Cities of God: 19th-Century European Encounters with Greek Catholicism

Cities of God: 19th-Century European Encounters with Greek Catholicism

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Katherine L. Younger

Yale University

February 6, 2014

Center for Urban History, Lviv

The Greek Catholic Church's position on the boundary between two confessions and two empires meant that many diverse individuals and institutions across the whole of Europe felt they had a stake in the Church and its fate. Yet these "outsiders" are often relegated to a supporting role as historians focus on the internal development of the Church, its relationship to national identity, or the political activities of the clergy. By bringing them to the forefront, we can more clearly see the Church's place in the religious and social landscape of nineteenth-century Europe.

Katherine L. Younger's presentation highlights three particular links to the broader European community that simultaneously shaped the Greek Catholic Church and sparked broader interest in the Church across Europe. Each of these links is closely connected to the city in which they were forged: Vienna, Rome, and Paris. In Vienna, the chaplain of the Russian Embassy Fr. M.F. Raevskii assembled a circle of Greek Catholic seminarians; in Rome, the German canon law scholar Fr. Augustin Theiner served as an intermediary between the Greek Catholic hierarchy and the Vatican; and in Paris, the Polish-revolutionary-turned-Greek-Catholic priest Fr. Ippolit (Volodymyr) Terlets'kyi spearheaded the Oriental Society for the Union of All Christians in the East.

Through these three cases we can begin to draw conclusions about external interest in the Greek Catholic Church: What drew "outsiders" to the Church; what visions did they have for it; and what success did they have in realizing those visions?