Four Ukrainian Bishops Consecrated Without Mandate Of Rome Or Major-Archbishop


Is this a Greek Catholic Version of the SSPX?

Brief information about the new bishops of

the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church

+ Markian V. Hitiuk OSBM

Born in 1970, Ukraine. Joined the Order OSBM in 1990. Studied in Warsaw; ordained priest in 1997. In 2003 he received licentiate in theology at the University of Opole. At the present time he lives in the OSBM monastery in Pidhirtsi, the Diocese of Zhovkva.

+ Metoděj R. Špiřík OSBM

Born in 1968, Czech Republic. OSBM novitiate (1991-1992) as well as theo-logical studies finished in Warsaw. Or-dained priest in 1996; in 2002 he re-ceived doctorate in theology at Charles’ University in Prague. As a priest he served in Prague, mainly among Ukrai-nian believers, later he was transferred to Ukraine. At the present time he lives in the OSBM monastery in Pidhirtsi, the Diocese of Zhovkva.


+ Eliáš A. Dohnal OSBM

Born in 1946, Czech Republic. Ordained priest in 1972. Joined the OSBM Order in 1991. Novitiate finished in Warsaw; in 1999 he received doctorate in theology at Charles’ University in Prague. At the present time he lives in the OSBM monastery in Pidhirtsi, the Diocese of Zhovkva.


+ Samuel R. Oberhauser

Born in 1969, Slovak Republic. OSBM no-vitiate finished in Poland; ordained priest in Ivano-Frankivsk (Ukraine) in 2000. In 2008 he received doctorate in pedagogy at the University of St. Constantine Cyril in Nitra. At the present time he serves as parish priest in the village of Pidhirtsi, the Diocese of Zhovkva.

In an open letter to the Holy Father:

Your Holiness,

in sonly confidence we announce to You that we, Markian V. Hitiuk OSBM, Metoděj R. Špiřík OSBM, Eliáš A. Dohnal OSBM and Samuel R. Oberhauser were consecrated Greek-Catholic bishops. We did it in conscious obedience to You, Your Holiness – out of a desire for the salvation of our Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC).

Our consecrators were those who became bishops in the time when our Church was liquidated by the betrayal and Communism. We are therefore true successors of the martyrish Church in contradistinction to those who received the spirit of betrayal. With respect to the fact that the information might be abused, all particulars concerning our consecration we will announce to You personally in an audience.

This consecration took place according to the prescribed liturgical observances. All of us 4 bishops of UGCC confess the Catholic faith, unity with You and sonly obedience to You. We are aware that we broke the canon 1459 §1 CCEO. We would like to clarify why we were obliged before God as well as before the Church to make this step. We want to add, too, that the Eastern canon code CCEO does not have punishments latae sententiae, that means, on the strength of law itself. In the Eastern Church every imposition of punishment must be preceded by an ecclesiastical trial. In our case the competent judge, in regard of can. 1060 §1 CCEO, can be only You Yourself.

Your Holiness, by this step we broke neither God’s law nor Church tradition, just a canonical prescription of the current canon law. When there is a man dying, in some events it is even permitted to jump a red signal light. Cardinal A. Casaroli and Cardinal A. Sodano, who You are well acquainted with, have built up inside the Church an antipapal and antichristian system which prevents the Holy Father from promoting God’s people and thereby God’s Spirit to the key posts. This system, especially in the UGCC, anxiously watches its positions and permits nobody among the bishops who would have the Spirit of Christ and who in his heart would be faithful to the Holy Father. The hierarchical structure built up in this way is doing quite the opposite of what You are striving for and what Christ desires. As a result, almost all Catholic theological faculties teach heretical views stemming from the historic-critical method (HCT). Representatives of the Church have opened themselves to the spirit of apostasy and moreover many of them no longer have faith in papacy and practically do not believe in the primacy and infallibility of the Holy Father.

Bishops, priests, religious and laymen have opened themselves to the spirit of occultism (homoeopathy, acupuncture, oriental meditations, modern psychological methods…) and syncretism with pagan religions (yoga, zen, martial arts, oriental philosophies…). However, the height of all is that there are still more and more bishops and priests who are homosexuals or paedophiles. In our Greek-Catholic Church there are several homosexual bishops, which is a scandal and decay of Christianity in its substance.

The antichristian system within the Church, enforced by Card. A. Casaroli, Card. A. Sodano and the present Prefect of Congregation for the Oriental Churches (COCh) Card. L. Sandri, has systematically and purposefully disintegrated our martyrish Church and has not only led her into a practical schism but also opened her to the spirit of apostasy.

