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Greek-Catholic Church

Request of the delegates and guests of the 9th World Congress of Rusyns for recognition of the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Church sui iuris in Slovakia and the appointment of its Rusyn bishop



How will Benedict XVI bring to an end a thousand-year latinization of the Slavs?

Short chronology of events in Krasnobrod monastery

The last Sunday liturgy of Father František Krajňák in Medzilaborce

An open letter to Bishop Jan Babjak

"Saga Timovič" is coming to end

A Basilian Marián Ján POTÁŠ has died

The magazine ARTOS 1/2006 has been published

A new magazine and calendar have been published

The ceremony of constituting of ktitors in Miroľa


The Orthodox Church

His Most Enlightened Kryštof has become the new Metropole

The Orthodox Church has its new archbishop Ján

His Holiness NIKOLAJ has left to eternity



Greek-Catholic Church



To His Holiness pope Benedict,


June 14, 2007

Dr. Yuri A. Dumnich

Svobodi avenue, 53, flat 45

Uzhgorod 88000


Your Holiness pope Benedict,

We are Uniates from Ruthenia, Uzhgorod (now Transcarpathian region or Zakarpatska oblast of Ukraine).
We are giving our pray to the Lord with ask for blessing to you for many years.
The Rusyns, Ruthens or Rusnaks is a people dominating (by number) in our region. As we are Rumens, for centuries the church Slavonic language was a language for all church services. Here we preserved our language in church since year 863. The union of Catholic and Ortodox churches in Uzhgorod in 1646 declared free use of church Slavonic language for all kinds of services.
Mr. Milan Sasik, the young uniatic bishop and Slovak by nationality, was directed by Vatican for heading of Mukachevo eparchy in 2002. Unfortunately, he had abolished the use of church Slavonic language in all our church services and introduced Ukrainian instead, which is unusual for us in service. Many of our people were opposed to his decision. They start to go for service with Ortodox.
This policy was used by the end of 1920th in Slovakia by the bishop Girka. He changed the church Slavonic language on Slovakian in all our church services in former Chechoslovakia. This resulted in decrease in number of Rusyns in Slovakia from about 200000 in 1920 to about 60000 in 2002.
The similar result could be expected in Podkarpatska Rus (now Zakarpatska oblast of Ukraine).
The Ukrainians migrate to our region mainly after 1944, when part of Ruthenia was captured by Soviet Union. The small group of Ukrainians has its own service in Ukrainian already long time. There is no need to introduce Ukrainian for all our services. We do not want to change our traditional language in church.
Could we, possibly, ask Your Holiness to help us with your just decision concerning the language in our eparchy.
We will pray for health of Your Holiness. We will pray for Lord to bless Your Holiness in preservation of the altar of Holy Peter for many years.
On the behalf of our parish,
Yuri A. Dumnich, PhD, MD.



Sighetu Marmaţiei, June 23rd, 2007                                             

His Holiness

Pope Benedikt XVI




Request of the delegates and guests

of the 9th World Congress of Rusyns

for recognition of the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Church

sui iuris in Slovakia and the appointment of its Rusyn bishop


Your Holiness,

We, the undersigned members of the World Council of Rusyns, being representatives of Rusyn cultural organisations in ten countries around the world associated in the World Congress of Rusyns, met on June 22nd – 23rd, 2007 at the 9th Congress in the town of Sighetu Marmaţiei in Romania. First of all, we would like to greet You, Your Holiness, and send You some heart-felt prayers from Rusyn Greek-Catholics, by which, to almighty God, we pray for You, representative of Jesus Christ on Earth, health and God’s grace in abundance.


At the World Congress meeting, problems of Rusyns around the world were discussed, especially their cultural-national development and recognition of their nationality rights in each country, where they live in high numbers. Among the discussed matters was the situation of Rusyn Greek-Catholics in Slovakia, who encounter injustice in non-recognition of their rights to use their mother tongue, Rusyn, in liturgical ceremonies, the right to post Rusyn priests in parishes with Rusyn congregations and the right to educate Rusyn theologians to preach among Rusyn believers in the Rusyn language. Rusyn priests addressed Your predecessor Holy Father John Paul II in 1997 and later in 2003 with an official request for recognition of the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Church sui iuris in Slovakia, as well as with a request to appoint a Rusyn bishop for this Church. However, the submitted matter has remained unresolved to this day. Rusyns realise the difficulties in resolving their request, but they find it just and fair according to secular and church laws.

That is why we address You, Holy Father, with trust and hope and we believe that our pleas will be heard. Our hope at this time is strengthened by Your increased interest in events within the Catholic Church in Slovakia, about which You were informed at the recent visit of bishops from Slovakia to the Vatican, as well as about the effort to create new bishoprics here. Although in 1968 Annuario Pontifico, the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Church sui iuris was changed to Slovak, the original Rusyn Church sui iuris did not cease to exist. On the contrary, this Church wishes to keep its identity and develop the religious and cultural heritage of its ancestors. It is also proven by the fact that, at the latest census of residents in Slovakia in 2001, 35 thousand Greek-Catholics designated Rusyn their mother tongue.


