Comparison between Josaphat Kuncevyc and Mark of Ephesus

PJ

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I was going to call this thread "Another thread on Josaphat Kuncevyc", but then I thought that might keep people from clicking on it ;) so I decided to make the title specific.

Earlier today I got into a discussion of Josaphat Kuncevyc with Phillip Rolfes and Alexander Roman, in which they advanced a comparison between Catholic veneration of St. Josaphat and Orthodox veneration of St. Mark of Ephesus, e.g. "If the Orthodox can venerate the likes of St. Mark of Ephasus, why should Eastern Catholics not be permitted to venerate the likes of St. Josaphat?" and similar statements.

Then the question came up of how the Orthodox would view this. I could possibly guess, but I don't really want to guess; so the question is, would any of you care to illuminate me concerned how you view that comparison?

P.S. I realize the timing of this question is very poor, and I wouldn't have planned it this way. If you prefer to wait and post an answer after Sunday, I'll of course understand.
 

Iconodule

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I don't recall any stories of St. Mark having Catholics murdered.
 

ICXCNIKA

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Do EC deny that Josaphat actually killed Orthodox Christians? Could it be a terrible lie about him? I don't know anything about him.
 

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ICXCNIKA said:
Do EC deny that Josaphat actually killed Orthodox Christians? Could it be a terrible lie about him? I don't know anything about him.
Yes, of course we do.  And yes we think it is untrue.  Read the Orthodox propaganda against, read the Catholic propaganda for, and try to find the truth in between is the best I can suggest.  
 

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ICXCNIKA said:
Do EC deny that Josaphat actually killed Orthodox Christians? Could it be a terrible lie about him? I don't know anything about him.
Sometimes the credibility of claims depends on what side you're on. Read two different books about the Kennedy assassination, or about the life of Abraham Lincoln, and you'll come up with very different pictures. One side will call a person a hero, while the other thinks he is the devil himself.
 

ICXCNIKA

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I looked him up on Wikipedia and there didn't seem to any evidence presented against him. They did cite that the State did some horrible things but I don't see how he could be blamed for their actions.
 

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Christ is Risen!

I'm not Orthodox, but my opinion......

The analogy only makes sense if you view the two saints as standard bearers of mutually opposing camps.  I would say the following:

1. "all" sainthood means is that God has revealed that the person is in the dwelling place of the Saints, the bosom of Abraham and numbered among the righteous, as evidenced by the veneration of the people (generally due to miracles) and through the authority of the church (traditionally through the local bishop.  For better or worse, for those in union with Rome, that authority has become a formal process in Rome since the 1500s). 

2. This is not the same as politically lionizing someone for a political or sectarian goal (e.g. there's a big difference between Sainthood and the way, say, Communist Parties lionize their "greats")

3. As a bishop at a council, St. Mark had every right to oppose the decree of the council if he thought it was heterodox.  And since the council's result was ultimately rejected, often vehemently, by the people and the other clergy, it's not as if he was the only voice in the world who was opposed.  So one cannot really lay the blame for "failure" of "reunion" on him.  And as far as judging his work....I kind of doubt a critical edition of his full work exists in Greek, and what exists in English is appallingly small and used for polemical purposes.  I would defer on evaluation of his work, how accurate his evaluation of Latin theology presented at the Council was (and to what degree the Latin theology presented at the Council stands critical Catholic theological scrutiny today) to qualified theologians.  This is usually done by people with doctorates, and often yields odd results for polemics*. 

4. as far as St. Josaphat, I really don't know much about him (and don't wish to really tread there since I'm not Ukrainian).  I would, however, say that the sectarian/political/cultural pressure wielded on the (what one Ukranian catholic historian described as a culturally weaker) Kyivan church from the Polish crown/intelligenstia, the Counter-reformation Latin Church, the Calvinist sectarians (who I'm told were an influential part of the Polish elite at the time), and from the Muscovites was immense.  This yielded fierce divisions in the Kyivan church, which combined with political passions would inevitably result in a very bad religious environment.

Finally, the answer to how should ECs view St. Josaphat.... they should view him however objective history can view him.  (and yes, there is such a thing, or at least approximation, and a good historical research does exist).  In my experience, objective history usually knocks people off of hagiographic pedestals (since hagiography's purpose is different from objective history), presents evidence pro and contra (and often shattering) to whatever paradigm one might be looking for, and often has abundant amounts of weird data that show the reader how differently people of the past think compared to people of today. 



