Religious Compromise, Political Salvation: The Greek Catholic Church and Nation-building in Eastern Europe

John-Paul Himka, Jarnes T. Flynn, Jarnes Niessen


The transformation of the former Soviet bloc has seen the resurrection of the Greek Catholic or Uniate Churches! of the Ukrainians, Belorussians, and Romanians, each of them ministering to a minority of the titular nation and concentrated in a particular region of the national territory. These churches had been suppressed in 1946-48 (and, in the case of Belorussia, in 1839) by church synods or decree, acts of dubious canonicity. The interests and confessional animus of the Orthodox bishops made possible their manipulation and complicity in these acts. Yet it was the Greek Catholics' contribution to national identity that caused the state to favor their suppression.' Religious and national motives were also present in the loyalty of millions to the illegal churches after their suppression and in their role in the revival of these peoples' national aspirations.

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