the Western Hemisphere The book also records the early years of the Ruthenian

  • Title: Bishop Soter Stephen Ortynsky: Genesis of the Eastern Catholic Churches in America
  • Author: Ivan Kaszczak
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 413
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • From the author s preface This book traces the life of Bishop Sotor Stephen Ortynsky, the first Eastern Catholic Bishop in the Western Hemisphere The book also records the early years of the Ruthenian Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the United States, which set the stage for the beginnings of the Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States Bishop Ortynsky servedFrom the author s preface This book traces the life of Bishop Sotor Stephen Ortynsky, the first Eastern Catholic Bishop in the Western Hemisphere The book also records the early years of the Ruthenian Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the United States, which set the stage for the beginnings of the Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States Bishop Ortynsky served as the first hierarch of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church in the United States As the first Eastern Catholic bishop in the Western Hemisphere, he significantly influenced the U.S Catholic Church in its structure and ecclesiology The lack of episcopal oversight at the inception of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church in the U.S led to the fracturing of its membership Ortynsky, in spite of his best efforts, became a target and scapegoat for much of the dissension within his church, and the lack of understanding from without For many fellow Catholics in the Latin Church, Bishop Ortynsky stood in direct opposition to the Latin rite Catholic Church s unity of jurisdiction and uniformity of discipline Various churches sought the conversion of Ruthenian Catholics The diverse ethnic composition of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church was fertile ground for misunderstanding Many members considered themselves Rusins, Ukrainians, Slovaks, Hungarians and other ethnicities nevertheless, in spite of these challenges Ortynsky persevered, asserting his church s rightful autonomy and evangelical mission to preach the Gospel to all nations To understand the history of Catholicism in the United States, one needs to understand both the Western Latin and the Eastern Catholic Churches that took root in the Land of Washington The Catholic Church is divided into East and West based on the ancient division of the Roman Empire The Latin Church has been dominant in the West, while twenty one Eastern Catholic Churches, devolving from the Antiochian, Alexandrian, Byzantine, and Armenian traditions, predominated in the East The Ruthenian Catholic Church discussed in this book is presently divided into two Churches The Byzantine Ruthenian and the Ukrainian Catholic Churches Both belong to the Byzantine tradition In the late nineteenth century, the Latin Church had systematically consolidated its position in American society through its religious communities and institutions By the 1870s, this church, which had spread throughout the planet in concert with the European empires with which it was aligned, began to face a new challenge to its identity The Eastern Catholics from Eastern Europe and the Middle East had begun to immigrate to America, due to economic factors and the pressures of regional wars This book addresses the confluence of these Western and Eastern Churches It speaks to both the accomplishments and the shortcomings of the Church s history the good and the bad and it follows a principle articulated by Rev John Tracy Ellis, an outstanding historian of the Catholic Church in America, who cited the words of Pope Leo XIII, as he opened the Vatican Secret Archives, on August 18, 1883 The first law of history is to dread uttering falsehood the next is not to fear stating the truth In that spirit, I have attempted to present a balanced and inclusive, though not exhaustive, view of the history that includes both the Eastern and Western strains of Catholicism, strains that form the crux of Catholic Church history in the United States I believe this approach can inform and illuminate, while showing respect for both the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Ruthenian Catholic Church and shedding light on their common heritage.

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