Your Holiness, on behalf of Rusyn Greek-Catholics, loyal messengers of Cyril and Method and most holy tradition of the Eastern Slavonic Church ceremonies, which link Greek-Catholic  Rusyns not only in Slovakia, but also in Ukraine, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the USA, Canada, and elsewhere in the world, delegates of which represented their brothers and sisters also at the 9th World Congress of Rusyns in Romania, we ask You, who are at the position of the Holiest Office of Roman Pontifex Maxima, to hear the voice of Greek-Catholic Rusyns in Slovakia and renew the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Church in Slovakia. For this deed, You will be sincerely thanked and Your decision will be beatified not only by the contemporary Rusyn Greek-Catholic congregation, but also their successors.


Praise be to Jesus Christ! (Slava Isusu Christu!)


With reverence,

members of the World Council of Rusyns

as the executive body of the World Congress of Rusyns:






Chairman Paul Robert Magocsi (North America)

Vice-Chairman Djura Papuga (Serbia) 

Members of World Council of Rusyns:

Mychail Almašij (Ukraine)

Marianna Ljavinyec (Hungary)

Gheorghe Firczak (Romania)

Agáta Pilátová (Czech Republic)

Vladimír Protivňák (Slovakia)

Andrzej Kopcza (Poland)

Natalija Hnatko (Croatia)

Deputy of the World Council of Rusyns Alexander Zozuľák (Slovakia)





2 0 0 7


In this CHARTER, we are addressing the inhabitants of Slovakia in order to inform them about the events in the Greek-Catholic Church, which concern Rusyn Greek-Catholics.

  • The present Slovak Greek-Catholic Church – sui iuris – used to be Rusyn. The Prešov Greek-Catholic Eparchy arose from the Mukhatshevo Eparchy and they were both officially considered Rusyn. In 1963, a priest wantonly changed it to Slovak Eparchy sui iuris in Annuario Pontifico (Pope’s Annual).

  • Since 1968, Rusyn Greek-Catholics could not officially be educated to become priests and Slovak Greek-Catholic priests at Rusyn parishes started aggressive slovakisation.

  • Up to this day, Rusyn Greek-Catholics have not been allowed to re-establish the old (or create a new) hierarchical structure with proper parishes, nor to develop their church in all areas of religious life. This community, however, is capable of that, which can be seen from the fact that, in 1995, the Rusyn language was officially codified and, in 2001, in the census of residents, 35 000 Greek-Catholics proclaimed Rusyn their mother tongue. In approximately 100 villages, where members of Greek-Catholic church live, over 50 per cent of the inhabitants proclaim Rusyn their mother tongue.

  • Since 1986, no initiative has come from the Greek-Catholic Church hierarchy for missionary activities among the Rusyn population in their mother tongue. That is why no catechistic aids are available, no prayer-books necessary for holy services, no textbooks, Holy Scriptures, pastoral letters, magazines, etc. that would have been issued with the initiative of the Prešov diocese or the Košice Apostolic Eparchy and published in the mother tongue of Rusyn Greek-Catholics.

  • In the Prešov seminary, theologians, during their priest studies, never heard a sermon in Rusyn and they are not encouraged to do pastoral work among the Rusyn believers, although most of them, after they have been ordained priests, are referred to Rusyn parishes by the bishop of the Prešov Eparchy.

  • Thousands of Rusyns have migrated from their home villages to various towns in Slovakia where there is no priest to minister in their mother tongue, although in at least 10 towns a Rusyn priest is urgently needed.

  • At Feast of Redemption in Rusyn parishes, bishops of the Greek-Catholic Church are not even willing to read a Gospel in Rusyn.


The situation is not being solved and this causes forcible assimilation of the Rusyn Greek-Catholics and their parishes, which contradicts the spirit of the 2nd Vatican Council offering revival to all nations in their mother tongue. In 2003, a vicar for Rusyns was appointed who cannot speak standard Rusyn, is of unclear national orientation and is passive in his post. He only confirms the manipulation, unfavourability and unwillingness to solve the Rusyn Greek-Catholic hierarchy issue. The unimportant “helpful” measures of the present church hierarchy are features of tactical manipulation with the public opinion to create an idea that the wishes of Rusyn believers are complied with. These authorities, however, do not respond to any important issues or suggestions.


This CHARTER is not temporary and was made public on January 20th, 2007. If you are 18 or over, associate with the views of the Charter and are in favour of corrections of the aforementioned poignant events, please support it by stating your name and residential address, sign it and send to the following address:



Duchnovičovo nám. 1

081 48 Prešov


From March 1st, 2007 on, a list of supporters (in alphabetical order, stating the place of their residence) can be found on the website:

Everybody who signs becomes a signatory of the Charter. Full addresses and signatures can be found in the editorial office of Rusín and Ľudové noviny.


Date      Name and Surname        Address        Town/Village          Signature



(By August 1st, 2007 the Charter 2007 had been signed by 1426 people. We are sorry if we misspelled some of the names or surnames, but some handwriting was difficult to read and decode. Please, for your own sake, try to write more neatly and provide your whole name, so that there were less wrongly spelled names. Thank you for understanding.)



