The Church of Silence in Russia, Pt. I: 1917-1976
(The following is taken from various sources dealing with the perpetuation of the Russian Orthodox church and Greek Catholic Uniate Church in Russia. The works of Fr. Luigi Villa also are quoted. All commentary outside quotes from these works has been added by T. Stanfill Benns. Emphasis within quotes is added by Benns unless indicated otherwise)
As time rolls inexorably on, the history of those who have suffered for their faith and given their lives to for it is carefully kept in the background to avoid meaningless “explanations,” and discourage adulation of those who have persevered to the end and won the coveted race. While the following covers the persecution and the hidden existence of both the Russian Orthodox as well as Catholics, it provides a fascinating look at how both groups went to unbelievable lengths to preserve the faith of their fathers in the face of the most cruel persecutions imaginable. Stalin alone murdered some eight million Catholics and Orthodox believers; some of the nuns were later discovered with their rosaries pounded into their foreheads. And yet seldom do we hear of this wholesale slaughter by the Communists; instead we hear of the Catholic persecution of American natives and the Inquisition, or the Holocaust. The following is taken from accounts printed sometime in the 1950s in Orthodox and other publications. While it is not an endorsement of the schismatic Orthodox sect, it is a recognition that, believing themselves to be practicing the true faith, they defended it to the death.
The Orthodox Catacomb Church
“According to the official figures of the Office of Scientific Research of Criminology in the Soviet Concentration Camps in 1929 the number of those sentenced for Church affairs amounted to 20 percent of all the prisoners in the camps. The true Russian Orthodox Church, faithful to Christ to the last, had no alternative but to withdraw into the catacombs.
“The idea of the Underground Church was conceived by Patriarch Tikhon. He may be called the spiritual father of the [Orthodox] Catacomb Church. In the first years of her existence the Catacomb Church [or Church of Silence] had no organization or administration. It was physically and geographically disconnected, and was held together only by the name of Metropolitan Peter. Later, having had no contact with Metropolitan Peter for a long time, Metropolitan Cyril was acknowledged by the Catacomb Church as her spiritual leader and head. In 1936, after the death of Metropolitan Peter and Metropolitan Cyril, Metropolitan Joseph became the spiritual and administrative head of the Catacomb Church, which by that time had acquired some kind of organization. Toward the end of 1938 Metropolitan Joseph was executed for being the head and leader of the Secret Catacomb Church. After his death the Catacomb Church kept her secrets more strictly, especially the names and whereabouts of her spiritual leaders. Information about the Catacomb Church was not easily come by. And as the enemies of the Underground Church, the soviet and pro-soviet churchmen, require but cannot obtain precise information as to the names, addresses and activities of the members of the Catacomb Church, they deny its existence and call it a myth. If there exists a “Christ Myth” -by Professor A. Drews, why should there not be a “Myth of the Catacomb Church?”
“I had the good fortune and joy of being a member of the Catacomb Church from 1927 till 1944. While I was a convict in the Solovetsky Concentration Camp (1928-32), 1 attended many secret consecrations performed by Bishops Maxim, Victor, Hilarion (the Suffragan Bishop of Smolensk), and Nectarius. Similar secret consecrations of bishops took place also in other Concentration Camps such as Svirlag, Belbaltlag, and camps in Siberia. From 1945 till 1949, news of the Catacomb Church behind the Iron Curtain was scarce and hard to secure, but it trickled through every year, including 1949. This information was, of course, smuggled out in extremely cryptic code.
“’I will not tell the secret to Thy enemies’ — under this motto, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, I received news of the Catacomb Church. I have had occasion to speak with refugees from ‘there’ and of receiving letters from all parts of the world from former members of the Catacomb Church now scattered in exile. They were often complete strangers to me. They wrote me on account of my articles, mostly in the periodical ‘Orthodox Russia.’ Most of the letters were anonymous.
