Close to Orthodoxy

A neighbor lent me his January-February 1998 issue knowing that I am an Eastern Rite Catholic (also known as the Byzantine Rite). He thought I would be interested in the article on Orthodoxy ("A Community That Endures," by Jim Forest), and indeed I was. You covered many facets with which I am familiar. I have often attended Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox services, since I am fluent in the Ukrainian language and somewhat with Russian.

The Ukrainian Catholic Church is the closest form of Christianity to the Orthodox. Much of the liturgy, customs, icons, and church architecture are similar in both churches. Unfortunately, the Russian Orthodox Church has been less than charitable toward the Ukrainian Catholics. Many [Ukrainian Catholic churches] were taken over by the Orthodox, and now in a free Ukraine there are attempts to untangle the mess. A Ukrainian leader of the Catholic Church, Metropolitan Joseph Slipy, was imprisoned and exiled for almost two decades in the Soviets’ attempt to destroy the church.

The article was very informative and I am sure gave other Christians a better understanding of this ancient faith.

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