  1. Adamišin               Mikuláš              Krásny Brod

  2. Adamišinová          Natália               Krásny Brod

  3. Ambruchová           Elena                 Medzilaborce

  4. Andreanin              Ján                    Volica

  5. Andrejaninová        Anna                  Volica

  6. Andrejco                Michal                Ruská Poruba

  7. Babej                    Milan                 Svidník

  8. Bajcurová              Anna                  Medzilaborce

  9. Baník                    Ján                    Krásny Brod

  10. Baníková               Helena               Krásny Brod

  11. Baranková             Mária                 Medzilaborce

  12. Barna                    Ivan                    Roškovce

  13. Barna                    Ivan                    Medzilaborce

  14. Barnová                 Anna                  Roškovce

  15. Barnová                 Anna                  Medzilaborce

  16. Baťko                    Milan                 Medzilaborce

  17. Baťková                 A.                      Medzilaborce

  18. Baťková                 Daša                  Medzilaborce

  19. Bega                     Ivan                    Čabalovce

  20. Begová                  Tatiana               Čabalovce

  21. Bejda                    Vasiľ                  Bratislava

  22. Bejdová                 Mária                 Bratislava

  23. Belej                     Michal                Medzilaborce

  24. Belej                     Jozef                  Medzilaborce

  25. Belejová                Mária                 Medzilaborce



How will Benedict XVI bring to an end a thousand-year latinization of the Slavs?

Will Cardinal Tomko help to reveal the truth and find the lost appeals of two Basilian monks from Slovakia in Vatican?


Robert Matejovic


“Thanks to protestants and Jesuits, 90 percent of contemporary Slovakia changed their identity from Rusyn-Ruthenian to a newly formed nations of “Toths”, later called Slovaks who converted from Cyril-Methodian azbuka (Cyrillic alphabet) to the Latin Alphabet (Latin),“ is written in the book by Jozafat V. Timkovic, Basilian monk, who, together with his brother - Gorazd A. Timkovic appealed to the Pope to punish Jan Babjak, Greek Catholic bishop in Presov, for telling lies.



“Slava Isusu Christu!” Do you know a Greek Catholic Church Rite, old Slavonic liturgical language, a master piece by the two missionaries – Cyril and Methodius? Surely, I do not have to guess how many people would give me the positive answer. However, not many. Within a small regional survey, I would have to state that apart from East Slovakia, the majority of Slovaks, Roman Catholics and protestants, living in West and Central Slovakia, have no idea what this term means. Neither, they know this Church has worshipers like Slovaks, Rusyns-Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Hungarians in Slovakia. Ukrainians and Ruthenians-Lemkos in Poland, Hungarians and Rusyns-Ruthenians in Hungary. Some people unreasonably connect this Church with the communism and with Russia, they consider it “retrogressive and backward”, they mistake it by the Orthodox Church. Nevertheless, it is the Church that has been preserved its genuine Slavonic Byzantine (Greek) rite, Cyril-Methodian tradition and Old-Slavonic liturgical language only in Slovakia. Many people mistake this language with the Ruthenian or Ukrainian languages. However, the words of the superior prayer must be understood by every single Slav: “Otche nash, izhe jesi na Nebesich, da svjatit sja imja Tvoje, da pridet Carstvije Tvoje, da budet volja Tvoja, …” (Our Father who arts in Heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done…)


Why have I chosen such an unusual introduction?

In 2004, Jozafat Vladimir Timkovic, a Basilian monk, published an unusual scientific-historical book – Dejiny greckokatolikov Podkarpatska (9. – 18. storocie). It caused roaring and contrary responds in the Church circles in Slovakia. Its main topic is a tabooed latinization of the Slavonic Hungarian Kingdom and replacing of the original Cyril-Methodian Church rite by the Latin rite. Soon, the book became a sensation for those who were searching and could not find the answers for a very simple question: where and how did the heritage of Cyril and Methodius mission which is mentioned in the Slovak Constitution and which Slovaks put in a claim for disappear?


Short chronology of events in Krasnobrod monastery (Great Monastery - in Hungarian language called Nagymonostor)

To the 9th century the pagan cult center of the Taurus;
9th century - according to S. Papp Monastery funded by the Rusyn-Ruthenian Count Laborec;
14th century - Monastery destroied by Karol Robert from Anjou... The miracle
of the icon of the Theotokos from Krasnobrod Monastery and after great donations from the Rusyn-Ruthenian Count, Theodor Koriatovich and reconstruction of Monastery;
to the 17th century - the great lavra (Nagymonostor with its own archimandrite-bishop);
1603 - the burning and reconstruction by the protestant count Valentine Drugeth;
1614 - attempts made toward unification, known as The Krasnobrod "unia" by count George
1651-1664 - the ecclesial residence of the Greek-Catholic archimandrite-bishop P. Petrovic, OSBM;
1703-1711 - the decline of Monasticism during the Rakoczy uprising;
1729 - the resettling of the Krasnobrod Monastery by Mukachevo Basilians;
1750-1752 - the construction of the stone-built (Masonry) Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit;
1759 - the construction of the stone-built Monastery and Chapel of The Holy Protection;
1747-1820 - inaugural steps towards The school of Philosophy and iconography studies at the Krasnobrod Monastery;
1806 - the exceptional authoritative grant (pledge) of forgiveness bestowed by the Pope;
1821 - ordination of the first Presov Greek-Catholic bishop G. Tarkovic;
1915 - the Monastery was destroyed during World War I;
1949/50 - liquidation of The Order of St. Basil the Great during communist regime;
1968 - restoration of Greek-Catholic pilgrimages;
1990 - restoration of pilgrimages within The Basilian Order;
1998 - 2001 - reconstruction of Basilian Monastery building close to their original location.
2002 - consecration of
Monastery complex by 4 Greek-Catholic bishops;
- initial beginnings of construction pertaining the new Monastery Church.