“Petrograd at this time had become the very heart of the Church’s protest against Sergius, and there was scarcely an Orthodox soul in the former Capital that was not anguished over the question of whom to follow. MANY REFUSED FOR A TIME TO RECEIVE COMMUNION IN ANY CHURCH, UNCERTAIN AS TO WHOSE SACRAMENTS WERE VALID OR WHERE THE CHURCH OF CHRIST WAS TO BE FOUND. After signing the epistle of the Yaroslavl Archpastors, Metropolitan Joseph stepped boldly forward into battle for the Church and gave his blessing for the clergy and faithful of Petrograd to follow his example in separating from Sergius, offering his own spiritual guidance and care to this movement, and entrusting the governance of the Petrograd Diocese to his outspokenly anti-Sergianist Vicar, Bishop Dimitry of Gdov. Blessing the ‘good decision the zealots of Christ’s truth,’ he prayed ‘that the Lord present us all unanimity and holy firmness of spirit in the new trial which the Church undergoing.’”
“First under the Russian State ‘Orthodox Church’ leaders Sergius then Alexis, the true Russian Orthodox refused to accept the false head established for their church by the Communists. ‘Metropolitan Joseph, and those who succeeded him ‘became the factual head of the separatist movement…When the Church is being betrayed and the faithful led astray, it is no time for compliments and polite dialogues, nor for placing ‘sympathy’ above truth. For courageous souls the knowledge that every word may bring prison and death only increases their boldness in speaking the truth without embellishments. And thus it has always been in the Church of Christ; Her outspoken defenders are hymned as champions in the Church’s song of praise…’ The Soviet press in recent years has given ample evidence of the existence of this True Orthodox Church. Its existence is illegal, and its members are treated as criminals by the regime.
“According to information in my possession received from an unquestionably reliable source, the Underground or Catacomb Church in Soviet Russia underwent her hardest trials after February 4th 1945, i. e. after the enthronement of the Soviet Patriarch Alexis. Those who did not recognize him were sentenced to new terms of punishment and were sometimes shot. Those who did recognize him and gave their signature to that effect were often liberated before their terms expired and received appointments. WE HAVE INFORMATION THAT A PRIEST AFTER SUCH A REGISTRATION, TOLD HIS WIFE AND TWO DAUGHTERS WHO HAD COME TO VISIT HIM THAT THEY SHOULD STOP GOING TO THE SOVIET PATRIARCHAL CHURCH WHEN THEY RETURNED HOME. “IT IS BETTER NOT TO GO TO ANY CHURCH WHATEVER OR RECEIVE COMMUNION AT ALL THAN TO BE IMPLICATED IN A CHURCH OF EVIL-DOERS,” HE SAID. THE WIDOW OF THE PRIEST (HE WAS SHOT AFTER THEIR VISIT) AND HER TWO DAUGHTERS WERE PERSECUTED BY THE SOVIET PRIESTS WHO CALLED THEM ‘SCHISMATICS’ AND ‘SECTARIANS.’ THEY WERE NOURISHED IN THE CATACOMB CHURCH AND KEPT THE SACRAMENT IN THEIR HOUSE (1945).” So even the Orthodox schismatics knew better not to attend services at all than to participate in sacrilege. Even they were not strangers to keeping the faith at home.
“’The persecutions of the secret priests and bishops were so, cruel,’ writes one anonymous correspondent, a refugee from the Soviet Union, ‘that if was very difficult to find the secret Church.’ The names of the bishops and priests of the Catacomb Church are kept in the strictest and most reverent secrecy. It is impossible to say with any accuracy how many there are, although information regarding the activity of more than ten secret bishops has even penetrated the Iron Curtain. Some of the secret bishops are now abroad. There are also metropolitans in the Catacomb Church. If it is not possible to ascertain the number of the priests (who are mostly secret hieromonks), we can say that it is known only that there are all too few of them to feed the flock that desires the ministry of such shepherds in the Soviet Union. Those hungry souls are ‘as the sand of the sea,’ to quote a secret bishop.
“The existence of this Catacomb Church today is surely a sign to world Orthodoxy: the age of Orthodoxy’s grandeur is past; the last age of catacombs is in our midst. In Russia this truth is more than evident; among its many proofs, perhaps the most striking is the history of the Church of Christ the Savior in Moscow. Once a magnificent temple, a monument to God’s preservation of the Russian land in 1812 and a visible symbol of the faith of a whole people, it was entirely destroyed by the Soviets, and to this day nothing has been built on its site, and it remains a gaping hole in the center of the capital of world atheism.
