Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's Important to Remember

Even the Suffering Church (Eastern Church) succumbed to persecutory zeal:

THE following extract from the Ecclesiastical Gazette of Vienna has been reproduced in an Extraordinary Supplement of the Allgemeine Zeitung, of Augsburg, for the 11th May 1854. I subjoin a translation of it in a postscript, as an additional evidence of the persecution to which the Greek Church united with Rome has been subjected in Russia, and which I mentioned in this work: — “Spies appointed for this especial purpose transmitted, in their reports to the Government, lists of such individuals as were suspected to be Catholics at heart; and if all the exaggerated accounts which had been made of the Spanish Inquisition were true, they would be thrown into the shade by the proceedings that were adopted against the above-mentioned individuals. And indeed it is an averred fact, that many of them fell a victim to starvation, blows, and other cruel treatment. The Catholic inhabitants of Worodzkow were forced with stripes, by the Governor and his satellites, to sign a voluntary petition, expressing their ardent wish to be received into the pale of the orthodox Russian Church. The names of those who could not write were signed by others, and whoever showed the slightest manifestation of his desire to remain a Catholic, after having performed this voluntary act, was treated as one guilty of high treason. The same proceedings as at Worodzkow were adopted in a hundred other places, whose vohmtary petitions were obtained with bloody stripes of the knout. The unfortunate petitioners were, in order to perform this operation, dragged from their homes, sometimes to a distance of or 20 versts (1 1/2 verst to an English mile), and those who steadfastly refused to sign were treated by the Russian papas with the utmost cruelty and indignity. They were put into irons, barred up in cold prisons without any fire, starved, thrown into large tubs filled with an icy and stinking water, and most mercilessly beaten, so that many, in order to escape from such torments, signed the voluntary petition, with hearts as bleeding as their bodies, Many succumbed under these fearful persecutions, which were not much inferior to that which the Christians had suffered under the reign of Diocletian. The Papa Stratanovich extorted the signatures made by the feverishly agitated hands of the clerical victims, whilst his lay associate, Waimainich Zokalinski, performed the same charitable office to other unfortunate individuals. Some of these miserable persons were reduced by starvation and every kind of ill-treatment to such a condition, that they were almost unconscious of what they did in signing the voluntary petitions for the reception into the pale of the Russian Church, all of which were obtained by more or less similar means. “It appears from a great mass of documentary evidence, containing the names of localities and persons, that the proselytism of was carried out in the following manner: — Military authorities, and Russian papas or priests, visited Catholic villages, and having called together the Catholic peasantry and landowners of the neighborhood, declared that they must join the Russian Church, throwing into prison those who resisted the summons. In the most part of cases, a petition for this object was signed by some hired wretches in the name of all the community, of whom many often knew nothing about this business, but when they behaved as Catholics, they were punished as guilty of high treason.”

1 comment:

  1. Right you are. I sometimes attend the tiny ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) in Liberty, TN. This particular branch of ROCOR has not followed the main ROCOR bishops in reconciling with the Church in Russia. They're still not convinced they are clean!

    Hope you have seen the wonderful film "The Island" (Ostrov) on netflix.