x   x   x

In the ancient Subcarpathian Region (in the north-eastern part of present day Slovakia) near the city of Medzilaborce, lie the ruins of one of the oldest Basilian monasteries in Slovak Republic, the Descent of the Holy Spirit Monastery - the Monastery of Krasny Brod.
According to tradition, it was funded by the Count Laborec in 9th century and later refunded by the Count Teodor Koriatovich (+1414).
From the end of the XVIII to the early part of the XIX century, it flourished as the Basilian Philosophical-Theological University.
In its glorious past it was destroyed three times: once at the beginning of the XVII century, once again at the beginning of the XVIII century and lastly in 1915. After its first, second and third destruction the monastery was rebuilt. Lastly it was rebuilt in 1999-2002, but not at his original place (to keep old historical ruins) but 50 metres beside it. Now this
new Basilian monastery has 20 rooms for monks.
Today there are living three ieromonks: Sedlacek, Bilancik, Lucak and brother Antonak as candidate of Basilians.


If You want to study more the famouse history of this Basilian monastery, take to Your hands the book: J.V. Timkovic,
Letopis Krasnobrodskeho monastiera alebo kusok zo slavnych dejin greckokatolikov na Slovensku, Presov, 1995, 126 pp. Book is written in slovak language with many footnotes in original.

The last Sunday liturgy

of Father František Krajňák in Medzilaborce


The participants of the second Sunday Holy Mass in the Principal seat of St. Vasilij the Great in Medzilaborce. Mgr. Alena Blichová, the Deputy of the Association of Rusyn Youth in Slovakia was one of those to take Holy Communion from Father František Krajňák. Finally, the body of curators had their picture taken in front of the iconography with Father F. Krajňák and his wife Viera.


On July 16th, 2006 in the Principal Greek-Catholic seat of St. Vasilij the Great in Medzilaborce, Father František Krajňák officiated his last Sunday Holy Mass.

The notice of his transfer to a different parish, which was given a long time ago, has now been confirmed. It is happening in the year when Father František celebrated two significant jubilees: his 50th birthday and 25 years of active pastoral service.


x x x


F. Krajňák spent the most significant part of his life – 21 years – in Medzilaborce. During the time, he won the hearts and minds of the Medzilaborcians, the believers of the Greek-Catholic Church, the youth and supporters of Rusyn national-minority life in general. During his “Medzilaborce period”, he became one of the most remarkable personalities in New-Age Rusyn national-minority history, as well as in New-Age history of the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Church in Slovakia, reaching passed the borders of our republic. Similarly to Dukhnovich and Pavlovich, his activities also lit the spark in people thinking in the same way: priests and laymen. Although the Council of the Rusyn Greek-Catholic Clergymen of the Prešov Diocese, within the church, is rather a symbolic institution; it influences the development of the Rusyn pastoration, and, at the same time, the Rusyn identity. The close team of co-authors translating religious books into Rusyn, working for the magazine “Artos” and the Greek-Catholic Rusyn Calendar, has under his leadership done a lot of good work, to which there is no parallel in Rusyn ecclesiastical history. As recently as the 20th century, they were actively trying to make codified Rusyn the liturgical language – in correspondence with the religious and worldly laws. By this deed, they started to build a protective wall from more and more aggressive assimilation, which the Rusyns have to fight in clerical as well as civilian life.


In joint power of religious and worldly national-minority institutions, hope for rescuing the Rusyns from complete assimilation could be seen. Great hope was put into the Greek-Catholic Church revived after 1968, which was expected to continue in the pro-minority efforts of Beatified Bishop Pavol Peter Gojdič. Pushing of slovakisation tendencies of the revived church under the leadership of Mons. Jan Hirka, evoked even larger activation of pro-minority oriented Rusyn personalities, who co-operated with civilian ethnic organisations, especially with the Rusyn Revival after 1989. Moreover, within the mentioned church, they actively demanded the appointment of a bishop for Rusyns who would take into consideration the ethnic affiliation of a significant percentage of its churchgoers – Rusyns.


Instead of that, however, transfers from parishes to different ones started to happen, which, in our opinion, is rather persecution of the Rusyn pastors, the aim of which was to stop “nourishing “ the Rusyn roots in this church. But even in hard psychological and material conditions, the translations of the Apostles and the Gospels into Rusyn came to life, as well as other books important for the development of the Rusyn pastoral practice in Slovakia. This meant that the Rusyns were not planning to give up their legal rights. Although a position of bishop was  demanded during the previous bishop’s incumbency, Father Pavol Peter Haľko was at least silently made a vicar (sinkel) for Rusyns by the new bishop Ján Babjak in the St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Prešov in May 2003. However, from the very beginning it was clear that, apart from their first names, he will not have much in common with Beatified Bishop Gojdič...


In Medzilaborce, Father F. Krajňák has, in our opinion, built a strong pastoral-national-minority basis. Time will show whether his successor will keep building on it. His imprints can be seen not only in the town itself; but also in the whole Rusyn Laborec region, where, in the end, a parish for him “could not be found”. His leaving will be a great test for the Rusyns of the Medzilaborce region; whether they will manage to protect this basis and keep building on it. And for Father Krajňák, a new challenge is being born – to build Rusyn basis and to wake up the almost completely slovakised Stara Lubovna region from the “sound sleep”.


x  x  x


From July 20th, 2006 on, Kamienka becomes the new pastoral place for Father Krajňák, where he will officiate his first Holy Mass. (At the same time, Father Ján Blaško (born in Ruska Poruba), who has until now been a priest in nearby Ňagov; will come to Medzilaborce to officiate his first mass.) We know that Kamienka is a Rusyn village with Rusyn traditions; however, it is rather neglected from the national-minority point of view. Although an increase in Rusyn nationality inhabitants can be observed (from 92 in 1991 to 237 in 2001); it is not enough for a large village of over 1 500 inhabitants...