“EVEN SO, HE WHO LOOKS FOR THE CHURCH IN THE SOVIET UNION TODAY FINDS — A HOLE IN THE EARTH, A DEEP WOUND IN THE ORTHODOX RUSSIAN PEOPLE THAT IS NOT AT ALL HIDDEN BY THE FALSE FRONT OF THE MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE. BUT IS THE SITUATION SO VERY DIFFERENT IN THE FREE WORLD? HERE VOLUNTARY APOSTASY, RENOVATIONISM AND HERESY HAVE ACHIEVED MUCH THE SAME RESULT AS THE COERCION OF THE ATHEIST REGIME IN THE USSR. BEHIND THE GLITTERING FACADE OF ALMOST ALL THE FREE ORTHODOX CHURCHES, WITH THEIR ‘ECUMENICAL’ TRIUMPHS—IS A GAPING HOLE IN THE EARTH, ALL THE ABYSS OF DIFFERENCE THAT EXISTS BETWEEN THE “OFFICIAL” APOSTATES AND THE ‘SIMPLE MORTALS’: THE SAVING REMNANT OF ORTHODOX FAITHFUL OF MANY NATIONS. EVEN NOW THESE FAITHFUL ARE BEING DRIVEN INTO THE VOLUNTARY CATACOMBS OF SEPARATION FROM THE ECUMENIST HERESIARCHS, GATHERING AROUND THE FEW TRULY ORTHODOX BISHOPS WHO REMAIN. THUS THE DIVINE HEAD OF THE CHURCH PREPARES THEM FOR THE GREATER TRIALS THAT SEEM TO LIE AHEAD. THE PROPHECY OF THE HOLY AND CLAIRVOYANT ELDER IGNATY OF HARBIN, MADE SOME 30 YEARS AGO, NO LONGER SEEMS REMOTE: ‘WHAT BEGAN IN RUSSIA, WILL END IN AMERICA.’
“But if such terrible days be truly upon us — even Orthodox America so weak, so inexperienced, so naïve — has all that is necessary to face the days in the example of Metropolitan Joseph and the True Orthodox Christians of the first land to experience the fearful yoke of satanic atheism.” (Taken from Ivan Andreyev’s Russia’s Catacomb Saints (Platina, CA: St. Herman of Alaska Press, 1982), 109-129; some excerpts also reprinted from Orthodox Life magazine published by Holy Trinity Monastery Jordanville N.Y., in the late 1950’s, http://www.stjohnthebaptist.org.au/arti … acomb.html)
“At the end of World War II, many parts of the catacomb church reconciled with the Moscow Patriarchate, due to the election of a new patriarch (Alexei I) and to a lessening of the level of persecution on the part of the Soviets. By the 1980s, what was left of the catacomb church no longer had any hierarchy of its own, and was very small and scattered. Due to a desire to support these people, the ROCOR (directorate of the orthodox catacomb church and its clergy) decided to consecrate a secret bishop for the catacomb church in 1982—Bishop Lazar (Zhurbenko). This was the first step towards the establishment of ROCOR parishes inside Russia—a policy that was controversial even at the time, and which ROCOR later came to regret. These parishes came to be known as the Free Russian Orthodox Church (FROC) http://orthodoxwiki.org/Russian_Orthodo … ous_Church. This church later became autonomous and was then known as the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC).
The Struggle for Survival — Greek Catholic Uniates
It appears that the Uniate Greek Catholic Church illicitly merged to some extent with the Russian Orthodox Catacomb Church. It split into three factions and one sounds as though it corresponds to “homealone” here. Speaking of the Communist state church’s attempt to annihilate the remaining Greek Catholic Uniates in the USSR and make it appear that they had “returned” to their “mother church,” run by the state, in 1946 the Communists used an apostate Catholic priest (Kostelnyk) to disseminate propaganda claiming the Uniate Catholics had voluntarily abandoned their faith. The following account of this struggle explains how both Catholics and Orthodox dealt with attempts by the Soviets to force them to recognize the state-run church.