*e.g. St. Gregory Palamas, the defender of "Eastern Orthodoxy" against Barlaam the "western scholastic" according to the ridiculous caricature that's been out there for so long, quotes Augustine (without attribution) far more often than his opponent.  [this was in an article in SVS theological quarterly, I can find a citation if one wants]
 

ICXCNIKA

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MarkosC said:
Christ is Risen!

I'm not Orthodox, but my opinion......

The analogy only makes sense if you view the two saints as standard bearers of mutually opposing camps.  I would say the following:

1. "all" sainthood means is that God has revealed that the person is in the dwelling place of the Saints, the bosom of Abraham and numbered among the righteous, as evidenced by the veneration of the people (generally due to miracles) and through the authority of the church (traditionally through the local bishop.  For better or worse, for those in union with Rome, that authority has become a formal process in Rome since the 1500s).   

2. This is not the same as politically lionizing someone for a political or sectarian goal (e.g. there's a big difference between Sainthood and the way, say, Communist Parties lionize their "greats")

3. As a bishop at a council, St. Mark had every right to oppose the decree of the council if he thought it was heterodox.   And since the council's result was ultimately rejected, often vehemently, by the people and the other clergy, it's not as if he was the only voice in the world who was opposed.  So one cannot really lay the blame for "failure" of "reunion" on him.   And as far as judging his work....I kind of doubt a critical edition of his full work exists in Greek, and what exists in English is appallingly small and used for polemical purposes.   I would defer on evaluation of his work, how accurate his evaluation of Latin theology presented at the Council was (and to what degree the Latin theology presented at the Council stands critical Catholic theological scrutiny today) to qualified theologians.  This is usually done by people with doctorates, and often yields odd results for polemics*. 

4. as far as St. Josaphat, I really don't know much about him (and don't wish to really tread there since I'm not Ukrainian).  I would, however, say that the sectarian/political/cultural pressure wielded on the (what one Ukranian catholic historian described as a culturally weaker) Kyivan church from the Polish crown/intelligenstia, the Counter-reformation Latin Church, the Calvinist sectarians (who I'm told were an influential part of the Polish elite at the time), and from the Muscovites was immense.  This yielded fierce divisions in the Kyivan church, which combined with political passions would inevitably result in a very bad religious environment.

Finally, the answer to how should ECs view St. Josaphat.... they should view him however objective history can view him.  (and yes, there is such a thing, or at least approximation, and a good historical research does exist).  In my experience, objective history usually knocks people off of hagiographic pedestals (since hagiography's purpose is different from objective history), presents evidence pro and contra (and often shattering) to whatever paradigm one might be looking for, and often has abundant amounts of weird data that show the reader how differently people of the past think compared to people of today.   



*e.g. St. Gregory Palamas, the defender of "Eastern Orthodoxy" against Barlaam the "western scholastic" according to the ridiculous caricature that's been out there for so long, quotes Augustine (without attribution) far more often than his opponent.   [this was in an article in SVS theological quarterly, I can find a citation if one wants]
Excellent post.
 

ialmisry

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Michał Kalina said:
Iconodule said:
I don't recall any stories of St. Mark having Catholics murdered.
Or Churches destroyed...
Nor was St. Mark supported by the state and trying to promote its agenda.

And St. Mark was venerated by his people.  The Poles, not the Belarussians (his people) nor the Ruthenians nor the Ukrainians, promoted the other cult.
 

PJ

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Thanks for all your responses.

This is a follow-up from the same source:

Phillip Rolfes said:
If we follow the camp that believes St. Josaphat did not in fact kill Orthodox Christians or burn their Churches (nor was complicit with those who did so), then my original analogy still holds up.
 

J Michael

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Peter J said:
Thanks for all your responses.

This is a follow-up from the same source:

Phillip Rolfes said:
If we follow the camp that believes St. Josaphat did not in fact kill Orthodox Christians or burn their Churches (nor was complicit with those who did so), then my original analogy still holds up.
Christ is Risen!!

