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CIUS | 14Mar2018 | Jars Balan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lObN1xRUHAs  [1:20:26]

An Unorthodox History of the 1918 Founding of the Ukrainian (Greek) Orthodox Church of Canada

Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies
Published on 23 Mar 2018


Although the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada was formally established in 1918, its roots can be traced back to the 1890s and the early years of Ukrainian settlement in the Canadian West. Both Orthodox Bukovynians and disenchanted Ukrainian Greek Catholics from Galicia played key roles in founding a distinctly Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada. However, the new church was also the result of intense political and confessional rivalries involving the Russian Orthodox Mission, Greek Catholic clerics, the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and various Protestant denominations. All of these were vying, in often bitter struggles, for the allegiance of immigrants from Ukraine at a time when the settlers were desperate for spiritual leadership in their adopted land.

Jars Balan is the author of numerous scholarly and journalistic articles on the history of Ukrainians in Canada. Since 2000 he has been the Administrative Coordinator of the Kule Ukrainian Canadian Studies Centre at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, and is also currently serving as the institute’s Director.

[W.Z. The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) has archived a large number of the lectures that it has sponsored at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjHj-JpnElzXCZ8SbliMs2Q/videos  .]

[00:00] Heather Coleman
- Explains that the Bociurkiw Memorial Lecture is in honour of Dr. Bohdan Bociurkiw, who taught at the University of Alberta 1956 to 1969. He then went to Carleton University in Ottawa to head the Institute of Soviet and East European Studies (now Institute of European and Russian Studies). Last book was The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the Soviet State from 1939 to 1950 remains the authoritative English-language book on the subject. He donated his extensive library and archives to CIUS in 1994.
- 100 year aniversary of collapse of Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires gave rise to new states and religions -- especially among Ukrainian immigrants in Canada.-- the founding of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church in Canada.
- Introduces Jars Balan.

[06:30] Jars Balan
- 17Jul1918 Edmonton Journal ran an article under sensational heading "Ruthenian nationalists plan political party to prevent assimilation with Canadians" announcing a "secret" meeting to be held on 18Jul1918 in Saskatoon. [Politics or religion?] Kudryk, Taras Ferley, Stechyshyn, Stratichuk, Ruryk, Zvarych and [150] others.
- 20Jul1918 Toronto Star -- "Independent of the Pope: Ruthenians of the West break away from Rome form new Greek Orthodox Church"
- Canadian Press report -- 12Jul1918 arrest of Bishop Budka, etc.; property to belong to community not the Bishop

- When did the first Orthodox come to America?
- 1794 Russian mission established on Kodiak Island, Alaska; among missionaries were Ukrainian clergy from Kyiv Pecherska Lavra.
- 1867 United States purchased Alaska from Russia; 1870 Holy synod in St. Petersburg established a separate diocese of Alaska headquartered in Sitka on Alaska panhandle. In 1872 it was transfered to San Francisco, which became the centre of Russian Orthodox missionary work in North America.
- Orhodox priest originally from Ukraine, Father Ahapius Honcharenko, arrived in New York in 1864, where he held Orthodox services.

- In 1880s, we start to get influx of ethnic Ukrainians coming to USA (Pensylvania coal mines) from Galicia, Transcarpathia (Greek Catholics) and a few Bukovynians (Orthodox). Irish Catholics did not want married priests.

- Russophile movement arose in response to constant pressure by Polish Catholic authorities on Ukrainians (Greek Catholics) in Western Ukraine. Russophile movement further split into those supporting the Tsar (Russian Orthodox Church) and those supporting Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church dogma.
- Also had very vigorous socialist movement in Ukraine, who were skeptical of religion of all kinds.
- Protestantism making inroads.
- Most importantly in North America, the immigrants were free to make their own decisions as to the evolution of the churches they were to establish in the United States and Canada.

- Arrival of Ukrainians to Canada -- 1891 Pylypiw, Eliniak, etc. First group of 6 families (Greek Catholic) arrived at Strathcona station in Edmonton in June 1892. Bukovynians (Orthodox) only started arriving in 1896-1897 -- 100 families from 15 villages in Kitsmyn(?), Chernivtsi county by 1998 to already established "Star" area 90 km NE of Edmonton.
- Ukrainan Bukovynian (Orthodox) settlements were also established in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.-- a natural constituency for the Russian mission.

- Among new settlers, people are dying, are being born, are getting married -- we need clergy, we need a church -- please send priests.
- Father Nestor Dmytriw (Greek Catholic), on behalf of Department of Interior in Ottawa, visited Ukrainan settlements in Western Canada and performed religious services for the new Ukrainian communities -- arriving to Strathcona station, Edmonton in April 1897.
- Small group of Russophile Galicians wrote to Russian Mission in San Francisco to send priests -- two priests arrive -- everybody attends services.