“THE ARTIFICIAL NATURE OF THE ‘REUNION’ LEFT THE PATRIARCHATE AND THE REGIME WITH THE PROBLEM OF SUPPRESSING THE CONTINUING OVERT AND PASSIVE RESISTANCE TO ORTHODOXY AND OF ASSIMILATING THE ‘CONVERTS’ INTO THE RUSSIAN CHURCH. The dimensions of these problems have been well illustrated by subsequent developments in the Western Ukraine. Thus in September 1948, the ecclesiastical leader of the “reunion” campaign, Protopresbyter Kostelnyk, was assassinated in Lviv, allegedly by the Ukrainian underground. The same fate befell his Bolshevik counterpart, writer Halan, in October 1949.’ FOR YEARS A SECTION OF THE UNIATES, IN PARTICULAR THE URBAN INTELLIGENTSIA, BOYCOTTED THE ‘REUNITED’ CHURCHES AND ATTENDED THE FEW REMAINING ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES. IN MANY PARISHES WITHOUT PRIESTS, CHURCHES REMAINED CLOSED AS THE FAITHFUL REFUSED TO ADMIT ORTHODOX CLERGYMEN,” (those who will not truck with Trads). “In Ivano-Frankivsk diocese alone, there were at least 175 such ‘parishes’ between 1946 and 1956.
“With many of the clergy accepting Orthodoxy in form only and continuing to observe the traditional Greek Catholic practices, a large number of West Ukrainians apparently found participation in the ‘new’ Church preferable to an existence without church life,” (Novus Ordo type thinking). “Nevertheless, a significant number of Uniate laymen have continued to depend on the infrequent services of the ‘illegal’ priests and monks — those who, having opposed ‘conversion,’ escaped arrest by going into hiding or formally adopting secular vocations.” (But as we see next, they had FACULTIES). “VICARS-GENERAL, WHO HAD BEEN SECRETLY APPOINTED, WERE LEFT BEHIND TO HEAD THE DECIMATED ‘CATACOMB CHURCH.’ THE NUMBER OF THESE ‘ILLEGAL’ PRIESTS HAS INCREASED, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE MID-1950S WITH THE RETURN OF THOSE ‘RECALCITRANT’ CLERGYMEN WHO HAD COMPLETED THEIR SENTENCES OR WHO PROFITED FROM THE POST-STALIN AMNESTIES. AMONG THE RETURNEES WERE BISHOPS CHARNETSKYI AND LIATYSHEVSKYI WHO HAD SECRETLY RESUMED THEIR EPISCOPAL DUTIES AND CONSECRATED NEW SECRET BISHOPS AND PRIESTS.
“Three categories of Uniates can be discerned. The first group embraces those who remain Catholics at heart but, in order to openly practice their religion, formally belong to the Orthodox Church,” (conservative Novus Ordo). “They consider themselves a ‘branch’ of the Catholic Church, forcefully separated from the Vatican and subjected to the ‘regime.’ The overwhelming majority of the forcibly ‘reunited’ clergy in Galicia and Transcarpathia fall into this ‘crypto-Uniate’ category, as well as most of the overt believers. They sympathize with the “catacomb” Uniate Church, maintain links with the “illegal” clergy and often help them in difficulties,” (NOT like the NO church, which in our case is really the state church). “In 1973, for example, three such Orthodox priests were tried with three laymen for their part in secretly reproducing during 1969-73 over 2,000 Uniate prayerbooks and a number of psalm and hymn books, using state printing facilities in Lviv.” (Since this came after the institution of the Novus Ordo Missae, is it not entirely possible these “missals” were an attempt to introduce the bastard NOM liturgy to the Catacomb Church as coming with approval from Rome?) “Should the Greek Catholic Church be legalized again they would rejoin it, but under the present circumstances they find it more practicable to work within the framework of the official Church so as to keep up the faith among the people and to counter the powerful anti-religious pressures.” And this was precisely the argument of many conservative members of the NO in the early days, who urged Traditionalists to work for change from within.
“BUT AS THE FORMER UNIATE CLERGY ARE DYING OUT, SOME OF THE PARISHES ARE NOW BEING TAKEN OVER BY THE NEW GENERATION OF CLERGY, ALREADY TRAINED IN THE ORTHODOX SEMINARIES, WHO MAY NOT NECESSARILY IDENTIFY THEMSELVES WITH THE UNIATE TRADITIONS AND LOYALTIES,” (shades of “Trad” seminaries.) “With the shortage of new clergy, however, more and more churches are being left without a priest and are in danger of closing. One recent account from the Western Ukraine describes the plight of believers in such localities: ‘IN MY VILLAGE THERE IS NO PRIEST, BUT PEOPLE COME TO CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY AND, TOGETHER WITH THE PSALMSINGER (DIAK) THEY SING MATINS AND THE MASS . . . WHILE A CHALICE AND LIGHTED CANDLES ARE PLACED ON THE ALTAR.’
