Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dominicans in Kiev

Dominican monastery being built in Kiev

Kiev, August 22, Interfax - A Roman Catholic Chapel of St. Hyacinth was dedicated in Kiev a few days ago.

On the same site the Dominican Order plans to built a cloister and a St. Thomas Aquinas Institute of Religious Sciences.

Bishop Jan Purwinski of Kiev-Zhitomir, who presided over the liturgy in the new chapel, said that the future Dominican center was called ‘to shape the culture of the spirit in today’s uneasy circumstances,’ Religious Information Service of Ukraine reported.
I have mixed feelings about this one. The spread of the Faith is a beautiful thing, but on the one hand, in an historically Byzantine nation I am concerned that the implanting of "western" institutions may be counterproductive. But, on the other hand, our separated Eastern Brethren have no scruples about organizing "eastern" institutions, etc., in the West.

On balance, I realize that my hesitation arises from the desire to "not offend" the Orthodox. ("How pleasant in is when brothers dwell in unity!") Yet, experience has long since taught me that some people are especially prone to take offence no matter how polite one tries to be.

I must spend more time in prayer on this one!


Byzantine, TX said...

Scholastic monks in Kiev? I know we speak of the Catholics moved around during Soviet rule, but did they grab Western European scholastics from somewhere that they need a Thomistic monastery there? Can someone send a monk or two from Holy Resurrection with a bucket of paint to rename the institute and a few prayer books from Jordanville or Byzantine Seminary Press?

Fr. Thomas said...

One thing to remember is that there is an historical connection between Ukraine and Poland. Because of it, there have been Roman Catholics in Ukraine for several centuries (I believe it is 4 centuries). As such, an opportunity for the enrichment of Roman Catholics alongside their Ukrainian Catholic brethren is not such a bad thing.