The only point to start Rusyn national-minority line in this region, is the Community of St. John the Baptist, the goal of which is national and cultural development of Rusyns. Moreover, the head of this organisation is Father Jaroslav Popovec, who is a priest in Čirč, located in the Stara Lubovna region...


x x x


We were also present at the last Sunday thanksgiving Holy Mass in Medzilaborce. For us, it was an opportunity to meet the significant personality Father František Krajňák and to thank him for the work he has done in the clerical and national-minority field. We hope that the Stara Lubovna region with its loyal Rusyns will find its way to his heart, just like the Medzilaborce region has (F. Krajňák was born in Prešov) and that, under his leadership, the regional Rusyn traditions will come to life again.


(Shortened; the article in the full Rusyn version can be found on our website, in the column “ЦЕРЬКОВ“.)

Anna PLIŠKOVÁ, Photos: A. Z.


An open letter to Bishop Jan Babjak


Your worship, Monsignor Babjak,


“We would like to congratulate you on your great success in hounding Father František Krajňák  out of  Medzilaborce. Your heart is finally feeling at ease now that this has happened and it will be you who, in the eyes of the Catholic hierarchy, is considered the leader of the Prešov Greek-Catholic diocese. We are living in the 21st century and everywhere we go, we can hear the word “democracy”. A general election has just taken place and, according to politicians, it was democratic; because those politicians now in power are those who the people have elected. That is how it is in politics and that is how it should be everywhere, which means in the church, too. Unfortunately, the church and especially the majority church, went back a 100 years and now a dictatorship is in power. This is the infamous word against which we have protested. But you, even nowadays, practise dictatorship and make changes that anger people just like now in  Medzilaborce. We cannot be sure if, at the age of 47, you can see and hear well but you do not see or hear the work of Father Krajňák in Medzilaborce. We, the Medzilaborcians, know why and for what we thank Father Krajňák. We will remember only good about him. Father Krajňák is a thorn in the side of someone for being not just an active clergyman. The evidence of this can be seen in the many young priests coming from the Medzilaborce region who are proud of their Rusyn nationality and everything Rusyn. He, himself, did a lot and we can justly call him the “Dukhnovich of Medzilaborce”; but you despise Father Krajňák’s work. He is also “unlucky” to have his brother, Peter, in Prešov, who is not just a good brother but also supports Father Krajňák’s activities as a clergyman and national representative. Dr. Peter Krajňák (LLB) is an active member of the Rusyn Revival in Slovakia and he constantly fights for the rights of Rusyns and for the inauguration of a Rusyn bishop. These are also reasons to expel Father Krajňák from Medzilaborce. We cannot be sure of your memory but we can clearly remember October 23rd, 1991, when Father Krajňák took over the Greek-Catholic church in Medzilaborce from the Orthodox Church. What a disgrace and humiliation he experienced from the angry Orthodox believers and if it was not for the police escort, with the help of which he was able to get in a police car, we do not know how he would have survived. Back then, Father Krajňak was also liked by your predecessor Mons. Ján Hirka. Later, even he turned his back on Father Krajňák.


We do not know where the Council of Bishops finds the law that priests can not stay at one place too long. We know cases when, in a parish, a priest baptised his first baby in 1903 and his last one in 1930 and he also died there. In a church, a law should be in action, which would allow a priest to stay at his post, if the congregation are happy with him, until his death. But the ignoramuses, that are now coming to our villages where they make various changes, should not stay for even 24 hours. Unfortunately, some of our people support these ignorant activities; there is enough evidence of that. Also thanks to them, Rusyn children who now come from towns to spend their holidays in villages with their grandparents, only speak Slovak. This is a goal of Mons. Babjak supported by the contemporary Greek-Catholic Church, which only fulfils the orders of the all-powerful church and we are living under their dictatorship thanks to you. We do not know whether you have chosen a “safe” parish for Father Krajňák and his work, as he will want to continue his work for Rusyns, the work he did in Medzilaborce. Although Kamienka is not Medzilaborce, as a strong Slovak influence can be felt there from the side of Stará Ľubovňa, which has only 555 Rusyns out of 16 227 inhabitants. In Kamienka, Father Krajňák will have harder times than in Medzilaborce. You can pat yourself on the back, that you have managed to silence the dissenter and you can dictate your Slovak ideas to the „stupid Rusnaks“ in our villages. And many people unquestionably accept it and listen to the „dictators“. Then, it is clear where you have learnt these dictatorly skills and lead the church in this fashion when you were in court against the late Mr. Langoš. I will leave the rest to your imagination...”