“The second group consists of the ‘recalcitrant’ clergy and believers who reject the Russian Orthodox Church either as ‘schismatic’ and ‘Muscovite’ or as ‘corrupted’ by its subservience to the atheistic regime. Some Uniate laymen, particularly from among the intelligentsia, attend the few Roman Catholic churches still open in the Western Ukraine. BUT THE MAJORITY OF THEM DEPEND ON THE ‘CATACOMB CHURCH’ FOR OCCASIONAL RELIGIOUS SERVICES AND RITES, FOR THE SACRAMENTS AND RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION. THE UNDERGROUND UNIATE CHURCH IS SAID TO EMBRACE AT LEAST 300 TO 350 PRIESTS, HEADED BY THREE OR MORE SECRET BISHOPS; THEY RECOGNIZE THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH’S PRIMATE, ARCHBISHOP MAJOR JOSYF SLIPYI, WHO AFTER NEARLY 18 YEARS’ IMPRISONMENT WAS RELEASED BY THE REGIME AND ALLOWED TO LEAVE FOR ROME. One of the ‘catacomb’ bishops —Vasyl Velychkovskyi — was arrested in 1969 together with two other Uniate priests; all three were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment each. In Lviv alone, according to Levitin-Krasnov’s recent account, there were about 80 Uniate priests in 1974.” (But how many of these were loyal to the antipopes in Rome?) “Almost invariably these clergymen hold full-time secular jobs or have now retired from such jobs; many have behind them a decade or more of imprisonment or exile for their refusal to ‘convert’ to Orthodoxy. In most cases their identities seem to be known to the Soviet police, who frequently subject them to searches, interrogations, and fines, but stop short of arresting them unless they extend their activities beyond a narrow circle of friends in private homes. THE DIMINISHING RANKS OF THE AGING ‘RECALCITRANT’ CLERGY ARE BEING REPLENISHED BY AN UNKNOWN NUMBER OF YOUNGER PRIESTS ALREADY TRAINED AND ORDAINED IN THE UNDERGROUND CHURCH. THEY ARE LIKELY TO BE MORE ACTIVIST AND MILITANT THAN THE OLDER CLERGY. OUTSIDE THE WESTERN UKRAINE THERE MAY BE AS MANY AS 30 UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS IN LITHUANIA, SOME OF THEM SERVING THEIR UKRAINIAN FLOCK FROM AFAR,” (and sadly these priests most especially are likely to be aligned with Rome as she existed after the death of Pope Pius XII).
“The third, smallest but most radical category of the Uniates centres on a ‘neo-Uniate’ movement popularly known as Pokutnyky (‘Penitents’) dating from the 1950s, which apparently has broken away from the ‘Catacomb Church.’ This group, which has been subjected to ruthless repression by the administration and the police, combines eschatology with radical nationalist views and urges a total repudiation of the Soviet regime. According to recent Soviet attacks on the Pokutnyky, their movement: ‘spreads among the population a slogan of the God-choseness of the Ukrainian people, prohibits the believers from participating in elections, in social-political life, calls upon them to reject service in the Soviet Army, work in Soviet enterprises, education of children in schools, and medical assistance. On the one hand, the ‘neo-Uniates’ proclaim themselves a purely religious movement, a ‘truly apostolic faith,’ [and] on the other hand they speculate on the national sentiments by declaring that ‘the Lord elevates’ now the Ukraine which allegedly has ‘for long centuries been under oppression, in abject slavery and captivity.’ Thus, they are trying to inflame hatred towards other peoples, and first of all towards the Russian people, which allegedly has brought atheism to the Ukraine.” (This Uniate split-off group resembles some of the more radical sects of Traditionalists, including those rabidly anti-Jewish, pro-American and pro-monarchy, who mix dangerous political beliefs and affiliations with what little remains of their faith.)