When asking about the sense of the law stated in the canon code which prohibits consecration of a bishop without the consent of the Vatican – the answer is: To prevent consecration of a heretic, schismatic, apostate, homosexual… However, if observance of this law leads in practice to the exact opposite, which means that right such men are consecrated, while men who are moral, orthodox and faithful to the Holy Father are not consecrated, the prohibition stated in the canon law has lost its sense and turned harmful to the Church.

The crucial moments in the history of our martyrish Church were the so-called theological conclusions of Balamand, which the COCh and Card. L. Husar have adopted and realize them towards the liquidation of our UGCC. These conclusions state that our martyrish UGCC was an ecclesiological mistake and has no right to existence. Then, however, according to them even Your primacy is an ecclesiological mistake.

Another crucial moment in the liquidation of our Church was the illegitimate installation of Lubomyr Husar to the post of Head of UGCC. He was consecrated bishop not only without the consent of the Vatican but also without any serious need. Against the will of the Synod and against the will of three Metropolitans, Card. A. Sodano, Card. A. Silvestrini and Apostolic Nuncio A. Franko promoted to the post of Head of UGCC a man who had and has schismatic and apostatic views, as it is testified in his book “Discussions with Card. L. Husar: On Postconfessional Christianity”. Immediately after his unlawful installation, Card. L. Husar began to liquidate whatever true Catholic opposition and to the key posts he appointed people with the spirit of schism or with the spirit of New Age.

An unwritten rule in the choice of UGCC bishops is the following conditions:

The candidate


    2. must have the spirit of schism and call his believers “pravoslavni” (“Orthodox” – i.e. schismatics).

    4. must have a negative attitude towards the devotions which in the time of illegality were the force for preserving the living faith and faithfulness to the Holy Father (the Rosary, the Way of the Cross, Worship of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus).

    6. must also have the spirit of the world and the spirit of New Age.


Your Holiness, from among celibate or religious priests we alone have remained in fact (though there is a large number of priests in the UGCC who have the same attitude of mind) who have the courage to defend the identity of the UGCC as well as Your primacy and infallibility. We have faith, too, in the revival of our Church, and that was why we resolved to make this daring step.

Into Your hands, in regard of can. 1060 §1 pt. 2 CCEO, we commit the future of us and of the whole UGCC. Through this daring step of ours God is giving a chance even to You to open the Church for a spiritual awakening. In the time of Communism it was allowed not to respect certain canonical paragraphs with regard to an extraordinary situation. In the present time, even though there is external freedom, the conditions in our UGCC are, from a certain point of view, harder than in the time of illegality. Therefore the rule that was valid in illegality holds true even in our situation. Who consecrated us, when and where, this we will announce to You personally.

We share with You the unity of faith and are willing even to lay down our lives for the sake of You as the Vicar of Christ and for the sake of the Catholic Church. Your Holiness, even if You condemn us, we do remain Greek-Catholic bishops, but You would thus in fact condemn You Yourself and the whole truly Catholic stream in the Catholic Church which we represent. For we are striving for nothing else but in unity with You for the spiritual resurrection of the Church – for the purification of faith from HCT, from false respect for other religions, from the spirit of New Age and from moral delinquencies of the Church hierarchy – this all today is liquidating the Church at the root.

Should it be necessary to punish, then, Your Holiness, punish those who internally liquidate this Church; this will make sense for her purification.

Your Holiness, we ask You additionally for Your blessing to our episcopal consecration and for our inclusion in the Synod of UGCC.

Both to You and to the Synod of UGCC we propose the following solution:


    2. To install one of us as diocesan bishop in the vacant Buchach eparchy (several weeks ago Bishop I. Bilyk OSBM was driven away from here by Card. L. Husar.), or in the planned Brody eparchy, or to divide the large eparchies into two.

    4. To include the rest of us as auxiliary bishops, or to assign us for the renewal of religious, priests and seminaries, and at the same time to make the OSBM Monastery of Annunciation in Pidhirtsi exempt from the Order of St. Basil the Great and to establish it as a monastery of pontifical right. To appoint one of us three (+ Metoděj OSBM, + Markian OSBM, + Eliáš OSBM) as archimandrite.

With gratefulness in advance for Your blessing to the episcopal consecration and for the appointment to the service in the UGCC, and with a promise of faithfulness to You and to the Catholic Church:

+ Eliáš A. Dohnal OSBM

+ Metoděj R. Špiřík OSBM+ Markian V. Hitiuk OSBM+ Samuel R. Oberhauser

Monastery OSBM

Pidhirtsi, March 3, 2008

Copies to:

  • Cardinals and bishops of the Catholic Church
  • Synod of UGCC

Address: Monastery OSBM, Pidhirtsi 80660, Brody district, Lvov region, Ukraine

More details on the UGCC bishop who has acted as their patron at least up into this point.