A Greek-Catholic churchgoer from Medzilaborce



Terror in the Basilian Monastery in Prešov


„Timkovičes, get out of the Prešov monastery within 24 hours or I’ll call the police!“



On June 27th, 2006 in the basilian monastery in Prešov; the brothers Jozafat and Gorazd Timkovič received a decree dated June 17th, 2006 from the general Protoarchimandrite of the Order of St. Vasilij the Great, Father Basil Koubetch of Rome. It was handed to them by Father Superior Vladimír J. Sedláček in the presence of two Basilian witnesses (Father Metod M. Bilančík and Father Markián M. Greško). The decree states that within 24 hours of its receipt, the Timkovičes are required to leave the monastery (if they happen to be there) and as a new bishop has not yet been chosen and they have not contacted the Holy Father, they are automatically suspended from the priesthood.

However, the decree is invalid. And this is why:


  1. There is no addressee, it was aimed at the Eastern Congregation, nuncio Nowacki and bishop J. Babjak... It talks about Timkovič in the third person singular. It can, thus, be deduced by detective means that it was addressed to Father Superior V. Sedláček. This means that the Timkovičes not only did not receive any decree, but also some such decree was delivered to them, which was addressed to someone else.


  1. In the decree, the general representative refers to a decree from March 2005 (!!!), which was allegedly delivered to the Timkovičes in March 2005, which is a lie. The Timkovičes received that same decree a year and two months later, i.e. May 15th, 2006! It, therefore, concerns falsifying the dates and data with the blessing of the Congregation. The newest decree was written in a diplomatic-devilish style, as its data is false by 90 percent:


        The Timkovičes, allegedly, after receiving the decree about expulsion from the Basilian order in March 2005, got offended and left the monastery;


        Consequently, after a year, on April 27th, 2006; the Eastern Congregation came to terms with this fact and because the Timkovičes did not contact the Pope in March 2005; on June 17th, 2006, general representative Koubetch wrote the newest “decree” to Father Superior Sedláček, saying that as the Timkovičes had not chosen a bishop within a year and three months, they are not only expelled from the Order of Basilians, but also suspended from the priesthood. However, if false data is found in any decree, this is automatically considered invalid.


  1. The Timkovičes contacted the Pope four times between 2001 and 2003. According to church law, if someone contacts the Pope and does not receive any reply, they can not be punished. The Pope has not replied by now. That is why the whole furore, which took place within the two past years, was illegal.


Koubetch sent the Timkovičes a cover letter in Italian, in which he directly confirms that what was done to them by bishop Babjak in March 2006, when he tried to suspend them from the priesthood, was controlled by the Vatican Eastern Congregation.


THIS IS WHY THE BROTHERS TIMKOVIČ REFUSED TO OBEY THIS INVALID DECREE, which wants to create the impression, that the Timkovičes were expelled from the Order of Basilians during the pontificate of John Paul II, who died on April 2nd, 2005. And this is why their case was closed during the previous papacy and not that of the new Pope, Benedict XVI. That is why Father Jozafat V. Timkovič, OSBM, said that they might contact the Pope for the fifth time, this time the new one (after they have contacted John Paul II four times. In the years 2001 – 2003 they did not get any reply from the Vatican).


The real truth is (see the above picture from June 27th 2006) that the Timkovičes are still living in the Prešov monastery, they are wearing the Basilian habits, they are officiating Holy Mass, taking confession and so on. On the evening of 27th June 2006 Father Markián  M. Greško, OSBM – a former protégé of Father Jozafat Timkovič, said angrily to “his father”, that they would call the police and evict the  Timkovičes, or lock the monastery and not let people in. Timkovič answered: „Great, at least the second part of the book of documents on Rusyns in Slovakia will be more interesting...“


On June 28th, 2006, the Timkovičes contacted Pope Benedict XVI. Thanks to this, the Timkovičes were not forcibly evicted from the Prešov monastery and they are still living and serving their flock. What will happen next? Follow further developments on – in the next few days you will find out up-to-the-minute news about the crisis in the highest circles of the Vatican, which is filtering down to individual eparchies and among believers.

(The material was taken from the above website.)

"Saga Timovič" is coming to end


15th of the May 2006, Presov monastery - Timkovic received in presence of Provincial Sedlacek and profess-monks Bilancik, Jacos and Gresko DECRET signed by General Superior - Protoarchimandrite B. Koubetch from Rome. Decret is about DELETING of Rev. Timkovic from the Order of Saint Basil the Great.
Frustrating in Decret is, that it has the date already ONE YEAR AND TWO MONTHS (14 months) OLD! The date of delivered Decret is from 14th of the March 2005!!! Timkovic received also photocopy of the letter from Eastern Congregation from Vatican addressed to General Koubetch with the date 27th of April 2006 in which Congregation is concernig permission to Koubetch for kicking of Timkovic from the Order which will bring automaticly SUSPENDATION FROM THE HOLY PRIESTHOOD. See letter from Provincial Sedlacek dated 16th of the May 2006 as testimony about falsed above mentioned dates...
Conclusion: Delivered decret about canceling of Timkovic from the Order is invalid in reason of the FALSE DATE. When Timkovic will receive from General Koubetch new decret with real date - it will become valid. So "eternal" saga of Timkovic is coming to its conclusive end... Why Vatican is using false dates??? What is behind the Vatican curton?

See links

Do not forget to check my wesite:

Rev. J. V. Timkovic, OSBM

A Basilian Marián Ján POTÁŠ has died


Father Marián Ján Potáš officiating a holy liturgy on the feast of Rusaľ in front of the ruins of an old monastery in Krásny Brod at the beginning of 1990s.

Photo by A. Z.

On February 23rd, 2006 a Basilian monk Marián Ján Potaš, aged 88, died in Prešov.