“During 1976, the Vatican remained silent while its Ukrainian flock in the West marked the 30th anniversary of the tragedy that befell their co–religionists in the Soviet Ukraine. This attitude of the Holy See, the seeming fraternization of its representatives with the Uniates’ persecutors, and its negative response to those demanding greater autonomy for the Ukrainian Church, have embittered and divided Ukrainian Catholics in the West, as well as inside the USSR, while offering to the Soviet authorities a new propaganda weapon in their continuing attempts to demoralize and destroy the ‘Catacomb Church,’” (The account of the Uniate Church above was taken from: “The Catacomb Church: Ukrainian Greek Catholics in the USSR,” by Bohdan R. Bociurkiw; http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/ ).
The Catacomb Church betrayed
In the mid-1980s, the compiler of the Catholic Directory, made available in that time period by Radko Jansky, also reported the existence of an underground Ukrainian Church with three bishops and an undetermined number of priests. Jansky discouraged contacts with the Ukrainian clergy, who feared retaliation from the Soviets. It is not known how this remnant of the Church was affected by the Ukrainian Chernobyl disaster or what happened to its clergy following the “fall” of Communism in the 1990s. Recently available works detailing the tragic betrayal of the Catacomb Church by the Roman antipopes in the 1960s and 1970s are quoted below.
“In 1962, acting on his order, Cardinal Tisserant signed an agreement with the Metropolitan NIKODIM, SPOKESMAN OF THE KREMLIN, with the aim of inviting Orthodox “OBSERVERS” to his Council. Moscow accepted the invitation on condition that NOT A WORD BE UTTERED ABOUT COMMUNISM DURING THE COUNCIL. This clarifies why a petition, signed by 450 conciliar Fathers demanding the condemnation of Communism, mysteriously vanished. And thus John XXIII subjected the Church to the veto of Moscow, and put a shameful silence on the bloodiest and criminal of totalitarianisms.
“What were the fruits of John XXIII’s OSTPOLITIK? Except for the gesture of the release of cardinal Slipyi, in all of the Communist countries there was an increase in anti-Catholic persecutions, where the victims found themselves betrayed by the Vatican Authorities. In Latin America sprang up the so-called THEOLOGY OF LIBERATION, permeated with Communist ideas. It will suffice to recall what the guerrilla-priest Camillo Torres, declared: “JOHN XXIII AUTHORIZES ME TO MARCH ALONG WITH THE COMMUNISTS.” Then, in 1963, John XXIII received in the Vatican Khrushchev’s son-in-law, ALEXEI ADZHUBEI, a meeting arranged by [Comunist Party Secretary] Palmiro Togliatti in person; a meeting, however, that earned the Italian communists an extra million votes in the next political elections. (“John XXIII “Beatified” Too? Open Letter to the Episcopate,” by Father-Doctor Luigi Villa, 2000).
“Now, even THIS PASTOR-MARTYR OF THE “CHURCH OF SILENCE,” who spent so many years in prisons, labor camps and mental institutes, and who defended, up until his death, after tortures and Soviet prisons, his Ukrainian Catholic homeland and the Church, with unfaltering faith and indomitable Episcopal conscience, WAS ORDERED INTO SILENCE, ALWAYS IN THE NAME OF THE VATICAN OSTPOLITIK. He nonetheless continued, as best he could, to denounce the absence of any religious freedom in the USSR and the bloody persecutions the Ukrainian Catholic Church was suffering, until in 1953, he, too, was confined in Rome, in the Vatican. With that move, PAUL VI HAD IN FACT PLACED HIM UNDER “HOUSE ARREST,” UNDER CONTINUOUS SURVEILLANCE, AND PREVENTED BY THE OSTPOLITIK FROM WORKING DIRECTLY FOR HIS UKRAINIAN AND CATHOLIC PEOPLE.
“That same fate occurred to CARDINAL STEPHEN TROCHTA, ANOTHER HERO SHAMEFULLY MISTREATED BY THE MONTINIAN OSTPOLITIK, without the minimal respect and veneration, after so many years of prison and labor camps throughout most of his episcopal life. He spent, in fact, three years at Dachau concentration camp. Having become bishop of Litomericka, in 1947, he was arrested in 1951, and underwent continuous interrogations for three years. In 1954, he was sentenced to 25 more years of forced labor, for “TREASON AND ESPIONAGE IN FAVOR OF THE VATICAN.” AFTER those tortures, he was interned in a convent, at Radvanov. It was only during the “PRAGUE SPRING,” in 1969, that he was rehabilitated and made cardinal; but he was still continuously followed, spied upon, prevented from exercising his functions. In April of 1974, after a last criminal interrogation, which was to last 6 hours, he suffered a break down. The following day, this hero of the Faith passed away.