10 Responses to Four Ukrainian Bishops Consecrated Without Mandate Of Rome Or Major-Archbishop

  1. Ademar Rakowsky says:

    I’m a cradle Ukrainian Catholic born and raised in North America and have followed this news with great interest. Though I almost have a Sacred Theology Licentiate (STL) diploma in my pocket, it is the relatively recent words of Our Lady of Akita (Japan, Oct. 13, 1973) that come to my mind as the most pertinent:

    “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way
    that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops.
    The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

    “The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God.”

    We’re living in times of great spiritual confusion, in addtion to great sin, and, whatever the value and outcome of this situation in Pidhirts’i, the following words of Our Lady in Akita are also useful for us who are on the periphery of the proceedings (Akita, Aug. 3, 1973):

    “Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him, to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father. I wish, with my Son, for souls who will repair,
    by their suffering and their poverty, for the sinners and ingrates.”

    Whatever goes on with this episcopal situation — and I do agree with many of the points that the foursome raises — I firmly believe that it is our personal prayers and sacrifices (especially don’t forget sacrifices — even your hangnail is of greater value than you realize!) consciously offered for the sake of God bringing great good out of this that will leave an impact. God often wants our token offering, willingly given, in order to bless us with something — and to remind us that we are all interconnected through Him, even if, humanly speaking, our connection with Bishops Markian, Elias, Metodej, and Samuel is only through floating in blogospheric ether!

    BTW, for a good short prentation re Our Lady of Akita, see: (Quotes in this comment taken from this site.) The message itself, though short, is quite sobering in its entirety.

    For an interesting detailed account of what happened in Akita, see Fr. Teiji Yasuda’s book, “Akita: The Tears and Mesage of Mary.” Father Yasuda was chaplain at the convent where the apparitions and related miracles took place, though after the messages themselves.


  2. Mihovil Skarpa says:

    Restoration of unity between the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches is much more important issue than the retention of Latin elements in the Ukrainian Liturgy. In point of fact, the latter is an anomaly imposed at first by the latinizers from Rome, who in those days considered the Latin Church to be the only true form of the Catholic Church while tolerating the Eastern rite Catholics as “ecclesiastical oddities and exotic creatures” as the Coptic Catholic bishop resentfully said during the Vatican II. The external latinizers have later managed to breed in the Eastern Catholic Churches themselves various forms of latinizing movements, and I fear the four illegally consecrated bishops are of that stock. I also fear that if the Holy Father does not respond to their request, their professed “loyalty” would cease, and they will invent all sorts of “canonical” devices to argue that they are right. The evidence is in their letter already: they claim that Archbishop Hussar was appointed illegally, although the pope appointed him himself.

    Furthermore, they are far from responding loyally to the Vatican II decree OE 5,6,22; UR 14-18, particularly 17/2, and the recent (1998, I think) Instruction of the Congregation for Easter Churches.

    No wonder that the Eastern Rite Catholics are contemptuously referred to as “Uniates” by their Orthodox counterparts, and that they constitute an obstacle to reunion. The Orthodox rightly fear that the same is in stock for them should they “return.”

    I am not going into the allegations against the lawfully appointed bishops of the Ukrainian Church as persons. My own view is that the allegations of this kind, if made in public, are immoral, whether true or not, and wonder how the four bishops could be our teachers of faith. I would suggest that the morality and orthodoxy are not their main concern, but the retention of latinizing elements of the liturgy and other practices inherited from their ancestors who were brainwashed by external latinizers.

    By the way, I am a Latin Rite Catholic.

  3. “No wonder that the Eastern Rite Catholics are contemptuously referred to as “Uniates” by their Orthodox counterparts, and that they constitute an obstacle to reunion.”

    It is an expedience plain and simple. Those intent on reviling Rome… Well it reminds me of a variation of an old tasteless joke:

    Q: What do you call the most über-vostochnik Orthodox in Communion with Rome?

    A: Uniate dog.

    Let’s not forget – in our haste – to remember that some of the Latinizations were a logical result of communion. If you are a Greek Catholic, and part of the Catholic Church, and in communinon with church that canonized St. Margaret Mary Alaqocue… Well in simple piety, just as some Latins dig iconns and the Jesus prayer, some Greek Catholics are going to be all about the Sacred Heart. Further some aspects of the Latinizations serve as signs of nationalistic contradistinction vis. the Ukies and Russians?

