The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Galicia (1946–1968): Strategies of Survival and Resistance in the Underground

Будз, Катерина Миколаївна (2016) The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Galicia (1946–1968): Strategies of Survival and Resistance in the Underground PhD thesis, Київський унверситет імені Бориса Грінченка.

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Having annexed Eastern Galicia during the Second World War, the Soviet regime abolished the Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (hereafter UGCC) at the Lviv “council” of 1946. The liquidation of the Church took the form of an allegedly voluntary “reunion” with the state supported Russian Orthodox Church (hereafter ROC). Under state pressure, most Greek Catholic clergymen and laypeople “reunited” with the ROC. In turn, part of the Greek Catholic clergy and believers refused to change the Church’s jurisdiction. Based on the alleged link between the UGCC and the nationalist underground, the Soviets arrested many “non-reunited” priests for political crimes and deported them to the Gulag. Upon their return to Western Ukraine in the mid-1950s and until the legalization of the UGCC in 1989–1990, these clergymen conducted Greek Catholic services clandestinely. This study focuses on the strategies of survival and resistance employed by Galician Greek Catholics in the underground. The material for the dissertation has been drawn from unpublished archival material, mostly from collections of the Council for the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church (CAROC) in Moscow and Kyiv. The research is also based on published documents and post-1991 interviews with the clandestine Greek Catholics from the Archive of the Institute of Church History in Lviv. The study uses primarily methodologies of historical anthropology and social history. The first chapter offers an analysis of historiography, sources, and research methodology. The following chapter looks at models of behaviour adopted by the Greek Catholic clergy and laity during and after the “reunion” campaign of 1945–1946. The priests who refused to follow the state scenario of “reunion” were driven primarily by the idea of “true faith” rather than nationalist or anti-Soviet convictions. After 1946, the mutual distrust grew between the “reunited” and the “non-reunited” clergymen: however, the contacts between them never ceased completely. The Greek Catholic laypeople generally lacked proper understanding of dogmatic differences between the UGCC and the ROC and, therefore, usually followed their parish priest. The third chapter focuses on the clandestine Greek Catholics’ survival strategies in Soviet society, namely secular employment and membership in communist youth organizations. Though being forced to work at secular institutions, the clandestine clergymen never conformed to communist values. A younger generation of Greek Catholics, confronted by the atheistic propaganda at school and religious education at home, usually succeeded in preserving a clear sense of religious identity. Whereas many Greek Catholics were formally members of communist youth organizations, some viewed such practice as unacceptable. The chapter also highlights the role of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic clergy in Galicia for the maintenance of the Greek Catholic identity in the underground. The last chapter of the dissertation explores the Greek Catholics’ legal and illegal forms of protest, focusing on their written appeals to state authorities and unsanctioned religious services respectively. The author posits that both the petitions from the members of the allegedly “non-existent” Church and the public celebrations of the Greek Catholic liturgy in many Western Ukrainian villages undermined the official Soviet narrative about the “reunion” of the Churches. Furthermore, the chapter analyzes the phenomenon of the “non-reunited” communities in the Galician countryside and exemplifies believers’ strategies of everyday resistance using the case of Nadorozhna village. The study demonstrates that the clandestine Greek Catholics successfully employed a variety of survival and resistance strategies, which allowed them to preserve their religious identity in a hostile environment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: UGCC, ROC, “reunion,” Soviet power, Galicia, survival strategies, resistance.
Subjects: Це архівна тематика Київського університету імені Бориса Грінченка > Автореферати > Спецради Університету
Divisions: Це архівні підрозділи Київського університету імені Бориса Грінченка > НМЦ > НМЦ досліджень, наукових проектів та програм
Depositing User: Ганна Сало
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2016 09:53
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2016 09:53

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