In 1943, he was ordained a priest by his Holiness Bishop Pavel Peter Gojdič. During his life, he was politically persecuted, in 1950 he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. He served time in the prisons of Prešov, Bratislava, Na Pankráci, Ruzin, Leopoldov, Ilava, Mlada Boleslav and in Valdice. In the era of socialism, he published a lot of underground literature. Recently he published several precious books, among them a publication about the life of the bishop P. P. Gojdič – The Gift of Love, Martyr Episcopus Presoviensis Pavel  Peter Gojdič, OSBM and other books. For many years he was editor-in-chief at a basilian magazine Blahovistnik. He was partly responsible for the exhumation of P. P. Gojdič’s body in 1968 and a its transport from Leopoldov to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Prešov. He took an active part in the process of the beatification of bishop-martyrs P. P. Gojdič and Vasiľ Hopko. In the 1970s he was secretly ordained a bishop; however, after 1989, he was not officially appointed by the Vatican. M. J. Potáš was in favour of using Church Slavic as a liturgical language, keeping the Cyrilo-Metodic traditions of the Greek-Catholic Church and criticised the Slovakization of liturgical ceremonies. He was a pro-Ukrainian oriented Rusyn, but he supported the idea of appointing a bishop for Rusyns who would be a dignified successor to bishop Gojdič.


The funeral ceremony took place on February 27th, 2006 in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and was officiated by a Greek-Catholic Minister Mns. Ján Babjak. Many believers, ecclesiastic and foreign guests attended.

JUDr. Peter Krajňák


The magazine ARTOS 1/2006 has been published


The above magazine is published by the Association of St. John the Baptist under the leadership of Father Milan Jasik, editor-in-chief. In the year’s first issue of the quarterly magazine, besides the editorial, readers can find several interesting articles such as Vira ne mať bytî zvyčajom (Belief should not be a habit) by Father Radoslav, Apostol Jakov Alfejiv  (Apostol Jakov Alfejov) by Father M. Jasik, Alumneum Obťestva sv. Joana Krestîteľa – maťir’ pro bidny rusîňsky ďitî (Alumnus of the St. John the Baptist Association – the mother of poor Rusyn children), Отець Франтїшек Крайняк – охранця материньского языка, незломный бойовник за права русиньскых ґрекокатоликів і русиньского народа (Father František Krajňák – a protector of mother tongue, an undefeated fighter for the rights of the Rusyn Greek-Catholic and Rusyn nation) by the chairman of the Association of St. John the Baptist Father Jaroslav Popovec, Prîhody zo žyvota sv. Vasîlija Velîkoho (The Life Adventures of Vasil Veľky) by Father Štefan Pappa (this material had been left in its handwritten form for many years and was published for the first time in this magazine) and many others. It needs to be emphasized that all the articles were written in Rusyn, using the new orthography (some of them written in Cyrillic, others in Latin in transcription), which is to Mgr. Marek Gaj‘ s credit. Marek Gaj is the editor and a teacher of Rusyn language at the Primary School in Radvan nad Laborcom.

A new calendar have been published


In November 2005, the St. John  the Baptist´s Community issued their second calender – Greek-Catholic Rusyn Calendar for 2006. It can be purchased from the following address: Greckokatolicky farsky urad, kpt. Nalepku 36, 068 01 Medzilaborce. It is written in Rusyn, partly in cyrillic, partly in Latin. Besides Gregorian and Julian Calendar, many interesting articles and illustrations can be found within.





The ceremony of constituting of ktitors in Miroľa


On October 1st, 2005 in the village of Miroľa in the district of  Svidník 5th ceremonial act of constituting of ktitors took place, who decided to financially contribute to preservation of the wooden church  of Pokrovy Presvjatoj Bohorodici from the year 1770. This role was accepted by the Euro-commissioner Ján Figeľ and the Director General of the joint-stock company Slovenská sporiteľňa Regina Ovesny-Straka.


The ceremony was preceded by a briefing in the roadhouse Janka in Hunkovce, where the principal of the District Administration Office in Svidník, PhDr. Jozef Harviš,  and chairman of the Board of Directors of the non-profit organisation Drevené chrámy pod Duklou (Woorden Churches under Dukla), the priest from Čirč Mgr. Jaroslav Popovec welcomed journalists and guests. The own ceremony of constituting of ktitors took place in the church of Pokrovy Presvjatoj Bohorodici in Miroľa, where new ktitors and guests were welcome by the parish priest of the Greek-Catholic parish in Miroľa, Mgr. Martin Kostilník and mayor of the village, Jozef Kostilník. Ing. Michal Kosť, the main organiser of the ceremony and director of the non-profit organisation Drvené chrámy pod Duklou was also present. At the end of the church ceremony of constituting of ktitors this organisation  awarded the third title of BENEFACTOR to the director of the Research Centre of the Foreign Policy Slovak Society, a native from Beňadikovce – PhDr. Alexander Duleba, PhD. At the same time the title of BENEFACTOR was awarded for the first time to Ladislav Gogor, a native from Miroľa,  who for a long time has been financially supporting the parish and church in Miroľa.


Wooden churches in eastern Slovakia belong among precious monuments of folk architecture and are UNESCO listed and represent a spiritual culture and  Orthodox belief of Rusyns, who preserved them by now. Their preservation for future generations is one of the main tasks of us contemporaries, as we inherited these sacral monuments from our ancestors and due to the non-profit organisation Drevené chrámy pod Duklou  it is managed to do so. Also du to so far ktitors  many churches were preserved, which were in disrepair. They deserve our thanks for such beneficiary work.


