Andrew Has Spoken Through Sviatoslav

As we witness the fruits of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family blossom, fertilized in no small part by the dung of neo-Ultramonantism, let us not forget that the Church of Christ has been provided with more than just one successor to the Apostles.

Today I have to affirm that, in the past, the family defended and preserved the Church. Today the Church has a sacred duty to protect and preserve the family; the family as the faithful, fruitful, and indissoluble union between a man and a woman.

My faithful asked me to appeal to the Synod Fathers to remember that we, the bishops are not the masters of the revealed truth about the family, but rather its’ servants. Today, our people expect from us to confirm and emphasize the Church’s teaching on the family, clarified and summarized by blessed Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.

Holy and devout families, strengthened in faith, find, on their own, the most creative ways to answer the challenges of modern society and teach us how to show mercy to those who are experiencing difficulties. We can not solve all the problems with which the world is trying the family, but we can preach the Gospel Truth about the family and help the next generation, with God’s help to go forth along the path to holiness.

– His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuck, Patriarch of Kyiv-Halych and All Rus, Remarks to the Synod Oct. 6, 2015


  1. Although I complete agree with the sentiments expressed here, we need to be honest. Even the Greek Catholic Patriarch of Kiev is really simply a papal appointment, who can be removed by the Pope whenever it is convenient. In modern Roman Catholicism there is now really no power but that of the Pope himself. The Vatican I decree of papal infallibility is also explicit about the absolute and universal power of the papal office, which in no way must conform to the consent of the Church.

    1. I have seen many tortured explanations of Vatican I giving it any meaning other than what it actually says. I think many Catholics see the problem but don’t know what can be done about it.

      1. There is no “problem” with the office of the Papacy; there is a problem with the man who has been allowed to occupy it and the predecessor whose loathsome political weakness tempted him into the negligence of not removing that man from the College while he was still a Cardinal (all claims that Benedict was “God’s Rottweiler” were nonsense, he was known to have wept when told he could not resign his previous post as head of the CDF). Personnel is policy; Benedict should have learned that lesson.

          1. Ryan is completely correct here. According to the decrees of the Council, the Pope, regardless of how we may feel about him, is infallible in his own person. It is a personal charisma.

            1. The threading of comments here is proving to be difficult to read, but…

              “Ryan is completely correct here.”

              The infallibility and supreme universal jurisdiction of the Pope were declared dogmas by an ecumenical council, calling them a problem is tantamount to saying that Jesus made some mistakes when planning the Church.

          2. It’s not a problem because it’s unavoidable. You can’t eliminate human decision from a government, be it worldly or secular. The question is, “Who is making the decisions?”. Benedict forgot this question.

            I would counter by asking you how the acephalous model (which you may or may not be advocating?) would be better? The heresies of our age are caused by widespread, “grass roots” rejection of the Faith, e.g. in the matter of contraceptives. A Church in which there is no official to settle such things would become what the Eastern Orthodox are on such matters: a spectrum of jurisdictions from which one shops as if looking for the right pair of sneakers.

            1. Sixtus, but in reality one may do the same in Roman Catholicism, the numbers of overlapping jurisdictions within the eastern rites, especially in the West also permit quite a bit of shopping as well. This is not the problem; the problem is that since 1870 all power is invested in one individual who is considered to be personally infallible. It is now coming home to roost.

            2. Can a pope square the circle betwern Casti Conubbii and Humane Vitae? NFP was sanctioned under HV, but is arguably condemned by CC and certainly condemned by tradition. NFP (and probably Theology of the Body) would have scandalized Aquinas and any Church Father.

              If Francis upends HV, I’m swimming the Bosphorus even if it is loosey goosey on contraception. At least the jury is still out over there.

        1. I am not so sure NFP is condemned by CC, though its usage is, arguably, more circumscribed. One problem with the popular lay interpretation of CC is that it’s usually predicated on either summaries or imprecise translations of the text. I would agree that HV is more ambiguous, however.

    2. That’s not the way it works. God can also remove a Pope but doesn’t always. Anyway, he was not a “papal appointment.” The Synod elected him and Peter confirmed the election. We call this “communion” “сопричастїє” “κοινονια”

      1. Can you find an example in the first millennium where the head of one autocephalous church writes to another for confirmation of his election? Did Pope Francis write to Pat Svyatoslav for communion when he was elected?

      2. You are replying to a post that exists in your head. I never said Card. Bergolio was a “Papal appointment” – words you put in my mouth; what I did say was that B16 could have and should have removed him from the College; and that is fully in the Pope’s power as supreme pastor of the Church Militant.

        Here you snark like a woman: “We call this communion.” Have a Vatican I quote:

        “We teach, moreover, and declare that, by the disposition of God, the Roman Church possesses supreme ordinary authority over all Churches, and that the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is true episcopal jurisdiction is immediate in its character (Enchir., n. 1827).”

        Misuse of words is the most basic form of lying. You might want to revise your notion of “communion” until it is Christian.

      3. Athanasius: please accept my sincere apologies. I was mistakenly posting under the belief that you were replying to me instead of Dale.

        1. I never stated that Pope Francis was a papal appointment, but the Patriarch of Kiev, at least the Catholic one, most certainly is.

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