A.  What was Phillip Rolfes' "original analogy"?  Or did I miss that here somewhere?

B.  From the relatively little I know about either saint, it seems to me that trying to compare them is like comparing apples to oranges and I can only wonder what purpose it serves.  But, remember....I *am* colossally ignorant  ;D!

C.  Are Eastern Catholics forbidden to venerate St. Josaphat?
 

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Hi J Michael.

A. You make a good point, and pick a good nit. In the OP I used the word "comparison", but in the last quote I gave, he said "analogy".

B. Don't worry, thus far I haven't gotten even half-way to forgetting without you mentioning it again.

C. Well ... I've never heard it claimed that they are.
 

J Michael

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Peter J said:
Hi J Michael.

A. You make a good point, and pick a good nit. In the OP I used the word "comparison", but in the last quote I gave, he said "analogy".

B. Don't worry, thus far I haven't gotten even half-way to forgetting without you mentioning it again.

C. Well ... I've never heard it claimed that they are.
I am proud to be a charter member of the United Universal Most Humble Orthodox-Catholic Association of Nit-Picking Ignoramuses.  World wide, at last count, there are literally tens of millions of us--give or take one or two!  :laugh: :laugh:

As for point "C", I only ask because in your OP there was this: "If the Orthodox can venerate the likes of St. Mark of Ephasus, why should Eastern Catholics not be permitted to venerate the likes of St. Josaphat?"
 

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J Michael said:
As for point "C", I only ask because in your OP there was this: "If the Orthodox can venerate the likes of St. Mark of Ephasus, why should Eastern Catholics not be permitted to venerate the likes of St. Josaphat?"
I'm sure PR was referring to the fact that Orthodox complain about said veneration. I doubt it was ever forbidden within Catholicism.
 

J Michael

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Peter J said:
J Michael said:
As for point "C", I only ask because in your OP there was this: "If the Orthodox can venerate the likes of St. Mark of Ephasus, why should Eastern Catholics not be permitted to venerate the likes of St. Josaphat?"
I'm sure PR was referring to the fact that Orthodox complain about said veneration. I doubt it was ever forbidden within Catholicism.
Yeah, I doubt it, too, but the phrase "not...permitted" that was used seemed a little strong, so I questioned it.

As for Orthodox complaining about said veneration, well, no comment.
 

PJ

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Peter J said:
Thanks for all your responses.

This is a follow-up from the same source:

Phillip Rolfes said:
If we follow the camp that believes St. Josaphat did not in fact kill Orthodox Christians or burn their Churches (nor was complicit with those who did so), then my original analogy still holds up.
I forgot to add, Does anyone disagree with that conditional statement? (I'm addressing this to anyone, even if you don't think the stories about Josaphat were made up.)
 

ialmisry

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J Michael said:
Peter J said:
Hi J Michael.

A. You make a good point, and pick a good nit. In the OP I used the word "comparison", but in the last quote I gave, he said "analogy".

B. Don't worry, thus far I haven't gotten even half-way to forgetting without you mentioning it again.

C. Well ... I've never heard it claimed that they are.
I am proud to be a charter member of the United Universal Most Humble Orthodox-Catholic Association of Nit-Picking Ignoramuses.  World wide, at last count, there are literally tens of millions of us--give or take one or two!  :laugh: :laugh:

As for point "C", I only ask because in your OP there was this: "If the Orthodox can venerate the likes of St. Mark of Ephasus, why should Eastern Catholics not be permitted to venerate the likes of St. Josaphat?"
Did St. Mark murder anyone in his defense of Orthodoxy? Force Orthodoxy on anyone?  Conclude with anyone to force anyone into Orthodoxy? Deceive anyone? Did Josaphat preach the Truth?
 

ialmisry

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Peter J said:
J Michael said:
As for point "C", I only ask because in your OP there was this: "If the Orthodox can venerate the likes of St. Mark of Ephasus, why should Eastern Catholics not be permitted to venerate the likes of St. Josaphat?"
I'm sure PR was referring to the fact that Orthodox complain about said veneration. I doubt it was ever forbidden within Catholicism.
Indeed, it was foisted on the Ruthenians in submission to the Vatican and in subjugation to the Poles in Galicia by the Poles in colussion with the Vatican.  The Ruthenians refused to have anything to do with his "canonization."
 
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