Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Chair of Unity Octave
Today in the Roman Rite is the feast of the Chair of St Peter in Rome

In Russian
Site of the Russian Catholic Church in Russia
Well done. A note at the bottom of the page says it’s not an official site.

Prayer translated by me:

Look down, most merciful Lord Jesu, our Saviour, upon the prayers and sighs of Thine unworthy servants, humbly falling down before Thee, and unite us all in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. Shine into our souls Thine ineffable light. Heal all church divisions that we may glorify Thee with one heart and one mouth, and all know that we are Thy true disciples and beloved children. Our most merciful Lord, quickly fulfil Thy wish that there be one flock and one shepherd of Thy Church, that we may one day worthily glorify Thy holy Name, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
- Blessed Leonty (Leonid Feodorov)

As a footnote to the two entries in the past week on Russian Orthodox history, here in brief is the Russian Catholic story. (Blog e-mail correspondent Lee Penn is a Russian Catholic as is new friend Bernard Brandt, and sometime member, now Gaelic blogger for peace, Daithí Mac Lochlainn at least attends New York’s excellent Russian Catholic church.)

Some intelligentsia in Russia around 1900 read their own way into starting this small church, approved by St Pius X with the order nec pluc, nec minus, nec aliter (use Russian Orthodox practices as is and don’t latinize) which they’ve been faithful to ever since with few exceptions. Under the care of Ukrainian Catholic head Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky) the little church was under a priest exarch who was a secret bishop, the monk Leonty quoted above. The Soviets essentially squashed this church in Russia. (Bishop Leonty died in internal exile in Viatka, Russia in the 1930s.) As you can see from the site it’s back, again a small grassroots movement, but isn’t pushed by the RC or Ukrainian Catholic authorities out of respect for the Church of Russia. (It has no bishops of its own though the exarchate still officially exists.)

Meanwhile in America...

Essentially there the Russian Catholic Church was a 1930s project of the Jesuits to convert the Russian Orthodox that failed (Bernard’s church, however, was founded to convert members of the Molokan sect but that failed too), leaving three churches (only Lee’s is still Jesuit) as sturdy refuges for Catholic-minded non-Russians who love the rite and culture and don’t solicit the Orthodox.

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