    To wit: “We are clean shaven, not like those wild-beareded Russians!”

    “We have nice fancy 33-button cassocks we picked up in Italy, not like those Russians with their simple cassocks”

    “We have the devotions of new saints and apparitions from out church, not like those Russians!”
    If I had a reason to believe that the removal of certain externals alone were the real and genuine reason for roadblock, I would go on a road-trip with a sledge hammer knocking down every station of the cross, statue of the Little Flower, and Sacred Heart painting I fould within a 1 mile radius of even the smallest UGCC chapel.

    The problem is, I just don’t buy it.

  4. Mihovil Skarpa says:

    I met recently an ex-Anglican, now Catholic, who is scandalized with our post-Vatican II liturgy, and asked him why didn’t he choose a Byzantine Rite instead? His reply was that, once he decided to be a Catholic, he wanted to be a proper one, not a member of a hybrid halfway house.

    I also met one Pole: to him the Ukrainians (he meant Eastern Catholics) are neither Orthodox not Catholics. While in this case there might be an element of Ukrainian-Polish antagonism, his view is that of an ordinary Latin Catholic who with a kind of suspicion looks down at these hybrids who naively believe that they will get more by latinizing themselves, or more accurately, by allowing themselves to be latinized, than by reviving and making use of their precious Eastern heritage.

    By all means be – I am addressing the latinizers – be Ukrainians, not Russians, but do not be Latins because you will turn out to be – nothing, hated by the Orthodox and looked down with contempt by the Latins.

    To start with, demonstrate your Catholicism by accepting and applying what the Vatican II, which is your Council as well as Latin, expects of you. Show your Orthodox brethren, whether Russian or Ukrainian, how one can remain Orthodox and yet be Catholic. After all, by restoring union with the Holy See your ancestors did not intend to abandon their orthodoxy, but only accept a doctrinal unfolding of the common heritage that took place in the West while the East was groaning under Islam. You have a beautiful Liturgy to which our Latin liturgy, even Tridentine (not to mention the post-Vatican II fabrication) is no match. It is your gift to the Church without which she would be mutilated. If you wish to enrich it draw from your own resources, do not make Latin parrots of yourself.

  5. Dr. Eric says:

    Would it help to burn the icons in the WRO churches?

    This reminds me of the big jocks picking on the new “nerds” that transferred to the school this year.

    Maybe, instead of calling names and looking down at other people, we Christians should start picking people out of the gutters and nursing them back to health. Maybe then we’d be so busy we’d stop with this un-Christian behavior and we’d be One Flock with One Shepherd again.

    If Greek Catholics want pictures of the Sacred Heart or statues of St. Therese or Padre Pio LET THEM HAVE THEM!!! Would you begrudge an Eastern Catholic for having a statue or photograph of John Paul II?

    Should I, a Latin Catholic, burn my Pantokrator, my St. Luke, and my Crucifixion Icons? Should I unravel my chotki?

    Take some advice from somebody who has plenty to give…
    Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the imprisoned, visit the sick, bury the dead, admonish the sinner, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, bear wrongs patiently, forgive all injuries, pray for the living and the dead.

    That ought to keep you busy for the next 1000 years. After you have done this to every single person who needs these Works of Mercy, then you can start picking at the devotions that bring them closer to God. :-x

  6. I met recently an ex-Anglican, now Catholic, who is scandalized with our post-Vatican II liturgy, and asked him why didn’t he choose a Byzantine Rite instead? His reply was that, once he decided to be a Catholic, he wanted to be a proper one, not a member of a hybrid halfway house.

    Let your friend go to the Melkites. If he wants more pristine Byzantium, he will find it there. In the mean time, he is free to attend the Tridentine Mass – now the right of every Latin rite priest to celebrate.

    I also met one Pole: to him the Ukrainians (he meant Eastern Catholics) are neither Orthodox not Catholics. While in this case there might be an element of Ukrainian-Polish antagonism, his view is that of an ordinary Latin Catholic who with a kind of suspicion looks down at these hybrids who naively believe that they will get more by latinizing themselves, or more accurately, by allowing themselves to be latinized, than by reviving and making use of their precious Eastern heritage.

    Please tell me that you have the ability to see what passes the “smell test” when it comes to nationalistic sentiment and bias versus liturgical sensibilities of a Pole vis. the Ukies. Again expedience! If they were full-bearded, über-vostochniki, I seriously doubt the amount of love lost would be any different. More to the point, it isn’t his church, it isn’t his problem.

    By all means be – I am addressing the latinizers – be Ukrainians, not Russians, but do not be Latins because you will turn out to be – nothing, hated by the Orthodox and looked down with contempt by the Latins.

