“The union in Brest appeared only as a sounding of the banal fact of betrayal and renunciation of two Orthodox bishops who, a year earlier, on December 25, 1595, swore an oath in Rome,” said Professor of KDAiS. “They were so afraid to voice this to even the nearest entourage that they kept it in secret for eight months. And only in October 1596 the news was announced at the Cathedral. The conversion into the union took place by the Order of King Sigismund III – in a hard, cynical, unprincipled way. But we have a paradoxical situation, about which no one wants to speak from the historical-factual side: what we got as a result of the proclamation of this document.”
Archpriest Alexei Dobosh said that the creators of the union were dying one by one. And as of 1610 there was only one elderly Hypatius Poty.
“Hypatius Poty was formally a hierarch of the Uniate Church, not yet a Greek Catholic church in Ukraine at that time,” Father Alexei said. “But actually he was based in Vilna, in today’s Vilnius. And on the territory of Ukraine there were separate impregnations of the union in northeastern Volhynia, the territory of the modern Zhytomyr region, several churches in Kiev with banal attempts to also embrace Lviv. Union in Ukraine was not the case until the 1700’s. In fact, all these lands used to be Orthodox. With the King’s decree, several churches and metropolitan monasteries were declared Uniate. By the way, they returned very quickly back to Orthodoxy. “
The historian believes that for Orthodoxy the regrettable fact was not even the proclamation of the Union in 1596, but the betrayal of Orthodox Metropolitan Joseph (Shumlyansky).
“From 1677 he began colluding with the Polish authorities of that time and training the personnel to implement his plans,” said Archpriest Alexei Dobosh. “In 1700 he announced the transition to union. His proteges transferred there Lutsk and Peremyshl eparchies. In fact, Western Ukraine, and later the Right Bank, was already affected by the union in 1702 “.
The historian concludes that today’s claims and the appeal of Greek Catholics to historical justice have no basis. The Annunciation church, at least 113 years before the events initiated by Joseph Shumlyansky, was Orthodox.
“In fact, in the 1890s the Ukrainian population in Lviv, according to various sources, counted from 7 to 12 percent,” the historian stated. “The rest were Poles, Germans, Jews, and the Armenian community. That is, it is quite logical that the head of the Roman Catholics in Ukraine, Mieczyslaw Mokshitsky, stated that in the context of historical justice the Roman Catholic Church is fully qualified to claim those Catholic churches that are currently held by Greek Catholics. The Orthodox of Kholm-Podlaskie, let alone our Western Ukraine, and Roman Catholics have the right to claim the same temples taken away from them by Greek Catholics. ”