JUDr. Peter KRAJŇÁK, Prešov


The Orthodox Church


His Most Enlightened Kryštof has become the new Metropole


On May 2nd, 2006 in Vilémov at Litovia in the Czech Republic, the 11th Extraordinary Local Assembly of the Orthodox Church in the Czech countries and Slovakia in one of its sessions appointed His Most Enlightened Kryštof (whose name was successfully drawn) the archbishop of  Prague and the Czech countries, the highest representative of the Orthodox Church in the Czech countries and Slovakia. The enthronement of the new Metropole will take place on Sunday May 28th, 2006 in Prague Cathedral. The title of the new Metropole will be His Beatitude Kryštof, the archbishop of Prague, the Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in Czech lands and Slovakia a Metropolia.





The Orthodox Church has its new archbishop Ján


Ján Holonič, who has been the archbishop of Michalovce, might become the new Metropolitan for Czech lands and Slovakia. On March 11th, 2006, he was appointed the archbishop of Prešov and Slovakia by the Eparchial Congregation of the Orthodox Eparchy of Prešov.


„By this election, one of the fundamental conditions for appointing the new Orthodox Metropolitan of Czech lands and Slovakia a Metropolia was fulfilled“, – said Milan Gerka, the deputy of the Holy Synod. The possible candidates are archbishop Ján of Prešov and archbishop Kryštof of Prague.


Archbishop Ján, thus, took over the post after the late His Beatitude Nikolaj, who died on January 30th, 2006. March 11th marks the date by which, according to the ecclesiastic law of the Orthodox church, the clergy are supposed to appoint a new Metropolitan. Although we do not know when they will do so, the church has not been left without its highest representative. „Archbishop Kryštof of Prague has been given temporary charge of this post“, – M. Gerka announced.


Holonič will assume the office of the eparch of Prešov after a ceremony, which is a condition for the appointment. April 7th, 2006 was designated the date of the enthronement. After this date, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in Czech lands and Slovakia will decide about appointing the Metropolitan.


On March 11th, Ihumen Tichon, who has been the superior of the monastery in Komárno, was appointed Assistant Bishop of the Prešov eparchy by the Orthodox clergy.

- r -

His Beatitude NIKOLAJ has left to eternity


At the age of 78, His Holiness Nikolaj (secular surname Kocvar), the highest representative of the Orthodox Church, the archbishop of Prešov and the Metropolitan of Czech lands and Slovakia a Metropolia, died on January 30th, 2006.


He was born on December 19th, 1927 in Hanigovce in the Sabinov district. He studied at the Russian Secondary Comprehensive School in Humenne and after graduation continued in his studies at the Orthodox Seminary in Prague. Afterwards, he graduated from the Moscow Clerical Academy, where in 1959 he defended his dissertation thesis. Father Nikolaj was a clerical pastor in Mikulášova and Geraltov, he was a spiritual of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Prešov and the verger of the Prešov Orthodox Diocese. In 1965 in the Chapel of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Prešov, the Metropolitan of Prague and Czechoslovakia Father Dorotej named him brother Nikolaj.

This year, he was appointed the bishop of Prešov and after His Holiness Dorotej had died, he became a metropolitan verger of the Orthodox Church in the Czech countries and Slovakia. In 1987, by the decision of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in Czechoslovakia, he becomes an archbishop and widely represents the Orthodox Church at various official meetings with representatives of Orthodox Churches as well as the Anglican and Roman Catholic Church. After Czechoslovakia had been split, he became the archbishop of Prešov and Slovakia.


The period after 1989 was marked by the handing over of the church properties, temples, parsonage buildings of the Greek Catholic Church and by building new ecclesiastical objects, which is to Primate Nikolaj’s merit as he was very successful in this area. Over 80 new buildings of the Orthodox Church are clear evidence of it.


On April 14th, 2000 at the 10th Assembly of the Orthodox Church, Primate Nikolaj was appointed the Metropole of the Orthodox Church in the Czech countries and Slovakia. He was enthroned on June 4th, 2000 in St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. For his meritorious archpastoral work, Primate Nikolaj was awarded a number of ecclesiastic honours from the Russian, Georgian and Greek Orthodox churches. The Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Prešov granted him with the title of ThDr. Honoris causa.

As the highest representative of the Orthodox Church in the Czech countries and Slovakia he was trying to achieve and maintain harmonic and fraternal cohabitation of independent churches, which he considered a primary role of the temporary Orthodoxy in the world. Until the last moments of his life, he remained a modest, simple person always ready to devote his time to the believers. For his work as archbishop, he will stay deep in their hearts and minds as well as in the history of the Orthodox Church in the Czech countries and Slovakia.


The funeral ceremony took place on February 4, 2006 in St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Prešov with a great attendance of believers, representatives of the Orthodox and other churches from the homeland and abroad. The President of the Slovak Republic Ivan Gašparovič and the Prime Minister of Slovakia Mikuláš Dzurinda also came to pay tribute to Primate Nikolaj who was buried in the crypt of the cathedral.

Vičnaja Jomu pamjať! (Long may we remember him.)

Prot. Prof. ThDr. Milan Gerka, CSc.,

Deputy of the Holy Synod