- In "Star", a new church was initiated by Fr. Dmytriw. Both factions shared the church until Easter 15Apr1901, when both the Greek Catholic and Russian mission priests wanted to perform the Easter Service. Local constables locked the church and the issue was submitted to the courts right up to the Privy Council in London which ruled in favour of the Russian Orthodox minority.
- In late summer of 1901 Bishop Tikhon from San Francisco arrived. The Anglican church helped facilitate the visit, since they felt an affinity with theRussian Orthodox church.
- On 21Sep1898, Bukovynians wrote a letter to Metropolitan Arkady Gybrakovych(?) in Kyiv to send priests. This was reinforced by an article in Chernivtsi newspaper Bukovyna by Fr. Dmytriw. These were ignored by the Ukrainian religious hierarchy.

In 1900, Jacob (Yakiw) Korchynski (who spoke Ukrainian, Rumanian and English) was assigned by the Orthodox mission to Alberta. [Alberta became the real battleground between the Orthodox and Greek Catholics.] He consolidated the Orthodox presence in Canada. He was only here until 1902, but started the St. Barbara congregation in Edmonton.
- [In 1908, he wrote a letter from New York to Michael Golda(?) in Edmonton; ended up back in Soviet Ukraine in 1925 and probably ended tragically.]
- Ivan Soroka, who worked with Korchynski, wrote a long letter about the problems of the Orthodox faithful in Canada.

Michael Golda(?) was the first Ukrainian to take up residence in Edmonton [others just passed through Edmonton] by renting a room in the city after arriving at Strathcona station on 18May1898. After arriving in Nova Scotia in 1897, he worked his way west, and picked up enough English to act as an interpreter for the Bellamy Agricultural Implement Company in Edmonton. He wrote articles to Svoboda describing the problems of immigrants. Broke with the Greek Catholic church after marrying a girl from Bukovyna,

In 1903, the Independent Greek Church was established in Winnipeg by Ukrainian Protestants. They were financially backed by the Presbyterian church. [It was like a Trojan horse -- recruiting a defrocked monk "Bishop Serafim" to consecrate some 50 priests.] It spread like a grass fire across Western Canada with some 50,000 adherents. In about 1911, after the Presbyterians insisted on getting rid of the Eastern rite services and the Ukrainian language, the adherents deserted in droves.

- World War One had an interesting impact. It initially favoured the Russophile faction, since Britain was allied with Russia. Canada interned Ukrainian "aliens" as enemies.The Bolshevik revolution in 1917 created havoc. Ukraine proclaimed independence. The Ukrainian (Greek) Orthodox Church of Canada was born during a time of great turmoil.
- The Ukrainian "intelligentsia" in Canada was dissillusioned with the Greek Catholic Church hierarchy, especially the unfortunate letter of Bishop Budka calling on Ukrainians to support the Austro-Hungrian Empire (i.e. Germany). They felt that the Greek Catholic church was insufficiantly supportive of the Ukrainian language and culture.
- Metropolitan Platon (Orthodox) and Bishop Alexander Nemylovsky (from Volyn)) were willing to consecrate clergy for the new Ukrainian church, but this was nixed by the Russophile faction in the United States.
- Finally, the Syrian Orthodox Bishop Germanus Shagidi(?) in the United States ended up heading up the new church for 3 years.
- A Rumanian priest, Fr. Lazar German from Bukovyna, trained many new priests; some priests from other denominations also joined.
[1:05:36] END

[1:05:50] Heather Coleman: -- Q&A
Q1: You said the Ukrainian Orthodox church did not exist in Ukraine prior to 1918.
A: Need 2 hierarchs to create a third heirarch.  "Laying on of hands" precedent from Alexandria allows 2 priests to create a bishop. The new bishop and clergy create a second bishop. Then the 2 bishops create a third bishop, etc. In Canada we built the church from the bottom up and not from the top down.
- Examples of many priests switching allegiances between Orthodox and Greek Catholic denominations.

Q2 - Fr. Cornell Zuzbritsky: Example of someone in Ukraine killed in 1941, who has been diefied in Russian Orthodox church.
A: Would like to get more details form Rev. Zubritsky.

Q3 - Ihor: For decades the UGOCC parishioners were called "Swystuny".
A: Obviously, a disparaging reference to Wasyl Swystun -- one of the founders . He was Greek Catholic, challenged Bishop Budka directly, became rector of Petro Mohyla Institute in Saskatoon (when it was non-denominational).

Q4: Concerning Bishop Budka letter.
A: Tensions were very high in English community concerning Ukrainian immigrants.

Q5 - Bill: Family history relates to physical altercations between Greek Catholics and Orthodox in 1900.
A: Certainly within the realm of possibility. Bukovynian church in 1921 voted which way to go -- One vote decided that it stay with the Russian mission.

Q6 - Jean-Paul Himka: Most activists appear to be Greek Catholics. Were Bukovynians right there at the beginning of the ball game?
A:  The first Ukrainian Orthodox serivice was celebrated in Suchowa (just south of Andrew). In 1916, they lost their priest (no money from Russian mission), but there is a church there and the manse is empty. The first priest of the Ukrainina Greek Orthodox Church was ...
[1:20:26] ABRUPT END