“PAUL VI HAD NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT HIS CARDINAL-MARTYR, whereas, whereas, on that very day of his passing, HE SENT OUT A TELEGRAM TO THE WIFE OF JUSTICE SOSSI, abducted by the Red Brigades [formed in 1969 to establish a revolutionary state and to separate Italy from the Western Alliance]. AND THEN ONE TALKS OF CHRISTIAN “CHARITY!” In Paul VI there was never a minimal sensibility or respect toward that heroic defender of the Faith, AND IT IS DIFFICULT TO FIND WORDS TO STIGMATIZE PAUL VI’S SHAMEFUL PAPAL SILENCE AND INACTION. But that was always his cynical behavior with those that did not share his views. Neither had he ever a word, a reaction, a cry of PAIN FOR THE PERSECUTED AND THE MARTYRS OF THE “CHURCH OF SILENCE,” ACHING AND BLEEDING TO THIS DAY, SOLE TRUE SEED OF A NEW CHRISTIAN RUSSIA.
“The truth of the FACTS we have narrated, however, dispels any doubt. It will suffice to recall once more the forced transfer of CARDINAL MINDZENTY, from “Primate” of Hungary to Rome. It will suffice to recall once more the cry of CARDINAL SLIPYI, that other Confessor of the Faith, that Soviet camps runaway who, before the Synod, CRIED OUT HIS INDIGNATION TO THE TRAITORS WHO CUT A PEACE WITH THE PERSECUTORS, OBLIVIOUS OF THEIR FAITHFUL, WHOM SOVIET COMMUNISM PERSECUTES AND TORTURES: “OUT OF 54 MILLIONS CATHOLIC UKRAINIANS — SAID HE — TEN MILLIONS HAVE DIED AS A CONSEQUENCE OF PERSECUTIONS. THE SOVIET REGIME HAS SUPPRESSED ALL DIOCESES. THERE IS A MOUNTAIN OF DEAD BODIES AND THERE IS NO ONE LEFT, NOT EVEN IN THE CHURCH, TO UPHOLD THEIR MEMORY. THOUSANDS OF FAITHFUL ARE STILL DETAINED OR DEPORTED. BUT THE VATICAN DIPLOMACY (HENCE PAUL VI) HAS CHOSEN SILENCE, NOT TO UPSET ITS DEALINGS. THE TIMES OF THE CATACOMBS ARE BACK. THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FAITHFUL OF THE UKRAINIAN CHURCH ARE DEPORTED TO SIBERIA AND AS FAR NORTH AS THE POLAR CIRCLE, AND YET THE VATICAN IGNORES THIS TRAGEDY. HAVE THE MARTYRS, PERHAPS, BECOME INCOMMODIOUS WITNESSES? COULD WE HAVE BECOME A DRAG TO THE CHURCH?” …PAUL VI HAD BECOME A DRIVE BELT OF THE COMMUNIST DRIVE FOR ‘PEACE,’ that is, for the elimination of the various national armies, so that the Masonic UN could triumph, even through the worldwide expansion of Communism.” (“Paul VI… Beatified?” By Father Doctor Luigi Villa, July, 2001, Italy; emphasis in bold added either by Villa or his editor.)
“During the Council Paul VI met with Metropolitan Nikodim, Moscow’s KGB negotiator of the Council’s silence on communism. In private remarks, the Ukrainian Catholic Major Archbishop, Josef Slipyi, denounced Pope Paul for ‘clasping the blood-stained hands of the murderers of the Greek Catholic Church.’ In 1978 Nikodim would drop dead while having coffee in the papal apartments of John Paul I. Ten days later John Paul I himself would die, on the thirty-third day of his reign,” (Peter Hebblethwaite, “Paul VI the First Modern Pope,” p. 337.)
And so we see that even among the Orthodox, there were some who chose to worship at home rather than risk committing sacrilege; this should cause Traditionalists to hang their heads in shame. And among true Catholics, there were those who also kept the faith in the privacy of their homes, avoiding as sacrilegious the services of the Orthodox. In Pt. II we will show that after all, this avoidance is the constant teaching of the Church, and applies even when Catholics are facing persecution.