By John-Henry Westen
TORONTO, April 4, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Only one day after a LifeSiteNews.com story exposed the fact that a Ukrainian Catholic priest in Toronto had backed the nomination of a pro-abortion federal politician, the Ukrainian Catholic Bishop has publicly reprimanded the priest.
LifeSiteNews.com reported yesterday that on Sunday, March 25th, a Liberal Party meeting to nominate Michael Ignatieff was held at the Christ the Good Shepherd Parish St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Etobicoke. Ignatieff, whose stands in favour of abortion and same-sex ‘marriage’ are well known had his nomination seconded by the pastor of the church Fr. Terry Lozynsky.
In a press release today, sent to LifeSiteNews.com, Bishop Stephen Chmilar, Ukrainian Bishop of Toronto and Eastern Canada acknowledged the incident and noted that “As a direct result of Fr. Terry’s actions, numerous e-mails regarding the propriety of that action came to our office.”
The release notes that “Fr. Terry was called into our office to explain his actions and we pointed out to him that based on Canon Law, at no time is any of our clergy to be part of, or deemed to be associated with, any political party except in the judgement of the Eparchial Bishop, if a particular law so states the need to protect the rights of the church or to promote the common good requires it.”
Moreover, the Bishop Chmilar writes: “It was also acknowledged that by promoting Mr. Ignatieff, that indirectly he was promoting the political stance on abortion and gay rights legislation that the candidate has.”
“As a direct result of this breach,” said Bishop Chmilar, “Fr. Terry has been reprimanded and a letter to all clergy informing them of the current statutes and regulations regarding involvement in any political process will be sent and reinforced.”
In a letter signed by Fr. Lozynsky which accompanied the press release, the priest writes his fellow Ukrainian Catholics saying, “I humbly apologize for the problems and embarrassment that I have caused our bishop and you my brothers and sisters.”
Fr. Lozynsky, a personal friend of Ignatieff’s explains that his actions were not meant as political or as an endorsement of the anti-life and anti-family stands of Mr. Ignatieff. When asked to second Mr. Ignatieff’s nomination he felt it was an honorary gesture given to him as host of the meeting. He wrote, “I categorically state here that my moral values are the same as the church I represent. I do not support same sex marriages, nor do I support any form of abortion”.
“Unfortunately my actions were seen in the eyes of many as one of me supporting not only the political party but Mr. Ignatieff’s position as mentioned above. I do not support any political party and as I stated I do not support Mr. Ignatieff’s position on these matters.”
The letter concludes, “Please forgive me my brothers and sisters as I threw caution to the wind and didn’t consider the reactions of my actions. I promise in the future that I will support all eparchial statutes and canon law and hopefully never put the church in the same position as I did last week.”
Jim Hughes, President of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews.com he was delighted with the swift reaction of Bishop Chmilar. “Congratulation and thank you to the Bishop for taking such prompt action in light of this scandalous situation,” he said. Hughes added that, “Bishop Chmilar’s immediate response has demonstrated the great respect for life and family that the is held by the Ukrainian Eparchy.
“Hopefully,” said Hughes, “Fr. Terry will be able to use his influence to bring his friend Mr. Ignatieff to a true understanding of the sanctity of life and family and his responsibility to protect both in the political arena.”
See text of Press Release from Bishop Chmilar
See text of Press Release from Fr. Lozynsky https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/apr/070404b.html
To contact Bishop Chmilar:
Most Rev. Stephen Victor Chmilar
Ukrainian Bishop of Toronto and Eastern Canada