    IT would not really matter.

    To start with…

    I don’t mean to be snarky, but this Greek Catholic ex-seminarian and one-time catechumen to Orthodoxy who actively supports his church sort of wants to file this in the “Thanks-but-who-asked-you-anyway?” file. I am not wanting to sound mean or rude… but our church ends up being afflicted by know-it-alls on both sides who seem to have all the answers for what we should be to fit into their worldview of our “proper place and aescethics”. Come worship with us for a few years. Get to know our people, lean our chants, spend a few years meditating on our one-year lectionary cycle, learn to chang parochial vespers. Than we can talk.

    My childhood memories of my Hungarian Greek Catholic parish was that of a community that entered in silence, kissed the icons on the tetrapod, and then – all 100 of us- belted out the DL with such gusto and bravado – sunday in, and sunday out – that you would have thought it was the final performance of a long-running show. On any given Sunday – for some – it might have been. That is the piety that captured my imagination. That and the stories of our brave martyr priests and bishops – some of whom died in Nazi concentration camps, some of whom died in gulags.

    I did not sit there worried about the fact that some of them quietly prayed the rosary before DL, some of them gave away holy cards, a lot of them were active with their friends in Roman Catholic charities and prayer groups. We didn’t worry about the wrongness of our having pews, or how our DL was abbreviated for our rescension like ALL Byzantine Chrisitans (O or C) is. (Our abbreviations were different, but save for a few 10-member old calendarist congregations, few of us are spending 3+ hours in church every sunday!)

    It may not be pristine, but it is “ours.” Even if we did it perfect in your mind, the mind of the Patriarchs of Moscow or Constantinople (the latter of whom has under his wing a flock of ex-Greek Catholics who to this day are Latinized)… Well we don’t do it for any of you.

    Again, not trying to be mean or snarky, and not even praising the so-called Latinizations… but my dander goes up when “outsiders” tell us “how to do”. What is it to them? We can’t please everyone – get too “Greeked-up” the Latins get scared, and the Orthodox still just think we are uniates… but more dangerous still because when we “look just like them” we get accused of duplicity and trying to unknowingly convert unsuspecting pious laity.

    We can’t win.

    I quit trying.

  7. Mihovil Skarpa says:

    My comments are about public worship; what somebody prays in private, or hangs on his wall, is his own business.

    As it happened, if my friend went to Melkites in our place he would have had to put up with the priest in the nave facing people and “conducting” responses instead of praying on the altar facing East, while deacon sings litanies; seeing the Melkite version of girl altar servers he would have had a women priests nightmare; and shaking hands as a “sign of peace” would have reminded him of disco masses. But this is by the way.

    The point of the two-friends’ example, and one could list many, is that the Eastern Rite Catholics are contemptuously looked down both by Western non-Catholics who contemplate a conversion, and by an ordinary Western-rite Catholic, many bishops including; as well as hated by the Orthodox. For the former they are a halfway house, for the latter they are traitors, and for an ordinary “Latin” they are a non-entity.

    Why don’t you assert yourself, by being both pristine and yours? You have much to offer that is your own. Why shouldn’t you bring us to temptation of imitating you, instead of imitating us to prove – both to us, unsuccessfully; and to the Orthodox, to their horror – that you are Catholics? Vatican II encourages you – it doesn’t matter what I say – it is your Ecumenical Council. It expects from you to be a bridge to reunion, not an obstacle.

    And you can win: by showing to the Latins that the Catholic Church is more than the Latin Church; and to the Orthodox that you are not after making their pious people “join the club”.

  8. Dr. Eric says:

    Once again, who are you to tell them how to worship? That is up to the Hierarchy.

  9. Mihovil Skarpa says:

    Dr. Eric, I agree. Their hierarchy (without entering into private lives of individuals) is on the right truck, I believe, but the four illegally consecrated bishops, and – the latinizers, I believe – are in conflict with their own hierarchy, and it is in that context that I initiated this debate. Let them read relevant Vatican II documents, and the Instruction of the Congregation for Eastern Churches. The references are in my earlier comment, and everyone can judge whether they are relevant or not. There is also Can. 903, of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, which runs:

    “The Eastern Catholic Churches have a special duty of fostering unity among all Eastern Churches…by the religious fidelity to the ancient traditions of the Eastern Churches, by mutual and better knowledge of each other, and by collaboration and brotherly respect in practice and spirit.”

  10. Sky says:

    I am never know about this… Very intersting. I will translate in Ukrainian and will post on my blog.

    Thank you for thi info!


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